Announcing our New Executive Director


Change is Good – Meet Our New Executive Director

Let’s face it. No one likes change. But, change is never optional and everyone knows that nothing truly great happens without it.
The New Mexico Tech Council has undergone tremendous change over the past year.  We have overhauled our operations to better manage our membership and deliver greater value. We have re-crafted a portion of our sponsorship opportunities (now called partnership investments) to better deliver and report our impact. We refreshed our logo, added new peer groups and launched several new initiatives around talent, women in tech, and STEM. And as you will notice with this month’s communications, we are changing the way we communicate to our members and our stakeholders – more personal conversations, shorter and sweeter emails and newsletters. (See more about that below.)
All of this change is about taking our organization to the next level. At the end of the day, what makes this step-up possible is the team (or the person) that leads you through it. For the New Mexico Tech Council, that person has been Ms. Nyika Allen and we are proud to announce that as of October 1, 2015, she has assumed the position of Executive Director of NMTC.
Lisa Adkins, Director of FatPipe ABQ and Chairwoman of the New Mexico Technology Council had this to say about Nyika and her new role: “I am so very pleased that Nyika has accepted the full-time position as our Executive Director. Her youth, energy and enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air for our organization and I know new and existing members are already seeing the benefits of Nyika’s leadership.”
Over the past year, Nyika has served as the Director of Community & Operations at NMTC and has worked to affect all the changes above with the board and other interim staff at NMTC. Nyika brings a variety of experiences from within and outside of the technology industry coupled with a fresh energy around what makes New Mexico THE place for technology businesses to start, grow, and thrive.
Nyika’s experience since graduating with a degree in International Management from the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management includes being the Tech Expert for 2KASA Fox, Director of Business Development at Volante Software, and President of Nyika Media.  And, did we mention that in her spare time she was a speaker at TedXABQ 2015?
Join us in celebrating Nyika, the changes at NMTC and the future of the technology industry in New Mexico. This is a great time to get involved.  We have so much more to tell you, so many more efforts where we need our members and community to get involved.  But, as promised, our newsletters will be shorter and sweeter going forward and will include more unique news, perspectives and happenings in the tech industry. After all, the business of technology is everybody’s business.

2015-10-12T15:08:02+00:00October 12th, 2015|

Talent, Jobs and ABQ’s Growing Tech Scene

For the technology sector, in any city, during any stage of its’ growth, talent (abundance or lack) is always a popular topic of discussion.
After talent, there is always a discussion of the availability of jobs (or not) to keep and attract said talent.
f_gi_1Over the past several months at NMTC, we have observed vastly different opinions from our members and in the press about these topics.  Opinions range from a perceived lack of good tech jobs to an abundance of new jobs (brought about by expansions and recruitment) that we are unprepared to fill.

“In my first several weeks in Albuquerque, I have heard a recurring challenge from the business leaders I’ve sat down with: Good talent is hard to find. It’s also the NO. 1 complaint I heard from business leaders in Houston….West Michigan…and multiple other cites with vastly different economies for more than a decade,” — Candace Beek, Albuquerque Business First
“Any time I’ve tried to hire tech talent here, it’s hard. People don’t live here,” — Garrett Smith, Bryte Studio
 “We picked Albuquerque because of the talent in this city.”  — Shaun McHugh, Fidelity Investments
“Skilled talent is in short supply,”– Renay Moya, Robert Half Technologies
 “Albuquerque scored at the top of every one of those criteria,”– Monty Hamilton, Rural Sourcing Inc. (referring to the high quality of life with a low cost of living, a talented and educated workforce, as well as a city that understands the digital economy)

The conversation doesn’t stop there.  We talk about new job training programs. That’s good. Until it’s followed by talk of the lack of positions or adequate ways to place people once they are trained.  That’s bad.
All this does not even cover the conversations about if we are reaching far enough into K-12 to attract and train the next generation of tech professionals. Or, whether we are paying enough (or too much) attention to the types of talent we need (millennial, baby boomer, women in tech).
It’s mind boggling.
It’s distressing.
AND, it’s encouraging.
We have something to talk about. The technology industry in New Mexico is establishing its identity and is having real growing pains. Sometimes we just need to say our worst fears out loud to see if our problems are real and our evolution as a business sector is normal. At some point it will all make sense and be good.
And it is good.  We are seeing tech companies like Ideum grow their employee base. We are watching start-ups like Lavu receive significant investment and gain national attention. We are seeing new companies like Rural Sourcing establish new roots here in part because of our educated workforce. We are getting serious about job training and placement programs.
Just a few examples include:

  • TalentABQ, led by Jamai Blivin of Innovate+Educate — on a mission to find 350 tech employees by the end of the year.
  • CNM, through a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, will launch an information technology apprenticeship program for 300 students, bridging its students’ work skills gap over the next three years.
  • FatPipeABQ and NMTC are officially launching a local chapter of Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development.

