NJII, Somerville firm HealRWorld announce sustainability accelerator

Governor Chris Christie attends the ribbon cutting ceremony at NJIT's new Life Sciences and Engineering Center in Newark.

The New Jersey Innovation Institute has partnered with a social impact company called HealRWorld to create a New Jersey-based, global sustainability accelerator, the two announced Monday.

NJII is part of Newark-based New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“NJIT, through its New Jersey Innovation Institute, is poised to launch a new innovation commercialization framework that will incubate startup companies in NJIT-based facilities,” college President Joel S. Bloom said at a recent appearance at the United Nations. “We are excited to partner with HealRWorld on a new sustainability-themed accelerator that will support companies helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, with a focus as well on women-owned/led organizations.

“Our model will accelerate the development of startup, early-stage and scale-up companies through cohorts organized by the technology and geographic affinity of the participating companies, and partner with large companies and granting organizations to scout, vet and curate smaller technology-based companies that provide a source of corporate innovation.”

HealRWorld, which aims to spur the growth of sustainable businesses, is also creating an investment fund to leverage deal flow generated through the accelerator, as well as investments from the Somerville-based firm’s global database.

“HRW is proud to partner with NJII in the new global accelerator and offer a three-pronged value proposition: access to sustainability innovation for the corporations; for small, innovative companies, real world challenges, coaching and funding; and curated deal flow to investors,” HRW CEO Michele Bongiovanni said in a statement.

The HRW fund will be advised by experts including R. Paul Herman, founder of HIP Investor Ratings LLC; the Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson, founder of The Lantern Foundation and Lemelson Capital; and John Pyrovolakis, founder of the Innovation Accelerator Foundation.