Under the bill, sponsored by state Sen. Kip Bateman (R-Somerville), the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development would partner with the Economic Development Authority and the Commission on Higher Education in creating the program, which would look to support at least 20 entrepreneurial fellowships.
“By attracting and supporting entrepreneurs in New Jersey, we can create new opportunities and build on the state’s proud history of innovation,” Bateman said. “Furthering innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit in New Jersey will help usher in the next generation of job creators and global businesses leaders.”
NJBIA's Associate Director and INJ's Executive Director, Tyler Seville supported the bill and said Startups and an entrepreneurial spirit are critical parts of New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem. "Taking risks to launch startups, creating new products and working in the forefront of innovation are vital for a robust innovation economy. While our state touts a highly educated STEM workforce, it is sometimes not enough to have a purely technical STEM background. STEM Entrepreneurs bring innovations to market, create jobs, and grow our 21st Century economy. Scientists and engineers with strong entrepreneurial skills will allow New Jersey to benefit from the next big idea or product, but often lack the stability and support.
S-2723 directly invests in New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem by providing opportunities for STEM professionals to take their innovations and develop them further. Whether it is a recent college graduate trying to develop a spin off company or a seasoned scientist working with an incubator, these individuals will have the support they need to bring their ideas to market and start a business. Additionally, the legislation supports New Jersey’s need for collaboration to spur investment and reaffirm New Jersey’s position as a global innovation hub. By allowing state government to work with incubators and other public entities, like institutions of higher education, New Jersey can aggregate its resources to meet the challenges faced by the STEM industries."
The measure is part of the 36-bill economic growth package Senate Republicans put forth in April.