BIG NEWS: Create New Mexico chosen as finalist in EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge
The coalition will compete for up to $100 million to supercharge New Mexico’s economy
Create New Mexico, a coalition led by the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Creative Startups, the Institute of American Indian Arts, New Mexico Tech, the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning, the City of Santa Fe, Stagecoach Foundation, and DreamSpring, was named by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) as a finalist in the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The coalition will advance to Phase 2 and compete for up to $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding to develop and scale the creative technology industry in New Mexico.
The challenge is assisting communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is the largest economic development initiative from the U.S. Department of Commerce in decades.
“The Hispano Chamber is honored to be a finalist for the BBB Regional Challenge, and we are thrilled to work with incredible organizations to do meaningful work for the creative technology industry, with huge economic potential – especially for under-served communities in our state,” said Ernie C’deBaca, president and CEO of the Hispano Chamber. “New Mexico’s poised to become a global leader in creative tech, film, and entertainment. With this dynamic coalition of diverse partners, Create New Mexico is committed to building an equitable and innovative regional creative economy,” said Alice Loy, CEO and Co-founder of Creative Startups.
Create New Mexico is part of a regional coalition of stakeholders from government, business, nonprofits, and academia. As a finalist, the coalition was awarded $500,000 to develop a plan towards a shared vision of New Mexico as a global leader in the creative technology industries, including film and animation, artificial intelligence, visual effects, gaming, digital 3D modeling and printing, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, wearable technologies, and more. The coordinated projects proposed by the Coalition are focused on developing an inclusive, sustainable creative technology economic development plan with outreach, programs, and services specifically for under-served populations, including Hispanic, Native American, and rural communities.
“We are thrilled to help communities work together—in coalitions of government, nonprofits, academia, the private sector, and others—to craft ambitious and regionally unique plans to rebuild their communities,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. "These projects will help revitalize local economies and tackle our biggest challenges related to climate change, manufacturing, supply chains, and more. EDA is proud to ignite these plans and help communities nationwide build back better."
Phase 1 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge invited coalitions to apply for funding to implement a collection of three to eight distinct but related projects in their region. Projects need to be in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry sector.
EDA received 529 applications from regions in all 50 states and five territories, and the 60 finalists represent regions that formed extraordinary coalitions, demonstrated regional needs, and presented bold proposals to grow their target industry clusters. Ranging from rural communities and coastal towns to major metros, the finalists make up a diverse cross-section of the United States.
In Phase 2, finalists will compete for significant implementation assistance. EDA will award 20- 30 coalitions each up to $100 million. These awards will assist communities in executing ambitious plans to supercharge their regional economies across a variety of strategic growth sectors. The deadline for Phase 2 applications is March 15, 2022.
Learn more at eda.gov/arpa/build-back-better.
Creative Startups is an unmatched leader at providing creative visionaries with the guidance they need to launch and grow their creative companies, from shaping early ideas to scaling globally. Their network of 400+ alumni companies span the globe, raising $301 million USD in venture capital, creating almost 900 jobs, and generating $79 million in new revenues. Their accelerator faculty teach at Stanford, Harvard, ArtCenter, RISD, and their 120+ global mentors are founders, executives, and investors with leading creative companies like Cirque Du Soleil, Disney, Embodied Labs, and Meow Wolf. While most accelerator programs focus solely on technological innovation, Creative Startup’s programming is based on the unique needs of creative entrepreneurs.