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ABQid accelerates six more startups in summer cohort

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new batch of local startups are receiving intense training and mentoring to accelerate their path to market through ABQid’s 12-week summer program, which began on June 6.

The business accelerator, which launched in 2014 with financial backing from the city of Albuquerque, chose six new startup companies for its latest cohort.

All of them received an initial $20,000 equity investment from ABQid to begin building their businesses.

The selected startups are now participating in group workshops and extensive individual coaching and mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.

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And, since day one, they’ve begun real-world testing of their products and services through direct interaction with potential customers, said ABQid Executive Director Lori Upham.

That testing process helps assess whether real demand exists for a startup’s ideas, and to determine the best path forward for the company.

“The curriculum is now well-developed to fit the New Mexico startup ecosystem,” Upham said. “We are very excited to launch more great companies in Albuquerque to build upon our existing portfolio of high-growth potential, scalable companies.”

The latest cohort includes:

— Indigenous Beats, a mobile app company to help local musicians and music venues get discovered through a rating system.

— Bee The Swarm, a mobile video gaming platform for community action that specifically encourages people to get involved in crime prevention.

— Dear Dr. Dora, which offers digital mental health through online cognizant behavioral therapy services.

— MetaPipe, a cloud-based platform where animators and graphic artists can access all the tools they need for their work.

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— Blackpin, a software system that uses artificial intelligence to help industries reduce human involvement in surveying and monitoring of land and assets.

— Wusk, which offers new ways for people who create online content for posting on places such as YouTube to get paid for their work.

The latest cohort is about half the size of ABQid’s two previous groups in Albuquerque, which included about 12 startups each in 2014 and 2015. The accelerator has reduced group size based on a six-member cohort it managed in Santa Fe early this year.

“By having fewer companies in the cohort, we reached a much deeper connection and achieved a bigger impact on the companies,” said ABQid board member Bill Bice. “With smaller classes, the participants get more direct attention from mentors and coaches.”

To date, 36 startups have participated in the accelerator program, including the members of this month’s new cohort.

The program is backed by $1.8 million in funding from the city of Albuquerque.

ABQid also invests in participating startups out of its own private venture fund.

That includes an initial $20,000 given to all cohort participants, plus follow-on investments of between $50,000 and $200,000 for select startups after accelerator training ends.

To date, ABQid has invested about $900,000 in 30 startups. Those companies have, in turn, raised about $6 million in capital from other sources.

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