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Incubator and Collaborative Workspace Initiative

One of the pillars of Governor Murphy’s vision of a stronger fairer economy is recreating New Jersey as a home for innovation. Fostering emerging businesses and helping them overcome barriers to commercial success is critical to achieving that vision. 

The Incubator and Collaborative Workspace Initiative supports entrepreneurs by providing rent support grants. In addition, this program provides collaborative workspaces with a new tenant attraction tool.

    What is the Incubator and Collaborative Workspace Initiative?

     
    • Grants that support rent of early stage technology and life science companies in New Jersey collaborative workspaces.   
    • EDA’s grants will cover rent payments for 2, 4 or 6 months.
    • A collaborative workspace must match EDA’s grant to the tenant company on a 1:2 basis (e.g. if EDA provided a grant for 2 months, the collaborative workspace would need to provide a grant for 1 month).  
    • The start-up tenant company must commit to continuing to work from the collaborative workspace (paying rent) for a period no less than EDA and the collaborative workspaces combined months of support.   
    • EDA will provide an additional month of support if the workspace is located in an Opportunity Zone, affiliated with a hospital system or New Jersey university, or is recently established. These months can be added together for a total of three additional months.  These months do not count toward the workspace match requirement or the tenant commitment requirement. 
     

    What is required of the workspace?


    Step 1: Become an Approved Site


    A collaborative workspace must first qualify as an approved Incubator and Collaborative Workspace Initiative partner site through a simple online application.  
     
    To qualify for the program, a workspace needs to:
     
    • Be located in New Jersey  
    • Have A Division of Taxation Tax Clearance Certificate.  Certificates may be requested through the State of New Jersey’s Premier Business Services (PBS) portal online.  
    • Have an NJ Business Registration Certificate
    • Have a minimum of 5 unique paying tenants over the last 2 years * (Tenants must have an arms-length relationship with the collaborative workspaces owners and operators)  
    • Have an operating cost (e.g., rent or mortgage or internal corporate charge-back)    
    • Offer at least one type of work space - private office space, hot-desks or dedicated desks   
    • Commit to hosting at least 10 innovation ecosystem building events in a year. Examples of ecosystem building events include: meet-ups, speaker series, office hours for lawyers/ accountants/ consultants/ investors)  
    • Certify that the workspace charges rent to tenants and that the rent that would be charged to the startup and supported by EDA is market-rate.  
    • Commit to matching EDA’s grant to the tenant company on a 1:2 basis

    *  Workspaces formed less than 90 days prior to the approval request may qualify for the program on a case-by-case basis, if they have at least 3 signed prospective lease agreements
     


    Step 2: Apply for a Grant


    Once a workspace is approved, it can start to market the rent support program to prospective tenants. When the workspace identifies a start-up it would like to offer support to (e.g. provide 1, 2 or 3 months of rent support), the workspace can apply for an EDA grant.

    Online grant applications will include basic information about the tenant company (see below) and a signed lease (can be contingent on grant funding) to start within 30 days +/- from grant application submission date).

     

    What is required of the tenant?


    Because the grants are intended to support early-stage life sciences and technology companies, the program requirements are very straight forward. To be eligible, a company must:
     
    • Be registered to do business in New Jersey
    • Provide a two-page executive summary of their business

    In addition, the company must certify that they:
     
    • Are a technology and life sciences company
    • Are applying within three years of earliest date of formation
    • Have fewer than 10 employees (1099 or W2)
    • Have less than $1,000,000 in trailing 12-months gross sales from date of application submission
    • Have at least one full-time NJ employee that will be working in the facility (1099, W2, and common law employees are eligible
    • Have not previously utilized another collaborative workspace in NJ (use of out-of-state collaborative workspaces does not disqualify the tenant)
    • Commit to working at the facility beyond the grant term for 1x the length of the total grant. (For example, if the grant covers 2 months of rent from EDA and 1 month of rent from the collaborative workspace, the company must commit to an additional 3-months beyond the term of the grant.)
     

    How to Apply


    The application for the Incubator and Collaborative Workspace Initiative is still under development. When completed, the application will be accessible from this page, so please continue to check this page for more information.

     

    Questions?


    If you have any questions about the Incubator and Collaborative Workspace Rent Initiative, please email icwri@njeda.com.