SANTA FE ― Gov. Susana Martinez announced Thursday that BlueStone Venture Partners, LLC will receive up to $3 million from the Catalyst Fund to invest in New Mexico bioscience startups.
“Investing in homegrown New Mexico companies and entrepreneurs strengthens and diversifies our economy,” Martinez said. “The Catalyst Fund helps our local companies get off the ground and succeed, creating new jobs and opportunities for New Mexicans.”
The Catalyst Fund invests in emerging venture capital funds throughout the state. These venture capital funds invest in seed and early-stage technology companies. The Catalyst Fund is expected to support over 50 companies in New Mexico. Sun Mountain Capital is the manager of the Catalyst Fund.
“This fund builds on New Mexico’s strong tradition of success in the biosciences and technology sectors,” Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel said. “We are proud to partner with BlueStone to continue supporting New Mexico’s culture of innovation.”
BlueStone Venture Partners, LLC is a new venture capital firm founded by Tom Nickoloff and Mara Aspinall with offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Tucson, Arizona, focused on life science technology investments, primarily in the Southwest. BlueStone is focused on early stage financing, Series A and B funding, for companies in the advanced materials, biopharma, healthcare information technology, medical devices and molecular diagnostics markets. The Catalyst Fund’s commitment dollars will only be invested in eligible New Mexico based companies.
“Tom and I are proud to be part of the Catalyst Fund at this important time,” Mara Aspinall, Co-Founder and Managing Director of BlueStone Venture Partners LLC said. “BlueStone is committed to supporting the life sciences eco-system in New Mexico and helping homegrown businesses succeed and thrive.”
The Catalyst Fund is comprised of $10 million in public funds allocated by the New Mexico State Investment Council, $5 million from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, and $5 million in commitments from private institutional investors. Portfolio funds, like BlueStone, which receive investment from the Catalyst Fund must raise matching private investment, bringing the total expected investment in New Mexico to at least $40 million.
The Catalyst Fund capitalizes on New Mexico’s history of successful research and development. New Mexico is well leveraged to develop and commercialize innovative technologies from its research universities and three federal laboratories.
The Catalyst Fund has also made commitments to ABQid, Arrowhead Innovation Fund, Cottonwood Technology Fund, NMA Ventures and Tramway Venture Partners.
Since 2011, Martinez has bolstered economic development tools, cut taxes and fees 61 times, and rolled back unnecessary regulations and red tape to create a business-friendly environment in New Mexico. Governor Martinez also established the Catalyst Fund, Innovation Vouchers, the SBIR Matching Grant, and the Credit Enhancement Program to help homegrown New Mexico technology startups grow and thrive. As a result of these tools, reforms, and investments, New Mexico continues to recruit global and national companies like Facebook, Keter Plastic, Safelite, and others, while helping homegrown businesses like Bayotech, UbiQD, Descartes Labs, Armonica Technologies, and others grow and thrive as well.
Funds interested in applying for a commitment from the Catalyst Fund should contact Sun Mountain Capital by email: CatalystNM@Sunmountaincapital.com. A list of venture capital funds that have received Catalyst Fund investment is available on the New Mexico Economic Development Department website: www.gonm.biz.