Accelerators can provide early-stage technology companies with capital, mentorship, business training, key services and exposure to qualified investors, which will increase the value of an enterprise and the likelihood of follow-on funding.
“Long seen as a leader in innovation, New Jersey is fertile ground for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to launch their businesses,” New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “Along with a collaborative environment and a multitude of resources, accelerators offer yet another tool for emerging companies to grow and thrive in the Garden State.”
Members of the EDA’s Technology and Life Sciences Division are always keeping a pulse on the latest in New Jersey’s technology sector and today @NJEDATech looks at several technology accelerators that are currently accepting applications:
Newark Venture Partners (NVP) is accepting applications through Thursday (July 21) for its inaugural accelerator class, known as a “cohort,” which will run September 7 through November 30. NVP partners with investors such as Audible, Prudential Financial, Fidelco Realty Group, Dun & Bradstreet and Rutgers University Business School to provide capital, mentoring and technical expertise to a new generation of fast‐growing companies. NVP invests $80,000 in participating companies in exchange for five percent equity.
In Camden, the Philadelphia 76ers and Kimball Office have teamed up to create an innovation lab at the new 76ers Training Complex. The Sixers Innovation Lab is accepting applications for its new accelerator on a rolling basis, with flexible start dates to accommodate companies’ needs. Advisors already signed up to mentor companies hail from nearly two-dozen entities, including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, StubHub, Edison Partners, Touchdown Venture and IBM Watson. In addition, participating companies will receive free office space for three months, as well as access to legal, accounting, finance, web design, marketing activation, and creative services, a weekly speaker series, and the Innovation Lab Board of Governors.
Another new arrival to the accelerator scene is EntreprenYOURS, which is accepting applications through August 1. Founded by members of the venture capital and emerging growth companies practice group at McCarter & English in East Brunswick, EntreprenYOURS is a “virtual” accelerator that provides access to information, networking and financial and professional services provided by already-vetted, renowned service providers, each well known and respected for its role in the ecosystem. Unlike many accelerators, EntreprenYOURS does not require founders to move their businesses to a co-location. Additionally, the accelerator is only accepting one cohort per year, allowing its advisors and mentors to continue to work with the accepted companies well beyond the traditional 12-16 weeks. Perhaps most novel and unique is entreprenYOURS’ cross ownership structure –in exchange for a small equity stake in each member company, each company accepted into EntreprenYOURS will receive an equity stake in its EntreprenYOURS cohort in the form of a carried interest, in addition to a cash stipend.
Tigerlabs in Princeton offers a six-month accelerator program for early-stage software companies across a broad array of sectors, including digital health, financial services, Internet of Things (IoT), advertising and media, education, and enterprise. Tigerlabs notes that, to date, it has invested in more than 40 companies that have raised a total of more than $40 million and have a collective valuation of over $120 million. Accelerator participants have access to appropriate and targeted mentorship from leading executives, entrepreneurs, and investors, direct access to decision makers at leading corporations, and shared office space in its expansive co-working facility. Tigerlabs provides $25,000 up front to participating companies, with up to $50,000 in additional matching capital. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The TechLaunch accelerator has rebranded itself to work with post-seed stage startups. TechLaunch will still offer a three-month, investor-led business accelerator program; however, unlike its prior model, this new virtual program will drive business growth and due diligence preparation for funding. TechLaunch is leveraging the region’s existing resources to focus on the IoT, which includes robotics, MedTech, augmented reality, DroneTech, autonomous vehicles, and WearTech. Among other services, TechLaunch will aid the startup in filling their business model gaps by providing mentoring and coaching from experienced entrepreneurs and investors. TechLaunch’s new mission is on generating quality deal flow. Interested startups can visit TechLaunch.com for the self-qualifying, on-going program application. Recent TechLaunch graduates, NuSkool, Fusar Technologies, and ShieldTech have previously participated in the EDA’s New Jersey Founders & Funders, semi-annual events that enable early-stage businesses to meet with potential investors in 10-minute, one-on-one “speed dating” sessions to discuss strategy, business models and funding opportunities.