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Stronger and Fairer Update

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How Can New Jersey Attract More Venture Capital?   

From social media and ride-sharing to biotech and private space travel, innovation is the lifeblood of today’s economy. Now more than ever, entrepreneurs with bold ideas are driving economic growth and changing how we interact with each other and the world around us. For much of the state’s history, New Jersey was a hotbed of innovation. Yet in recent years, New Jersey’s position as a leader in the innovation economy has slipped. To better understand how to reverse this decline, we spoke with Chris Sugden, managing partner at the Princeton-based growth equity firm Edison Partners. Read his insights here.

  



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Investment in People 

Congratulations Graduates The first class of 30 small business owners graduated from the collaborative NJEDA and African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program on June 26th. Over the course of the program, participating small business owners took part in classroom training, webinars, and one-on-one sessions with experts designed to position them to obtain surety bonding, a prerequisite to competing for state and federal government contracts. Members of the first graduating class have already qualified for more than $4 million in surety bonding.

In the Field The NJEDA’s free field trip program in partnership with Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) kicked off on June 7th when more than a dozen high school students learned first-hand about career opportunities in New Jersey’s advanced manufacturing industry. The field trip was the first in a series of trips organized as part of the NJEDA’s Advanced Manufacturing Student Outreach Pilot, a series of initiatives developed to improve perceptions of and address misconceptions about the advanced manufacturing industry while exposing students to the many career pathways available in the sector.

The students who attended the June 7 trip visited three Ocean County-based advanced manufacturing facilities: NAVAIR, which produces and maintains aircraft, weapons, and other systems used by America’s Navy and the Marines; Jesel, a leading producer of valvetrain products used in NASCAR racecars and other vehicles; and UNEX, a manufacturer of conveyer belts and tracks for production facilities. At each stop, students had the opportunity to see high-tech manufacturing equipment in action, learn about the variety of opportunities available in the sector, and talk with employees about their experiences working in advanced manufacturing.



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Investment in Communities

Revitalizing Our Cities Governor Murphy set forth his proposal for new, targeted, sector-specific incentive programs at coworking space 1776 in the Cherry Hill Mall. The Governor’s vision includes placemaking tools supporting mixed use, transit-oriented development and brownfield and historic property redevelopment. These innovative incentives will help New Jersey attract top businesses from around the country while paving the way for startups to grow the innovation economy.    

Lights, Cameras, Action! The NJEDA Board approved the first four film and television tax credit awards through the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program this month. The four approved projects  represent a wide array of film and television productions. Two of the projects also included a diversity plan for the hiring of women and minorities. Under the diversity component of the program, projects can receive a bonus of two percent of qualified film production expenses if the project can demonstrate good-faith efforts to undertake the actions and achieve the goals of the approved diversity plan.

An Example for the Nation The NJEDA joined The Governance Project to present state leaders at the National Governor’s Association with national best practices for leveraging Opportunity Zones in ways that attract transformative community investment and cultivate sustainable economic growth. The forum combined best practice insights from The Governance Project’s national focus on inclusion, education, and engagement with critical local stakeholder perspectives from the NJEDA’s work on the ground with municipalities and community leaders. 


 
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Making New Jersey the State of Innovation 

Blown Away by Offshore Wind New Jersey took an important step toward its 100% clean energy goal when the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities granted the state’s first award for offshore wind to Ørsted’s Ocean Wind 1,100 MW project. This is the single largest award for offshore wind in the country to date and is expected to create 15,000 jobs and generate nearly $1.2 billion in economic benefits. The completed project will power roughly 500,000 New Jersey homes.

NJ Tech Goes International Five New Jersey biotechnology startups joined the NJEDA at the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia last week. The companies were selected from a group that submitted video responses to the question “Why Choose New Jersey?” In addition to attending networking and educational sessions, the selected entrepreneurs spent time in the New Jersey Pavilion sharing their stories of growth and success in the Garden State. More than 16,000 people attended this year’s event, during which Governor Murphy was named “Governor of the Year” in recognition of his leadership and commitment to strengthening the bioscience industry.

New Name, Same Goals The NJEDA has rebranded its 50-acre research park in central New Jersey from The Technology Centre of New Jersey to the New Jersey Bioscience Center (NJBC) – North Brunswick to more accurately reflect the park’s life sciences focus and the spectrum of companies located there. Strategically situated in the heart of the state’s research corridor, the NJBC campus offers a multitude of lab and office space options for companies at all stages of growth. The research park’s incubator and accelerator spaces have also been renamed to better align with the new brand. The incubator, formerly known as the Commercialization Center of Innovative Technologies and the accelerator formerly known as the Biotechnology Development Center are now NJBC – Incubator at North Brunswick and NJBC – Step Out Labs at North Brunswick.

Expanding EV Infrastructure The New Jersey Partnership to Plug-in will build out the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicle ownership to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership, led by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the NJEDA, will create a strategic and streamlined framework to support New Jersey’s electric vehicle ecosystem, with the goal of registering 330,000 Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025. 



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Making Government Easier to Do Business With 

Supporting Small Business In support of Governor Murphy’s plan for making government work better for the State’s businesses, the NJEDA has expanded its resources for small, often family-owned businesses. One new program that has been making a real difference in downtown areas around the state is the Small Business Lease Assistance Program, which reimburses a percentage of annual lease payments to small businesses in targeted areas of the state. Representatives from the NJEDA recently visited program participant Mill Hill Pharmacy, a female-owned business that used SBLAP assistance to open in Trenton.

Growing Innovative Companies Two New Jersey-based biotech companies are growing thanks to support from the NJ CoVest Fund. The Fund is designed to help emerging technology and life sciences companies bridge the funding gap between product development and commercialization. This month, the NJEDA closed $250,000 convertible notes to Additive Orthopaedics and InquisitHealth.

Additive Orthopaedics is an early-stage company focused on integrating advanced manufacturing and biologics to develop orthopedic implants and devices for foot and ankle repairs. With an emphasis on trauma and limb salvage treatments, the products can be customized for individual patients. The company plans to use funding from the NJ CoVest Fund to hire new employees, finance additional research and development, and obtain necessary regulatory approvals. InquisitHealth will use the funding it received to help patients with diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and other chronic diseases overcome the social determinants of health and adopt healthy lifestyle changes through the company’s peer mentoring program.



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   To find out more about NJEDA and its resources, go to www.NJEDA.com

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