Notes from the Road: Rise of the Rest Albuquerque Tour

October 10, 2016

9:15 am

This Autumn, the City of Albuquerque will be filled with harvest festivals, plenty of chile roasting and hot-air balloons floating in the morning sky. It is here that we landed for our next stop on the Rise of the Rest Tour.

Ask any member of the tech community and they are in a growth spurt. Albuquerque had the nation’s 4th highest growth rate in number of startups from 2013-2014 and five accelerators have opened to support the activity. One accelerator, ABQid was backed by the City of Albuquerque with $1.8 milion and hold it’s own venture fund.

We learned on the funding side that New Mexico Angels, an angel group that is heavily involved in the community,  invested $1.4 million in 10 companies in 2015 and 100 percent of their investment dollars went to New Mexico companies, according to their blog post. Looking to other successful raises, Skorpius tech and Lavu have raised tens of millions in VC funding.

During our tour, we started in the early morning at the 45th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta where balloon teams from around the world participated in the event and considered one of the most photographed events in the world.

Rise of the rest ABQ

Rise of the Rest ABQ

From there we were joined by Senator Tom Udall and members of the community to talk about innovation rising from the New Mexico Technology Corridor, an area filled with high-tech private companies and government institutions along the Rio Grande.

Moving on to the fireside chat, check out Steve Case talks entrepreneurship with Derek Anderson of Startup Grind – Facebook live video by Entrepreneur Magazine.

 

When it was time for startup pitches, I was excited to emcee with Sarah Koch from Case Foundation and get the crowd fired up for the top eight startups competing (as shown in photo below). The judges finally decided on Innobright, a rendering accelerator that dramatically improves the speed and quality of 3D rendering. Congrats!

Frank Gruber and Sarah Koch have some fun emceeing ABQ Rise of the Rest

Photo by Lawrence Abeyta via Twitter @lpabeyta

Read all of our coverage of Rise of the Rest at Tech.Co and see which startup has taken home the $100,000.

 

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups.

Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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