Inaugural Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship Winners Selected

12227075_1107300059287713_1836016209181661058_nNearly $200,000 awarded to three organizations

Winners of the first ever Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship were announced last night at the Epicenter@InnovateABQ during the Community Celebration of Entrepreneurship as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.  The three winners will receive a total $199,000 in grants to implement their programs.

The winners and their programs are:

Global Ties: Through the Mayor’s Prize Program, Global Ties ABQ will develop its Global Innovator Program, which encourages and educates second-stage entrepreneurs and investors on expanding their businesses internationally. Through this program, New Mexico could see the development of an international business community in Albuquerque, while fostering support for the city’s start-up industry. The goal of the program is to educate entrepreneurs and investors on the global business climate and how to successfully expand their markets. Currently, with the exception of higher education institutions, there are no other local organizations that provide starts up or small businesses with wrap-around international business services and education at a low-cost.

Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC): With the support of the Mayor’s Prize, TVC will have the opportunity to build upon its successful business model that assists businesses “beyond the initial tech transfer/start-up phase.” It will do this by establishing and implementing a growth program that will leverage and match local resources with the national capabilities (knowledge, tools and facilities) available to help small to medium-sized high-tech companies take their business to the next level. Through its existing relationships with the city, state, university, national labs and private industry, TVC is well-positioned to become the connection and collaboration resources for growing tech businesses in Albuquerque.

Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Team (WESST): The Mayor’s Prize is supporting WESST’s new Creative P.I.E. (Practice, Innovation and Enterprise) program, which targets emerging and/or growing creatives (artists, makers and food producers) by providing a no-barriers-to-entry program of wrap-around services. This program was developed as a way to provide business services not currently easily accessible, but readily achievable, for the thousands of Albuquerque creatives who are seeking support in starting, growing or repositioning their businesses. By reaching over 200 metro-area creatives, Creative P.I.E will serve to build a more robust creative economy, grow Albuquerque’s arts reputation and raise the business and financial literacy rates of the city’s creative professionals.

The three winners were selected from 11 finalists by a judging committee comprised of local companies and organizations as well as individuals from across the country that are involved in entrepreneurial work.  The judges evaluated the finalists in areas such as whether the proposal clearly states a bold and innovative idea, whether the program is sustainable, has measurable outcomes and clearly define success.

Powered by the Albuquerque Community Foundation, “The Mayor’s Prize” is a competitive program to provide financial support to nonprofits or institutions that create innovative programs supporting entrepreneurialism and the creation and growth of new and young companies in the City of Albuquerque.

Supported financially by the Albuquerque Community Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Mayor’s Prize was developed as a collaborative effort to spur entrepreneurial activity in specific areas to support nonprofit entrepreneurial support organizations.  Applicants were given five areas where innovative programs could benefit entrepreneurs:  bringing local innovations to market; access to and connectivity of entrepreneurship resources; connections for entrepreneurs to markets, resources or other entrepreneurs; enabling high growth success; and, buy and make local.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a recognized leader on entrepreneurship.  Their foundation also supports entrepreneurial efforts in Albuquerque through their program 1 Million Cups and their Global Entrepreneurship Week initiative.  Global Entrepreneurship Week is November 16 through November 22.

The Albuquerque Community Foundation administers a permanent community endowment comprised of many gifts, large and small, and uses the earning from that endowment to make grants to other nonprofit organizations.  Since its establishment in 1981, total grant distributions are nearly $43 million and more than 6,500 grants funded for nonprofit organizations serving the greater Albuquerque area.

The founding partners – the Albuquerque Community Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation – have created the permanent philanthropic fund called “The Mayor’s Prize” with the intention of it continuing in perpetuity. The Kauffman Foundation has committed to seed the prize fund with a $200,000 challenge to raise matching funds. The Albuquerque Community Foundation will meet the challenge this year with $200,000 and seek an additional $200,000 in the future from various donors.

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