EDA’s NJ Ignite program is fueling innovation startups in South Jersey

By Alex Wolmart
Mullica Hill | Feb 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm

A key element in New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem is emerging in South Jersey in the form of a community of startups — with a crucial assist from the state Economic Development Authority.

At Rowan University’s Technology Business Incubator at the South Jersey Technology Park in Mullica Hill, technology and life sciences entrepreneurs are working side-by-side to advance their businesses.

Meanwhile, the EDA’s NJ Ignite Program allows technology and life sciences startups to apply for rent support grants and join the incubator.

Startups moving to collaborative workspaces are provided up to nine months of rent support through NJ Ignite. Support from both the EDA and collaborative workspace — the EDA supporting up to six months of rent and the workspace supporting half of the EDA’s commitment — makes the funding possible. SJTP and Rowan’s affiliation grant participating companies with an additional month of rent support.

“Increasing collaboration among entrepreneurs is crucial to helping the state’s youngest companies flourish,” said Brian Sabina, EDA senior vice president – Office of Economic Transformation. “Gov. Phil Murphy is committed to making New Jersey the ‘State of Innovation,’ and programs like NJ Ignite are key to fulfilling that vision.”

SJTP is currently home to 28 technology and life sciences startups. Each of them has access to Rowan’s engineering, science and business faculty and students as well as SJTP’s program of events and network of business resources, including legal and marketing/e-commerce resources and venture capital. Many of the incubator’s companies hire also Rowan students and alumni to fill jobs and internships.

Lockheed Martin, Inspira Health Network’s Innovation Center and several of Rowan’s research centers are some of the larger companies and research centers based at SJTP that tenants have access to.

“One of our greatest assets is our ability to facilitate connections between our tenants and the broader New Jersey innovation ecosystem, including governmental and scientific contacts,” said Jeanne Nevelos, executive director of the SJTP. “This includes making introductions between entrepreneurs and key individuals within the university’s network, including its two medical schools: the School of Osteopathic Medicine and Cooper Medical School at Rowan University.”

Ten collaborative workspaces have been approved to participate in NJ Ignite; the technology business incubator is one of them. To learn more about the program and find a participating workspace by geographic location, please visit http://www.njeda.com/njignite.