All this to say, we probably have a talent gap. And yes, we need more good jobs for talented people. But, we are talking about it and that’s a start. In July, NMTC, CNM and other partners launched a series of discussions with community leaders, employers and tech talent all trying to figure out why there is such a disconnect.
The next step is for us, as a community, is to identify one or more categories of issues we can actually address and solve.
Kobe Bryant, a pro basketball player with five NBA titles and one of the game’s greatest scorer once said “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”
The same is true for Albuquerque’s tech scene.  The fact that we are facing these issues is a result of the opportunity we as the Albuquerque and New Mexico tech community have created. Let’s make the most of it and keep the tough conversations going.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on tech talent and jobs in New Mexico.  Come see us at FatPipe or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

2015-10-10T12:00:37+00:00October 10th, 2015|

Reinventing Our City 2.0, Growing Albuquerque's Startup Economy

Join Albuquerque Business First and a group of high-profile startup entrepreneurs, funders and experts as we explore Albuquerque’s push to grow our own entrepreneurs. Albuquerque’s leaders have said this city has to learn to fail as well as succeed in order to truly become an entrepreneurial community. We’ll hear about the ups and downs of startup life from those who’ve lived it. The speakers include Molly Cernicek, CEO of SportXast; Hong Hou, venture partner at ARCH Venture Partners; Raghu Kopalle, founder and CEO of innoBright; John Mierzwa, director of STEMulus initiatives at Central New Mexico Community College; and Federica Pericle, president and CEO of Agilvax. Gary Oppedahl, Director of the CABQ Economic Development Department, will give the event’s opening remarks, and Bill Bice, chairman and president of ABQid, will give closing remarks.

2015-04-08T11:50:01+00:00April 23rd, 2015|

NMTC Community Events & Activities Update

Greetings from NMTC! 

Innovate ABQ. STEMulous Center. Fat Pipe Incubator. ABQ ID. Lumidigm Exit. Levitated Toy Factory Phase 1 Complete. Lobos and Aggies in the NCAA Tournament, again. These are just a few recent developments that are shaking up New Mexico and putting us on track to become a place to watch for tech and innovation. As a tech community, we’re essential to making the most of these opportunities.

How can we work together to help our communities grow?

No one can attend every event, nor should they try. We try to capture many of the best groups and events here and on Facebook, and it’s new voices and connections that keep them all fresh. If you haven’t participated in anything recently, please pick something. And if you do already get out there, how about trying something new?

It’s not all about ‘startups’ but efforts to build startup communities have launched some cool tools and one is “Startup Genome.” If your company or organization is a startup, was a startup or helps startups, please add yourself to the map so we can get a better sense of who and where we are. (Outside of Albuquerque? Go ahead and add yourself too.)

There’s no way we can become the vibrant state we want to be without a thriving tech sector and no way we can have a vibrant tech sector without strong associations like the NM Technology Council. Your membership and participation help us grow and our state become more competitive. 

Reinventing Albuquerque’s Business Ecosystem
Albuquerque Business First has launched a redesigned publication and site – and has challenged our business community to not only get involved, but lead. Please take a look at the articles (available FREE) at:

Looking for discussions on Tech business related topics in New Mexico? Join us and other other Linked In groups here:

There’s always a lot going on. Let us know if your tech community event should be on our list. And JOIN US if you’d like to help us grow New Mexico’s tech business community!

And please share!


Connect with the students, faculty and staff of UNM’s School of Engineering & others who are making Albuquerque an up and coming Tech Hub. 
WHEN:         Wednesday, February 26th; 5:30 – 7:30 PM
WHERE:       Slate Street Cafe | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      FREE for Students and pre-registrationHERE.

Jane Betterton talks about the challenges of incremental organizational improvement and its management. Industry-specific maturity models provide a practical approach for organizations to build an objective framework to prioritize and execute improvements.  
WHEN:         Thursday, March 27th; 8:30 – 10:00 AM
WHERE:       TIG | Albuquerque 
SIGNUP:      Prices vary; sign up HERE.

Join Santa Fe area developers, designers and others in tech for our monthly happy hour/meetup.
WHEN:         Thursday, March 27th; 6:00 – 8:00 PM
WHERE:       Open Eye Scientific | Santa Fe 
SIGNUP:      FREE; sign up here.

We’re inviting a variety of players from the NM Cybersecurity community to offer their thoughts on threats and opportunities we see in NM and how we can help the cyber business community grow. Join us! 
WHEN:         Wednesday, April 16th; 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
WHERE: | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      Varied Pricing; Info & Registration here.

