Building Robots Takes A Community
Building Robots Takes a Community
When I was hired by Chris Ziomek and Matthew Ennis 4 months ago, it was with the expectation that I would share my knowledge and be open to learning from others. Even though most of our team has been hired within the last year, Build With Robots is the most inclusive, collaborative team I’ve ever been a part of.
Located in downtown Albuquerque (NM), we are a team of software developers, engineers (of all sorts), mariachi band members, mountain bikers, and Rubic’s Cube solvers that build autonomous robots. On my first week of working here, we moved from a basement office down the block from Central New Mexico’s Fusemaker Space, into our new home at Glorieta Station.
On that day, we unpacked boxes, moved robots, and each in our own time, took in our new space in awe.
“I never knew a place like this existed in Albuquerque.”
I watched each of us take a moment of pause to look around at the classic cars next door, the view of the railyard from the kitchen, thinking about what we were about to accomplish together. Being with the team for the first time, in person, was a feeling of excitement.
Since that day, we have had a ribbon cutting open to friends, family, and our community. That’s what we’re all about, a sense of community. Because without community, we wouldn’t be here.
The cutting of that ribbon made it clear that we had many supporters. A network of people and organizations are helping us with everything from a great working space to identifying new co-workers to even providing leads for new customers and partners. And we own the responsibility of being able to give back to our community. Chris and Matthew chose to make Build with Robots a force for good; one that they wanted to represent hope for a bright future for Albuquerque and New Mexico.
In the midst of the biggest global pandemic in history, they built opportunity. While companies have to do many things right to find success, there were choices our Co-Founders made that many companies do not. They choose to:
- hire people from our home state (18 out of 20)
- offer unlimited paid time off (PTO)
- pay for classes – tuition reimbursement
- cover 90% of health and dental care for employees and their dependents
- offer simple IRA retirement accounts
- offers competitive and fair compensation
BWR has donated time, curriculum materials, and equipment including:
- APS Valley High School robotics and CAD workshops
- CNM non-credit robotics programming and robotic welding classes
- NMSU capstone engineering projects
- SkillsUSA robotics competitions, and
- Explora STEM training
We also have had many paid and unpaid interns for students interested in robotics, including students from NM middle schools, high schools and colleges. In addition, when we can, we provide in-kind donations of disinfection to help develop best practices for in-school education.
This was all possible because our Co-Founders believe in the dignity and value of work. Though, as a start-up they still needed support. The City of Albuquerque, State of New Mexico, many investors, New Mexico Angels, partners, and our team have all stood up to meet the opportunity.
As we venture into the years to come, with many obstacles undoubtedly yet to arise, our community is by our side.
Believe in the power of collective action.
Build the future you believe in.
And believe in our vision, to not only create a healthier, safer, and more fulfilled world but to do it together.