Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has made technology and entrepreneurial innovation the centerpiece of his economic development efforts, and seven of the eight people jockeying to replace him are pledging to build on those efforts if they are elected to the city’s top post.
The promises came Thursday during the Technology Entrepreneurship Mayoral Candidate Forum, co-hosted by the New Mexico Technology Council and several other groups in the tech, startup and small business communities.
“Those of us Downtown in what we dub as the innovation district spend a lot of time talking to the current mayor, and we hope that we’ll have that opportunity to talk with the new administration and make sure that everything we’ve worked so hard to happen down here in the innovation district continues to move forward,” said moderator Lisa Adkins, the immediate past chair of the New Mexico Technology Council, COO of FatPipe and the new COO of Ingenuity Software Labs.
“We definitely have a ways to go, but I know that you have laid a foundation, and I will give credit where credit is due,” candidate Brian Colón said during the forum. “This current administration made a deep commitment eight years ago to get this done. They’ve set the blocks, the car is in motion, we need to drive it forward.”
Candidate Ricardo Chaves, whose attendance at forums has been spotty, did not attend.
Dan Lewis, a Republican, said that as a city councilor, he has sponsored, supported and helped fund many of the accelerators and incubators that led to the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem Albuquerque has today.
“I will double down on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in this city that’s growing and beginning to thrive,” he said.