The New Mexico Angels, a local group of accredited individual investors, announced that it has made a record number of investments in start-up companies. The Angels have led investments in seed- and early-stage investing in new companies, especially those created around technologies from UNM and the state’s other research institutions and national labs. Their Start-Up Factory program has spun out startups such as Cylenta, Dynamic Photonics, Enthentica, and Exovita Biosciences from UNM technologies. To read more, see Kevin Robinson-Avila’s February 17, 2017 article, “NM Angels report record investment in 2016,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below.
NM Angels report record investment in 2016
By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer
Friday, February 17th, 2017 at 2:38pm
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Angels hit a new annual investment record in 2016, with $1.95 million pumped into 11 deals with startup companies.
That’s up from the group’s previous annual peak of $1.41 million in 2013.
“It was a great year — our largest investment year ever,” President John Chavez said at the group’s annual dinner this month in Albuquerque.
The Angels, which formed in 1999, pools the resources of about 70 individual investors to provide seed and early-stage capital to startups. The group has been particularly active in recent years, helping to keep local, early-stage investment flowing in New Mexico after the recession hit in 2008, making startup capital harder to come by.
The Angels have invested nearly $12 million in 49 deals in the past nine years, although many of those were follow-on investments in companies that had previously received capital from the group, but that needed more money to keep growing. Last year, eight of the Angel’s 11 deals were follow-ons. The remaining three provided money for newly-formed startups, Chavez said.
The group has spread its wings across the state, conducting educational events and seeking deals in cooperation with the state’s research universities, national laboratories and business incubators.
“We need people like the Angels who are willing to give before they get, and who take a long-term attitude in helping to build our ecosystem,” said Albuquerque’s economic development director, Gary Oppedahl.
The group also unveiled its new logo at the dinner, after receiving dozens of entries from graphic designers in a statewide competition. Kameron Elder, a self-taught artist and student at both the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College, won the contest with rainbow-colored angel wings topped by the slogan “Investing in Innovation.”
The wings are a branding symbol to express “freedom and upward progression,” while the colors reflect the state’s “amazing sunsets,” Elder said.