“We often hear from the entrepreneurial community about the difficulty that startups have finding affordable lab and office space in New Jersey,” Governor Murphy said. “Through NJ Ignite, we are striving to remove that obstacle, enabling Garden State innovators to preserve precious capital for product development, connecting with investors, and everything else it takes to successfully grow and prosper here.”
The rent support available to startups through NJ Ignite is made possible through a combination of support from the EDA and the collaborative workspace, with the EDA supporting up to six months’ rent and the collaborative workspace supporting rent for half the length of EDA’s commitment. In exchange for the grant, the startup business must commit to paying rent for a term equal to the EDA and collaborative workspaces’ combined months of support.
“Fostering an environment where young, innovative businesses are able to thrive is core to Governor Murphy’s vision of making New Jersey into the State of Innovation,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said. “NJ Ignite is the latest in the EDA’s growing list of resources designed to support New Jersey companies throughout their lifecycles.”
While all participating collaborative workspaces are free to set their own criteria on how they will select eligible startups, all participating locations must adhere to certain rules, which include hosting a minimum of eight innovation ecosystem-building events per year such as networking events and office hours to provide tenants with access to professional services.
The EDA is currently reviewing additional applications from collaborative workspaces for participation in NJ Ignite. Workspaces that have not yet applied but are interested in learning more about the program should visit http://www.njeda.com/njignite or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The website also has information for entrepreneurs and startups looking to benefit from the program, including steps they can take to apply.
The following collaborative workspaces were approved to participate in NJ Ignite:
- 1776 is the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators with nine campuses across five states. Its newest campus, opening in January at the Cherry Hill Mall, will be a retail incubator with flexible workspace and a pop-up shop featuring local makers. CEO Jenn Maher notes expanding into New Jersey will further 1776’s commitment to connect the startup community with the programming, mentors, and resources they need to succeed.
- Building 78 at Kearny Point offers creative office and coworking options for a diverse community of pioneering businesses. Located immediately adjacent to Jersey City and Newark, and less than five miles from Hoboken and the Lincoln Tunnel, Kearny Point is a two-million-square-foot flexible office and light industrial business hub on 130 acres undergoing redevelopment.
- Startups wanting to be a part of the technology community emerging at Bell Works in Holmdel can join the nearly five-dozen companies already established at CoLabs. The coworking space offers desk memberships, private offices, and team suites with flexible membership plans. CoLabs Founder Sean Donohue describes Bell Works as a “one-of-a-kind destination for business and culture, complete with traditional offices, retail, dining, hospitality, and much more.”
- Cowerks provides its entrepreneurs, freelancers and other professionals with coworking space networking opportunities and educational programs from its two locations in Asbury Park. Cowerks also home to the Jersey Shore Tech Meetup. Considered the largest tech meetup in the area, it is ideal for entrepreneurs, startups, software developers, tech enthusiasts, and business leaders looking to network, learn, and grow their businesses.
- Owned and operated by the EDA, the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) offers the most wet labs of any incubator in New Jersey and is strategically located in North Brunswick, between Princeton and Rutgers universities. CCIT provides its 21 tenant companies with educational programs, access to small business development resources, networking opportunities, and administrative support.
- The Enterprise Development Center (EDC) at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is New Jersey’s largest technology and life science business incubator. The 108,000-square-foot center currently hosts more than 60 member companies, including NJIT students and alumni.
- The Rutgers EcoComplex is a clean energy innovation center and business incubator in Bordentown designed to serve as a hub of education and outreach for the clean/alternative energy and environmental communities. The center also houses EcoIgnite, a clean technology accelerator. In addition to a multitude of resources, the EcoComplex provides opportunities for startups to connect with investors, developers, and decision makers while also offering access to an array of workshops, events, and training sessions geared toward helping them flourish.
- Food-related startups looking to take their businesses from concept to commercialization can participate in the Rutgers Food Innovation Center’s (FIC’s) business incubator and economic development accelerator. Participating companies leverage Rutgers University resources while networking and receiving mentorship from industry investors and experts. Two of Rutgers FIC’s locations, Bridgeton and Piscataway, were approved to participate in NJ Ignite.
- The incubator at the South Jersey Technology Park in Mullica Hill offers collaborative workspace and resources ideal for bringing innovative technologies to market. Tenants at the South Jersey Technology Park have access to Rowan University’s engineering, science, and business faculty and students, as well as their research, development, and commercialization expertise.