This month ABQ WebGeeks happy hour goes West-side – and maybe even leaves Albuquerque just a bit. Join us for good conversation with others in web, software, tech and more 🙂 
WHEN:         Wednesday, April 16th; 6:00 – 8:00 PM
WHERE:       ArtBar | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      FREE – Sign up here.


OpenHackABQ’s purpose is to offer a space where people of any skill level and interest can get together to develop and design. It’s very novice friendly. Just interested in seeing what people are up to? Come on by and sit in on a project someone is working on. 
WHEN:        Thursday, March 27th; 6:00 – 8:00 PM
WHERE:      Convivium Coworking | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:     FREE; More info at

Come see the works and congratulate the participants of the first ever NeuroGame Jam. We had over 60 participants, with some joining remotely as far as Ukraine, build games and applications that push the envelope of neurogaming. Join us in congratulating these folks and trying out their creations.
WHEN:        Sunday, March 30th; 1:00 – 3:00 PM
WHERE:      IFDM @ Mesa Del Sol | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:     FREE; More info at

Do you have a great young business or a business idea you just know is set to blast off with the right exposure and resources? Or do you want to watch some interesting pitches and help support the founders and entrepreneurs who are part of New Mexico’s thriving startup community? Competing teams will have 120 action-packed seconds – no more, no less – to let the judges and crowd know why their startup is amazing and how they should win this competition and all the glory.
WHEN:         Wednesday, April 2nd; 5:30 – 7:30 PM
WHERE:       Standard Diner | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      Registration & more info HERE.

In three high-level workshops, speakers will equip attendees with three keys to forming and launching a high-tech startup, including how to Identify technologies emerging from our research institutions, establish an intellectual property position, map a technology to the marketplace and assess industry and market issues, participate in our annual Deal Stream Summit to be held October 7 and 8, 2014.
WHEN:         Thursday, April 3rd; 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM
WHERE:       Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      Registration & more info HERE.

Hosted by Anderson Career Services, the Industry Networking Series will bring together students and industry professionals/employers at a networking information session. Designed to provide employers the opportunity to share information about their companies, as well as discuss jobs and internships that are or will be available to students.
WHEN:         Thursday, April 3rd; 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
WHERE:       UNM Anderson’s Jackson Student Center | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      Employer Registration at:

STEM + Arts workshops for students, teachers, and professionals where stakeholders will provide information designed to increase the pool of Hispanic students who pursue degrees in STEM, to support the development of a scientific and technically trained student base, and to use the inherent relationship between Art and Science to increase interest in both disciplines..  
WHEN:        Wednesday, April 17th; 1:00 – 7:00 PM
WHERE:      National Hispanic Cultural Center | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      $100; Registration and more info at

StartupABQ is a no-pitch environment. Business owners, entrepreneurs, investors & innovators are welcome. Each month’s event features four pitches from existing ventures w/ feedback from a panel of experts.  
WHEN:        Thursday, April 17th; 7:30 – 9:00 AM
WHERE:      Andaluz | Albuquerque
SIGNUP:      $10; Registration and more info at 

Our April 2014 Coronado Ventures Forum event will feature a panel of entrepreneurs developing software companies in New Mexico. We will discuss trends in the industry, challenges to software companies specific to New Mexico and how we expect the software industry to change in 2014 and beyond.  
WHEN:        Thursday, April 17th; 6:00 – 8:00 PM
WHERE:      Prairie Star Restaurant | Santa Ana Pueblo
SIGNUP:      $22.50; Registration and more HERE.


The Albuquerque WordPress Group has several meetups including a monthly session at WESST on the 2nd Thursday evening of the month, weekly Workalong Wednesdays, and Women Working w/WordPress the first Monday of each month. Visit for more info.

Lean Startup Monthly meets the first Tuesday night of each month at Ideas & Coffee. More info at:

The New Mexico .NET Users Group (NMUG) exists to help facilitate education and knowledge exchange among developers, architects and managers with an interest in Microsoft’s .NET technologies. NMUG meets on the first Thursday of each month. More at:

The New Mexico AIGA chapter produces a handful of events each month, from the S.I.P Social Hours to CoffeeTalks, workshops and more. Find it all at

NM Internet Entrepreneurs is for internet entrepreneurs with an existing business or actively working
on a business idea. Meets monthly with info at: 

The NM Tech Council and other community members post several tech meetups and other events 

OpenHackABQ meets the third Thursday of each month at Convivium CoWorking, beginning at 6PM. More info at:

The RubiABQ Meetup Group for Ruby on Rails developers meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at Ideas & Coffee. Find them at

2014-03-20T13:43:36+00:00March 20th, 2014|