NM: Build With Robots Plans Expansion Into R&D Space, Adding Jobs
29 Mar, 2021
Build with Robots, an Albuquerque company that is designing and manufacturing smart robots to disinfect and sanitize large areas, such as schools and airports, has been awarded a State of New Mexico economic development grant to expand its workforce and ramp up production, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced.
Build with Robots has plans to move into new headquarters at 119 E Marquette, in downtown Albuquerque, by July 1, growing to 24 high-paying jobs within a year and 64 new jobs by the end of 2024.
“This is an incredibly exciting investment in great-paying, high-tech jobs with a homegrown company,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “Everything New Mexico can do to support innovative startups and entrepreneurialism, we will do.”
The company’s first disinfecting contract was placed with the Albuquerque International Sunport, where it is using its Breezy One robots to thoroughly disinfect all terminals and public areas each night. In addition to airports, Breezy One robots are helping to make schools, factories, and other places of work safe. The robots can disinfect 100,000 square feet in less than an hour, often using a fog disinfectant developed at Sandia National Laboratories.
“Albuquerque is here to partner for growth," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. "We’re working with homegrown businesses and the state to create good-paying jobs for locals, help small businesses thrive by staying right here in our town, and restore the momentum we had before Covid."
The company is focused on addressing tasks that are dangerous, unsafe, or repetitive through automation that can work alongside employees and janitorial staff to improve working conditions.
The State of New Mexico has committed $360,000 through its LEDA job-creation fund to the expansion. Build With Robots has also received assistance through the Job Training Incentive Program. These new professional-level jobs will have an average salary of $70,000.
“New Mexico has a flourishing innovation ecosystem that is supporting new startups like Build With Robots,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “It is yet another homegrown, high-tech company that is creating high-paying jobs with economic assistance from the state, expertise from the national labs, and our skilled workforce."
Build With Robots co-founders, Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Ennis and President and CEO Chris Ziomek, have previous start-up and entrepreneurial experience in New Mexico. Ziomek was president and founder of ZTEC Instruments, a startup acquired by Teradyne in 2013. Previously he worked as a section leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory and microwave engineer at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He is also a board member with ABQid and Kane Robotics.
Ennis was CEO of GNI, a data-analytics company, which he sold to Novetta (an Arlington Capital Partners portfolio company), entrepreneur-in-residence at Presbyterian, VP of business development at Lumidigm, and interim CEO and investor at NTxBio. He graduated from Bowdoin College and has a PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University.
“In New Mexico it takes a village to build a company,” Ennis said. “We have gotten tremendous support from the state Economic Development Department, the City of Albuquerque, and the New Mexico Congressional Delegation. The state assistance is critical and provides us an important investment as we decide to stay in New Mexico and grow.”
The City of Albuquerque is the fiscal agent for the project, pending approval and a public hearing from the Albuquerque City Council. The LEDA assistance would be paid out in phases as the company reaches hiring goals, as per the project participation agreement.
Build With Robots has outgrown its current location at 101 Broadway Blvd NE, Suite 3100, in the FUSE Maker’s Space. The new location will include manufacturing, research, and development, as well as a robot demonstration area to host in-person and virtual clients.
“Part of our economic development strategy is to ensure local small businesses have the same access to incentive programs like LEDA that larger out-of-state companies do,” City of Albuquerque Economic Development Director Synthia R. Jaramillo said. “Our investment in these businesses is an investment in Albuquerque, and how we work to build a resilient economy that works for everyone.”
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