The [email protected] ABQ Opens for Business
ALBUQUERQUE –Today Mayor Richard Berry, joined by the Albuquerque Community Foundation and Central New Mexico Community College, officially opened the first operational space on the Innovate ABQ site, called “The [email protected] ABQ”. In an unprecedented partnership between public, private and philanthropic partners, the Epicenter at Innovate ABQ will serve as a gathering space for educational programs, entrepreneurship training and support, and a host of other entrepreneurial activities.
“I’m thrilled to be opening the doors to this exciting new community center for entrepreneurship in our urban core,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “The [email protected] ABQ will be a fantastic space to gather entrepreneurs of any age, background, or demographic, and will help to catalyze our burgeoning Innovation District.”
Due to the generous support from the Cinco Amigos of the Albuquerque Community Foundation, CenturyLink, the City of Albuquerque, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, the Improve Group and others who donated time and equipment, the Epicenter has been cleaned, renovated, furnished, decorated and equipped with broadband capability. The space has state-of-the-art work spaces, high-speed internet access, and a soon-to-be-operational commercial kitchen.
"This project made so much sense to the Amigos and to those who attended our Concours du Soleil fundraising event," said Jason Harrington, representing the Albuquerque Community Foundation's Cinco Amigos. "We want to see young people in our community educated in a field where they can find a meaningful career. Technology is one of the fastest growing industries; good jobs will be available as they enter the workforce."
The Epicenter’s first activity will be the Microsoft DigiCamps, returning to Albuquerque for the second time after a very successful inaugural event last August. The “DigiGirlz” and “DigiDudes” camps, which provide middle school students with access to cutting-edge technology and basic coding training, are scheduled to take place on April 29th and 30th. In partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools, students from Garfield and Hayes Middle Schools will get the opportunity to hear from both local tech industry professionals, as well as Microsoft executives, on the importance of STEM education and opportunities to pursue a career in technology.
In addition to this type of programming, the Central New Mexico Community College has signed an MOU with the City of Albuquerque to place a “culinary makerspace” onsite at the Epicenter. This educational facility will bring kitchen training and experience to culinary entrepreneurs – whether for use in food trucks, food carts, or restaurants – and continue to bring individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset into the city’s urban core.
“CNM is very excited to be a part of the City of Albuquerque’s new Epicenter and to support the City’s efforts in championing the cause of entrepreneurship,” said CNM President Kathie Winograd. “We’re looking forward to bringing aspects of our renowned Culinary Arts program to the efforts at the Epicenter. There’s a common denominator among cities with growing and robust entrepreneurial activity – a vibrant food scene. Through our efforts at the Epicenter, we plan to advance Albuquerque’s dining economy and create jobs and opportunities, which in turn will add value to the greater economy in Albuquerque.”