Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced $40 million worth of investments in New Mexico startups. A $20 million Catalyst Fund is being launched that will raise a matching $20 million in private equity for investments in local startups. The Catalyst Fund is expected to support more than 50 companies in New Mexico and will focus on aiding technology startups.
“New Mexico has the potential to be the next tech-startup capital of the United States,” said Governor Martinez. “Through this fund, we’re going to help these companies get off the ground to become the next Apple or Microsoft. And by doing so, all of New Mexico will reap the benefits because we will diversify our economy and create more jobs.”
The Catalyst Fund will be invested in emerging and existing venture capital funds throughout the state with plans to invest in 8-10 portfolio funds. These funds will in turn invest in seed and early stage companies with a focus on technology companies. It is expected the Catalyst Fund will support over 50 companies in New Mexico.
“This fund will build on New Mexico’s strong tradition of success in the high-tech and entrepreneurial sectors,” said Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel. “This investment strengthens our commitment to the success of homegrown New Mexico companies and hardworking New Mexican entrepreneurs.”
The first commitments have been made to Cottonwood Technology Fund, Tramway Venture Partners and Arrowhead Innovation Fund. These organizations are focused on helping startups and early stage companies grow and thrive.
“We are pleased with the first three investments from the Catalyst Fund. Each of these fund managers has a track record of launching successful new companies here in New Mexico. We believe the Catalyst Fund represents a prudent way to support these fund managers and their ability to create promising new companies here,” said Brian Birk, Managing Partner of Sun Mountain Capital. Sun Mountain Capital is the manager of the Catalyst Fund.
The Catalyst Fund is comprised of $10 million in public funds allocated by the State Investment Council, $5 million from the State Small Business Credit Initiative and $5 million in commitments from private institutional investors. Portfolio funds which receive investment from the Catalyst Fund must provide at least matching private investment, bringing the total investment to at least $40 million.
“As one of the most active and successful New Mexico investors since our founding, we are honored by the additional support of the State of New Mexico to help sustain our commitment to New Mexico homegrown startups,” said Dave Blivin, Managing Director of the Cottonwood Technology Fund. “The Catalyst Fund program fills a critical gap at the start-up stage in New Mexico. Thanks to the support of Governor Martinez and the State Investment Council, New Mexico is saying loud and clear that this state believes in the success of homegrown New Mexico businesses and is willing to invest in its own best ideas from their inception.”
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to build on New Mexico’s great tradition of investment in early stage companies,” said Waneta Tuttle, Managing Partner of the Tramway Venture Partners. “We look forward to utilizing the Catalyst funding to help make New Mexico businesses successful.”
“Arrowhead Center and New Mexico State University are working to make an impact on economic development throughout New Mexico and the entire Borderplex region,” said Estela Hernandez, Managing Director and President of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund. “We’re thrilled with this critical support from the Catalyst Fund, which will allow us to begin making transformative investments for startups to further develop their products and companies in New Mexico as we continue to build our fund to its ultimate goal of $2 million.”
The Catalyst Fund capitalizes on New Mexico’s history of strong and successful research and development. It takes advantage of the technology commercialization potential in the state and enables ideas from New Mexican research institutions to reach the market. New Mexico is well-leveraged to develop and commercialize innovative technologies from its research universities and three federal laboratories.
Funds interested in applying for a commitment from the Catalyst Fund should contact Sun Mountain Capital by email: CatalystNM@Sunmountaincapital.com. New Mexico-based companies wishing to identify venture capital funds that have received Catalyst Fund investment will be able to find a list on the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s website: www.gonm.biz.