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21st Flying 40 awards event on Wednesday

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

The annual Flying 40 technology awards are celebrating their 21st year.

Sandia Science and Technology Park Development Corp. took the lead this year to organize and host the event, which the now-defunct Technology Ventures Corp. launched in 1998.

When Lockheed Martin Corp. took over management of Sandia National Laboratories in 1993, it created TVC to help entrepreneurs take new lab technologies to market and to assist others in launching and growing companies in New Mexico. But Lockheed Martin lost its lab management contract in spring 2017 to a subsidiary of Honeywell International, and TVC lost its funding.

With the Park Development Corp. now carrying the torch, Flying 40’s three other longtime sponsors have stayed on as partners: KPMG LLP, New Mexico Bank and Trust and the Journal’s Business Outlook. In addition, Innovate ABQ joined this year as a new primary sponsor.

The event will be held Wednesday at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Garden. It’s sold out, with about 600 participants expected.

The late-afternoon event includes strolls through the aquarium and gardens with live music and open-air dining, followed by the Flying 40 awards celebration. Winners will receive glass sea turtles with LED lights underneath that light up the sculptures with ocean colors in honor of the aquarium.

Five companies will also receive Falcon awards at the ceremony: Iterative Consulting LLC, IX Power Clear Water, Management Sciences Inc., Pixegon Inc., and Storylab Interactive. Falcon awards are honorable mentions for firms that might not have the five-year history or minimum of $1 million in revenue needed to qualify for a Flying 40 award, but whose strong growth shows high potential for creating jobs in the future.

Community Sponsors this year include the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Delta Dental, Emera Technologies, Nusenda Credit Union, Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union and Tech Navigator Albuquerque.