ALBUQUERQUE – Eleven startups launched this past fiscal year to market University of New Mexico technologies, university officials said. But this time, they all plan to stay in New Mexico.
It’s the first time since the STC began publishing annual statistics on its program achievements for each fiscal year that not a single startup chose to relocate to other markets, said Lisa Kuuttila, president and CEO of the Science and Technology Corp., the university’s tech-transfer office.
“It’s a significant milestone for us,” Kuuttila said. “It reflects the growing support here for entrepreneurs seeking to launch and grow companies.”
More availability of early-stage funding is a contributing factor, Kuuttila said. Eight of 12 startups marketing UNM technologies left for other states in fiscal year 2017, Kuuttila said.
Expanding support programs at the high-tech Innovate ABQ research and development zone downtown is also a magnet for local startup activity. The STC is now housed in Innovate ABQ’s Lobo Rainforest building, along with tech-transfer professionals from the national laboratories and business support organizations.
“Moving into the Lobo Rainforest building raised UNM’s technology transfer efforts to a new level,” Kuuttila said. “Awareness is growing about all the entrepreneurial activity happening there. It’s attracting many people from out of state to come and learn about it.”
STC’s latest data show a significant leap in general in entrepreneurial activity on campus. The tech-transfer office helped researchers file 93 patent applications in this past fiscal year, up from 68 the year before. UNM faculty also disclosed 107 new inventions to the STC, and investors signed 49 licensing agreements to market UNM technologies.