How Tech Startups are Transforming Business in Albuquerque


Tech startups are no longer only synonymous with Silicon Valley, Austin, or New York. Soaring rents, glutted markets, and more cautious investors looking for real-world profitability over on-paper potential are driving startups to business-friendly cities like Albuquerque. And with growth in the startup space comes growth in the small business sector more generally.

Albuquerque Means More Than Affordability 

Price is just one factor driving the thriving startup scene in Albuquerque. Albuquerque offers robust academic and industry networks together with a business-friendly environment. A study by Startup Genome gave Albuquerque high marks for both local and global connectedness. These are defined by strong relationships, high frequency of interaction, and supportive cultures. Of the five cities surveyed in the study, Albuquerque startups stood out for their strong international customer base – some 13 percent of startup customers were based overseas. This is excellent news not just for startups, but for the growing ecosystem of local Albuquerque businesses that support them. 

Albuquerque Businesses Benefit From Institutional Support

Albuquerque also benefits from state and local governments that take an active interest in the success of its small businesses. In 2019, New Mexico voted to invest 9 percent of its $5.5 billion severance tax permanent fund into local investments, meaning that more money will be funneled into startups and local businesses. The Kaufmann Indicators of Entrepreneurship show that New Mexico generally is an entrepreneurial state, with higher levels of entrepreneurs than the national average. Meanwhile, Albuquerque itself is home to a thriving startup ecosystem that includes accelerators, networking resources, venture funding, and coworking spaces. The city has invested up to $150 million in Innovate ABQ alone. This strategic allocation of resources creates an environment where Albuquerque businesses are encouraged to compete, innovate, and collaborate.

Albuquerque is Home to Exceptional Talent

Albuquerque also receives top marks for finding and retaining talent. According to 2014 U.S. Census Data, 14.4 percent of Albuquerque residents have a graduate or professional degree, compared to 11.4 percent nationally. This gives startups a substantial pool of talent to draw from. Additionally, with its strong Women in Tech program, it’s a draw for women employees and entrepreneurs – ranking 5th in the top 15 cities for women in tech. As startups scale and hire, they bring in even more talented employees from local and interstate, creating an impressive talent pool for local businesses to tap into.

Albuquerque Keeps Its Businesses

However, Albuquerque isn’t just a place for businesses to get started. Startups are now remaining in the city after they’ve outgrown their startup status. In 2018, all of the 11 University of New Mexico-related startups launched that year decided to stay in the state, reflecting the city’s friendliness towards entrepreneurs, together with an increase in early-stage funding. This is good news for the local businesses that serve or collaborate with these startups.

Albuquerque Coworking is Driving Startup Collaboration

All of the key factors that drive startup success in Albuquerque come together in the city’s coworking and innovation spaces. At Optimum, we strive to provide a workspace setting that fosters creativity, productivity, and performance, along with opportunities to connect, collaborate, and grow. Home to top talent, early-stage startups, and startup-adjacent businesses, Optimum Coworking reflects the change that startups are bringing to Albuquerque, and has carved out a niche as a hotspot for startups and small businesses alike. 

For more information about Optimum Coworking, or to book a tour, get in touch.