Are ‘Boomerangers’ the next big thing for NM’s economy?

Published in the Albuquerque Journal, 7/10/22

There’s a trend emerging in New Mexico, which I call the growing of the “Boomerang Economy.”

A boomeranger is a young person, typically millennial, who left New Mexico for greener pastures. They’ve been living in such cities as Denver, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco or New York. Now, they’re realizing that, even though they make a lot of money, the cost of living eats almost all of it. And what many are doing is boomeranging themselves and their families back to New Mexico.

These boomerangers are now part of a new generation of entrepreneurs, startup employees and angel investors living in the state. Some work locally, while others work remotely for businesses located elsewhere; companies that could be enticed to relocate to the Land of Enchantment. What I’m hearing from many of these boomeranger entrepreneurs is how easy it is to start a business here. And I’m personally excited about the technology transfer opportunities being made available by our robust national labs’ infrastructure.

As someone who boomeranged back to the Southwest with my wife, who is a native New Mexican, I am speaking from first-hand experience. I know there are a lot of ways that the boomerang generation can help New Mexico create the best environment for entrepreneurs in the nation. Two major opportunities that I see are in sustainable energy and emerging technologies.

There are many ways for people to get involved and support the boomerang economy. Angel investing is one way with such organizations as New Mexico Angels or the newly created NM Vintage Fund, which is what is known as a “micro venture” capital fund. When an investor joins the NM Vintage Fund, they can become a New Mexico Angel member and participate in a community supporting our local startup and high-growth companies. The NM Vintage Fund is providing funding at the $100,000 to $250,000 level to entrepreneurs with early-stage companies that will have a direct benefit to New Mexico.

I hope the readers look to see how they can support the Boomerang Economy — as mentors, investors and supporters. I believe the boomerangers will bring both new business and growth to New Mexico, while providing a new level of prosperity for all New Mexicans.

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