Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

A Force Emerges.

Byline: Aaron Baca Journal Staff Writer

Tech ventures give New Mexico almost 5,000 jobs and $700 million in annual revenue

More than five years ago Thomas Brennan and Robert Ryan figured they were onto something.

They figured they could take a valuable optical technology out of Sandia National Laboratories, plant it in the world of business, create a slew of new jobs and make serious money at the same time.

And since then, that small tech company and others like it have turned into a growing portion of New Mexico's economy.

The fastest-growing of them 40 to be exact have grown from about 2,000 employees generating $468 million in revenues three years ago to nearly 5,000 jobs today with almost $700 million in annual revenues.

Those companies the New Mexico Flying 40 will be recognized for their rapid growth during a black-tie banquet on March 13 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History.

The Flying 40 have been singled out as a group partly because the companies' singular economic contributions often go unrecognized.

But if the Flying 40 were a single company, the money and jobs it produced in 2000 would make folks start thinking there was a new Intel chipmaking plant in Albuquerque.

Spread out, however, over dozens of different companies, that kind of money and those kinds of jobs turn into an economic picture that many believe is a glimpse of New Mexico's future.

"The energy in the community with regards to technology business formation has reached almost a cascade," Brennan says. "There is almost enough management talent and capital seeking to come to New Mexico now that we're reaching a point where technology has almost achieved critical mass."

'Near critical mass'

New Mexico's technology scene can't yet be described with the term critical mass. …

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