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Albuquerque Moves Entrepreneurial Ecosystem to SXSW

Mayor, Economic Professionals promote City's startup culture on an international stage.

March 7, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE – This week, Mayor Richard J.  Berry, City of Albuquerque Economic Development leaders, Startup Founders, and the New Mexico Film Office will be traveling to Austin, Texas to take part in the world-class South by Southwest (SXSW) innovation conference.  The team will be recreating a temporary  full-on, scaled-down version of Albuquerque’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in Austin during the conference taking place March 11-15, 2016  to promote the City’s entrepreneurial culture and resources.

Organized as a community effort to promote the city’s economic development initiatives, Albuquerque startups will be participating in various events during the international festival. New Mexico will have a major presence throughout all three areas of SXSW: music, interactive and film.  

“Albuquerque’s innovative and entrepreneurial viability is illustrated through our strong showing at this year’s SXSW,” Mayor Berry said. “We have created an environment in our city that allows innovative ideas to gain traction, grow and prosper. Albuquerque has a great deal to offer and I am pleased that we have this international platform to share our uniqueness.”

Organizations scheduled to attend include over 15 local startups, representatives from economic development agencies, accelerators, venture capital firms, resources partners, the Living Cities Integration Initiative and the City of Albuquerque. This year, SXSW organizers were so impressed with Albuquerque’s yearly showing that have asked Mayor Berry to lead a panel with Living Cities on Saturday, March 12 called Bootstrapping Your City’s Innovation Ecosystem session. The session will be focused around the impact different types of innovation can have on a city when corporations and entrepreneurs have the right resources. In doing so he will have the opportunity to once again share on a national stage all that Albuquerque is doing as an entrepreneurial hub.

“Leaders in Albuquerque have been building a relationship with some key people in Austin because we recognize there are similar qualities there to what we have here,” said Eric Renz-Whitmore, Albuquerque’s community organizer for SXSW. “We don’t want to be another Austin but we can certainly learn from  them and see the future of Albuquerque from the prism of another successful city.”

The startups and companies participating in SXSW include:

  • New Mexico Film Office: Promoting the film industry in New Mexico, NMFO is educating SXSW attendees on its 25 percent rebate for the creation of games and apps and 50 percent salary reimbursement for New Mexico student hires.
  • Albuquerque Integration Initiative (ABQ TII): A collective impact project that uses entrepreneurship and innovation as a mechanism for job creation and economic mobility. Under the support and guidance of Living Cities, ABQ TII works to implement several strategies to create 10,000 new target population jobs and 5,000 new target population owned businesses by 2025.
  • Meow Wolf: Founder Vince Kadlubek will be speaking about immersive experiences that combine physical sculpture with digital interactivity. Meow Wolf is backed by George R.R. Martin, writer of epic fantasy novels like Game of Thrones.
  • City of Albuquerque: Mayor Richard J. Berry will sit on a panel titled “Bootstrapping your City’s Ecosystem,” speaking about his personal experiences as a business owner, while integrating these ideas as mayor.
  • BounceChat: The ABQid graduate was selected to participate in SXSW’s international trade show, where they will debut and launch their social network application.
  • ABQid Accelerator: As a member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), managing director Lori Upham will participate on a “reverse pitch” contest, where she pitches to startups.
  • Pressure Analysis Company: Participating at Tech.Co's Startup Night on Sunday, March 13, Pressure Analysis Company designs and manufactures impact detecting skullcaps for athletes in contact sports such as football.
  • MyChange: MyChange is an app that rounds up change from transactions to the nearest dollar and revolutionizes fundraising for non-profits and candidates. They are one of ten finalists pitching at ReleaseIT.
  • Siarza Social Digital: As the fastest growing marketing agency in Albuquerque, the team of digital millenials are leading the communications efforts for #ABQ2SXSW.
  • Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce: Leaders from the city’s chamber will promote economic and educational opportunities with an emphasis on small business.
  • Kanoodl: As a tech and music startup based in Albuquerque, the team plans on networking between SXSW interactive and music.
  • BuckleDown Systems: This Scrappy Startup Winner created a better solution to fixing buckling sidewalks and is patent pending.
  • Concept Flux: As the interactive festival known for emerging media, these creative content producers focus on video storytelling, immersive and interactive media.
  • Cultivating Coders: The program is heading to SXSW for the first time. Cultivating Coders is an eight-week bootcamp style training curriculum that focuses on current web development technologies for regular employers.
  • Red Light Cameras: Formed in Albuquerque, NM, Red Light Cameras plays a mix of soulful rock and garage pop. Their accolades include a New Mexico Music Award for Best Pop Album of 2013 and a Best Band award from the Local iQ and The Weekly Alibi.
  • Sunport: Albuquerque’s Startup of the Year (by will be showcasing the SunPort which allows anyone to access clean, renewable solar energy from anywhere.
  • Wyrd: As a New Mexico Tech Council Scrappy Startup winner, Wyrd levels the playing field by letting creators battle their content one-on-one against others and users decide who wins and who loses.
  • Mindshare Media: Mindshare plans  to interact with tech-based organizations and SXSW initiatives in order to break from our normal workflow and fuel the company's culture.

Other organizations include Rival Theory and the New Mexico Technology Council. Those not attending are encouraged to engage with these traveling entrepreneurs through the #ABQ2SXSW hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as