Following EDA-Supported Expansion, Jersey City’s Indiegrove Sustains Expanded Community of Entrepreneurs
EDA CEO Melissa Orsen (left) and EDA Tech and Life Sciences Director Kathleen Coviello (right) meet with Indiegrove Founder Zahra Amanpour (middle) and discuss how EDA support has helped the coworking space grow.
TRENTON (April 26, 2017) – Entrepreneurs just starting out can face major challenges, including the high cost of office space and limited opportunity for collaboration. Co-working spaces like Jersey City-based Indiegrove enable entrepreneurs from different companies to work side-by-side, sharing ideas, while lowering operating costs.
Founded in 2013, Indiegrove has grown rapidly and currently boasts 250 members, of which approximately 35 percent are within the technology industry. Located near a downtown transit hub, Indiegrove offers its members a variety of resources, including educational workshops, networking opportunities and ample amenities such as meeting rooms, high-speed wireless access, and kitchen facilities. For entrepreneurs and startup companies with limited access to immediate revenue, having the benefits of office space and resources without having to sign a long-term lease provides members with distinct advantages as they grow. From a build-as-you-go option, which offers 10 days of shared workspace, to private offices for up to six people in a company, Indiegrove offers a range of membership packages tailored to a company’s specific needs. It also gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to try out co-working with its “Free Co-Working Friday.”
EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen and Kathleen Coviello, EDA’s Director of Technology and Life Sciences, visited Indiegrove today as part of EDA’s ongoing efforts to facilitate awareness of the programs it offers to support emerging technology companies. During the visit, Orsen and Coviello met with representatives from several Indiegrove members, including web design and development business Blue Bear, EventCombo, which develops and maintains an event tickets and planning platform, and Auction.com, a Ten-X Company that runs an online real estate marketplace.
“Indiegrove exemplifies the collaborative nature of New Jersey’s technology ecosystem,” Orsen said. “Not only does it offer low-cost office space and amenities, but it also enables entrepreneurs to interact with each other, encouraging an exchange of new and innovative ideas.”
In 2015, Indiegrove had outgrown its original space and utilized a $175,000 loan from the EDA to help support the expansion of its facility. Indiegrove Founder Zahra Amanpour used the funding to nearly double Indiegrove’s space, from 6,000 square-feet to 10,268 square-feet.
“Indiegrove continues to reap the benefits of EDA support,” Amanpour said. “With increased space, we are able to accommodate more members and host events and seminars to further support entrepreneurs.”
In addition to direct loans, the EDA offers a continuum of assistance to help companies in the technology and life sciences industries grow. Programs include:
- New Jersey’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, which offers a 10 percent refundable tax credit against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for qualified investments in an eligible emerging technology business;
- The State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program, which allows eligible technology and biotechnology companies to sell unused New Jersey net operating losses and research and development (R&D) tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations;
- The Edison Innovation Fund, through which loans, are structed as subordinated convertible debt provides growth capital to early-stage companies to directly fund uses such as hiring key staff, product marketing, and sales.
- As New Jersey’s leading life sciences incubator, the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) offers 27 wet labs, the most of any incubator in the Garden State. Currently home to nearly two-dozen businesses, the 46,000-square-foot incubator provides tenant companies with educational programs and a host of supporting resources, including help to identify funding sources and access to small business development resources, networking opportunities and administrative support.
- New Jersey Founders & Funders events, hosted by the EDA at CCIT, introduce emerging technology and life sciences companies to angel and venture capital investors via one-on-one meetings.
Programs administered by the EDA have contributed significantly to the economic momentum in Jersey City since the establishment of the Business Employment Inventive Program nearly two decades ago. More recently, the Economic Redevelopment and Growth and Grow New Jersey Programs, created under the Economic Opportunity Act, have continued to drive investment and job creation in Jersey City, including helping to attract such high-profile companies as JP Morgan Chase, Forbes Media, New York Life Insurance, and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.