NM's Flying 40: Surging higher still - Albuquerque Journal

NM’s Flying 40: Surging higher still

The list of New Mexico’s Flying 40 accompanying the story below inadvertently omitted three companies. Their information is as follows:

Verus Research, founded in 2014; 36 employees; gross revenues $10,275,551

Emerging Technology Ventures Inc., founded 2014; 13 employees; gross revenues $1,140,000

IDEAS Engineering & Technology, founded 2011; 12 employees; gross revenues $1,030,036


Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Most of New Mexico’s Flying 40 technology companies glided to new heights this year, collectively generating $865 million in revenue and providing full-time employment for 4,800 people.

Many showed hefty growth in the double and triple digits. Others reported only modest revenue expansion, and some even weathered declines. But all the firms on this year’s list of fast-growing technology companies demonstrated solid tenacity over the past five years, earning them bragging rights as critical stalwarts in the local economy.

Female-owned aeronautics, space company flying high

“Most of these technology companies create economic-base jobs,” said Sherman McCorkle, chairman and CEO of the Sandia Science and Technology Park Development Corp. “They sell outside the state and bring in new money to the New Mexico economy, and they provide high-paying jobs that tend to be incredibly stable.”

The Park Development Corp. is one of the long-standing, primary sponsors of the annual Flying 40 awards, now in its 21st year. It stepped in this year to directly coordinate and host the awards after the event’s founder and principal organizer, Technology Ventures Corp., closed its doors in spring 2017.

TVC had launched the Flying 40 in 1998 to recognize the achievements of some of New Mexico’s top-performing technology companies and celebrate their contribution to the local economy. But TVC lost its annual funding from Lockheed Martin Corp. last year after a subsidiary of Honeywell International took over management of Sandia National Laboratories from Lockheed, which had administered the lab since 1993.

In a bittersweet twist of personal history, it was McCorkle who originally organized the Flying 40 as head of the TVC, which he led from 1993 to 2011. Now, as head of the Park Development Corp., McCorkle said, it was a no-brainer to continue carrying the torch.

“We started it to bring attention to how important these technology-based companies are to our economy,” McCorkle said. “With TVC’s unfortunate demise, we thought it was critical to maintain the recognition that comes with being part of the Flying 40.”

Burgos Group team members are in the field on a Defense Department support contract. (Courtesy of Burgos Group)

Companies on the list encompass a broad range of technology sectors, including engineering, information technology, aviation, aerospace and solar energy. Many provide services to the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, federal agencies such as NASA, and commercial clients. Others offer information technology services or construction and management of facilities. And many are marketing new technologies or services either developed in the state’s laboratories and research universities or created through grass-roots ingenuity.

The Flying 40 reflects three categories of companies. That includes top revenue-producing firms independent of their annual financial growth, top revenue-growth companies with more than $10 million in annual income, and fast-growing firms with between $1 million and $10 million in revenue.

Growth is measured over five years, from 2013-2017.

Taken together, all companies on the list collectively generated $865 million in revenue last year. That’s up by $70 million, or 9 percent, from the $795 million in combined revenue those same firms reported in 2013.

Together, the companies increased their full-time workforce by 43 percent, from 3,364 employees five years ago to 4,800 as of last December.

The total revenue and employment numbers are actually lower than last year, when the Flying 40 companies reported a combined $985 million in revenue and 4,917 employees.

21st Flying 40 awards event on Wednesday

That reflects changes in participation this year, with some large firms opting out of the listings, such as SolAero Technologies Corp., the solar installation company Affordable Solar, and audio electronics firm Lectrosonics Inc. Together, those companies had generated a combined $144 million in revenue in 2016 and collectively employed 470 people, significantly boosting overall Flying 40 totals last year.

Some longtime Flying 40 stalwarts who consistently appear on the list year after year did report drops in revenue since 2013, reflecting ups and downs in contract services over the five-year period. Los Alamos Technology Associates, for example, reported a 50 percent decline in revenue compared with 2013, from $111.6 million five years ago to $55.8 million in 2017.

Still, half of the companies on this year’s list showed double- and triple-digit growth.

Raminder Mann

Advanced Network Management reported an 827 percent increase in revenue over the past five years, from just $10 million in 2013 to $92.3 million last year, earning it the No. 1 spot this year as the fastest-growing Flying 40 firm. That company, which offers system networking, security and cloud storage services, has invested heavily to expand its offerings and grow its workforce, boosting the company’s market share, said CEO Raminder Mann.

“Being part of the Flying 40 is all about raising awareness that there are technology job opportunities in New Mexico, and we can grow them,” Mann said.

The Burgos Group LLC, which manages construction, safety and facility operations at military installations, earned the No. 2 spot for revenue growth for the second year in a row. It’s revenue increased by 307 percent over five years, from $5.5 million in 2013 to $22.6 million last year.

Mario Burgos

“We expect to reach about $28 million this year,” said President and CEO Mario Burgos. “We have contracts in nine states now, and we expect to be in at least 12 states within the next 18 months. The Flying 40 shows that many companies like ours have found New Mexico to be a great place to start and grow a business.”

The Flying 40 provides only a small snapshot of New Mexico’s technology economy. Nearly 3,000 technology companies currently operate here, according to Cyberstates 2018, an annual state-by-state analysis of the U.S. tech industry published by the Computing Technology Industry Association. As of last December, those companies together accounted for $8 billion, or 9.5 percent, of New Mexico’s gross state product. And they employed about 67,000 people, accounting for 7.3 percent of the local workforce.

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