New state Catalyst Fund announces first awards

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Many cash-strapped New Mexico startups may soon get a critical boost from a state-backed investment program that’s pumping an initial $4.65 million into three local venture funds.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced Tuesday that the state’s new $20 million “Catalyst Fund” is making its first three commitments to investment funds managed by New Mexico State University, and by the Albuquerque-based firms Cottonwood Technology and Tramway Venture Partners. Those organizations will, in turn, match state money dollar-for-dollar, doubling the amount of new cash to become available for local startups seeking seed and early-stage capital.

The Catalyst Fund launched last year with $10 million from the State Investment Council and $5 million each from the U.S. Treasury Department and private investors. It plans to invest in eight to 10 venture funds around the state over the next couple of years, generating a total of $40 million for startups after counting matching funds from Catalyst recipients.

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