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Mayor’s Prize Boosts Entrepreneurship in Albuquerque

Innovative, scalable programs sought to spark entrepreneurship and innovation

Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry announced a competitive prize that seeks new ideas from innovative programs that support the creation and growth of new and young companies in the City of Albuquerque. Partnered with the Albuquerque Community Foundation (ACF) with the generous support and leadership of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, The Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship – Powered by the Albuquerque Community Foundation will encourage bold program ideas that will help to generate new companies, jobs and prosperity for Albuquerque’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Entrepreneurship is the best barometer of the health of a city’s economy, leading the creation of new jobs, products, and economic opportunity. Entrepreneurship also contributes to the prosperity of a community more than any other economic activity. The Mayor’s Prize will identify, reward, and accelerate the best ideas from nonprofit entrepreneurship support organizations committed to making Albuquerque a great place to both create and grow a company.  

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 from various donors. The first prize cycle will be announced in the coming months, and winners will be announced in October at the annual Kauffman Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, cohosted this year in Albuquerque by Mayor Berry.

“Innovation is an intentional process of experimentation and exploration yielding significant, positive change,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “By bringing a venture philanthropy approach to entrepreneurial ecosystem development, The Mayor’s Prize seeks to award prizes and work with cohorts of recipients to refine and scale their innovative programs.”

The Mayor’s Prize will have a particular emphasis on programs serving high-growth firms that will generate the greatest community benefit through job creation and economic opportunity.

Kevin Yearout, of Yearout Mechanical and ACF, commented, “Successful applicants will be those with programs that have the greatest potential to be significantly scaled after the one-year prize period.  During this period, recipients will use the financial award and technical assistance from the program’s founding partners to pilot, expand and possibly replicate their programming.”