MOMENTUM OF CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION’S SUPPORT OF TECH SECTOR CONTINUES INTO 2015
TRENTON, N.J. (January 13, 2015) –The Christie Administration made considerable progress in its efforts to grow the state’s technology sector in 2014, including support for over 100 growing technology companies through programs and initiatives administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA).
“From real estate to financing, the State is working to ensure we are able to nurture companies throughout their life cycle,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown. “As a result of our expanding portfolio of assistance, innovative companies at all stages of growth are finding a welcoming home here in New Jersey.”
Under the Angel Investor Tax Credit program, which was signed into law by Governor Christie in 2013, EDA approved 181 investments in 2014, representing a total of more than $60.2 million of private investment in New Jersey-based companies. The program provides credits against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for 10 percent of a qualified investment in an emerging technology business with a physical presence in New Jersey and that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state.
Another popular program for early stage companies is the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program. This competitive program allocates funds for technology and biotechnology companies to sell New Jersey tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to raise cash to finance their growth and operations. In Fiscal Year 2015, 44 companies were approved to share a total of $54 million. Since the program was established in 1999, more than 500 businesses have been approved for awards totaling $820 million. The average benefit amount for companies approved this year is $1.2 million.
Additionally, since the launch of the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA), 21 companies in the technology sector have been awarded a total of $448 million in Grow NJ tax credits. More technology companies became eligible for Grow NJ incentives due to revisions to the program that reduced the employment threshold for companies to qualify from 100 full-time jobs to as low as 10 full-time jobs, and also lowered the minimum capital investment threshold for technology start-ups.
One of the most notable additions to the array of support available to New Jersey’s technology sector in 2014 was the creation of Founders & Funders. During events in June and September, more than 60 entrepreneurs and start ups participated in a “speed dating” match up with 40 investors, paving the way for these emerging companies to attain the funding they need to grow in the State. The first Founders & Funders event for 2015 is scheduled for March.
During today’s meeting, the EDA approved two exciting initiatives to support this important industry; the first is an investment in Edison Partners VIII, LP to aid in the growth of technology companies located in the State. In total, EDA has approved investments in 12 venture funds in excess of $40 million; to date, these funds have leveraged the EDA’s investment in New Jersey businesses by more than 62 times.
Also approved today was the selection of three entities to host co-working space for technology entrepreneurs and start-ups. This involves the investment of $1 million for these entities to expand their existing space in Hoboken, Jersey City and Asbury Park. Co-working space is of particular value to those in the technology sector as it helps to foster a collaborative environment and offer flexible, expandable infrastructure, without long-term commitments as a company grows.
Other initiatives designed to capitalize on the talent in the region and provide an environment that catalyzes innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation include approving leases and lease extensions at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick. In 2014, CCIT welcomed eight new tenants, while existing tenant Ascendia Pharmaceuticals LLC expanded its lease to from 975 square feet to 1,975 square feet, more than doubling its presence. New tenants include Aucta Pharmaceuticals LLC, Urigen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Crystal Pharmatech. CCIT is currently home to 23 emerging companies.
“CCIT is an invaluable resource for early stage companies as it affords these growing businesses the flexibility to expand as they evolve and add staff,” said Kathleen Coviello, Director of Technology & Life Sciences. “Our newest technology-focused program, Founders & Funders, is one more way the State is acting on its commitment to supporting and growing the State’s technology sector.”
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action. Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA.
To learn about programs and initiatives to support the technology industry, visit www.njeda.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn @NJEDATech.