STATE APPROVES $1-MILLION INVESTMENT IN OMNI CAPITAL
Trenton, N.J. (July 24, 2008) – The State of New Jersey has approved a $1-million limited partnership investment in the OmniCapital Fund, which has been created by OmniCapital Group, LLC to invest in next-generation communication and information technologies.
The investment, authorized by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), will be made under the state’s Edison Innovation Fund, a key element of Governor Jon S. Corzine’s Economic Growth Strategy. The fund is an integrated set of resources that support technology and life science initiatives throughout all stages of discovery, development, and commercialization. To date, the combined resources of the EDA and the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, in consultation with the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, have enabled state investments of more than $256 million since the fund’s launch in October 2006. In addition, over $458 million in total project costs has been leveraged by Edison Innovation Fund investments.
OmniCapital, a venture capital firm with offices in New Jersey and Boston, invests in innovative technology businesses in security and monitoring, media technology, broadband, home networking, convergence/bundling and other communications and information technology fields. Between 25 percent and 35 percent of these technology investments are expected to be in New Jersey.
“This investment in OmniCapital is designed to attract and develop technology businesses and support job growth in New Jersey and well as assist in the development of a venture network in New Jersey,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini. “We expect our $1-million investment to leverage a total of $2 million of capital investment in New Jersey technology businesses and result in the creation of a minimum of 15 new high-tech jobs.”
“We chose to invest in OmniCapital because it brings together a combination of operating and investing experience, industry knowledge and an extensive network of contacts with industry executives,” said Kathleen W. Coviello, the EDA’s director of technology and life sciences programs.
The state’s latest venture fund investment in Omni Capital complements other similar EDA investments in New Spring Health Capital II, L.P., NextStage Capital, L.P., the Edison VI Venture Fund, the Garden State Life Sciences Venture Fund and the New Jersey Technology Council Venture Capital Fund. To date, the EDA has committed over $30 million in venture capital funds, which has resulted in more than $90 million being invested in New Jersey companies based on the 2:1 matching requirement.
Created in 2006, the OmniCapital Group invests in early-growth businesses and has a special interest in working with corporate partners to create new companies. One of the four current Omni portfolio companies, Narrowstep of Princeton, a pioneer in the field of Internet-based video content delivery, is New Jersey-based.
OmniCapital’s management team has more than 100 years of cumulative operating and investment experience in identifying, analyzing, structure and managing technology startup investments. The team includes: Managing Partner Dr. Arun Netravali, formerly chief scientist at Lucent Technologies and president of Bell Laboratories; General Partner Dr. David Stahl, a former director and founding member of Lucent New Ventures and director of Bell Labs technology commercialization; Venture Partner John Harrington, formerly a managing partner at Accenture’s Communications and High Tech Practice and member of its Executive Committee, and Executive in Residence Frank Galuppo, former president of Lucent Optical Network Systems and chief executive officer of Amedia, Inc.
Besides the core team, the extended team of investors in the fund include business leaders with extensive executive-level contacts worldwide. OmniCapital leverages the network of its extended team to help portfolio companies acquire important customers and partners.
Dr. Netravali said of the investment: “I am very pleased to welcome the EDA to our fund. We share an interest in developing innovative new businesses in New Jersey.”
The EDA is an independent, self-sustaining state financing and development agency that works to promote economic growth, job creation and the revitalization of New Jersey’s communities with financing assistance, technical support and real estate development activities.
For information on the Edison Innovation Fund and to learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov.