The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved the addition of three new women-led coworking firms — Indiegrove, Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs and CoWork Street — to participate in its NJ Ignite program.
The program offers rent support to startups moving into coworking facilities. To date, a total of 14 collaborative workspaces have been approved to participate in the program.
“Collaborative workspaces are embracing the opportunity to attract young, innovative companies while building an environment where entrepreneurs can network with, and learn from their colleagues,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “NJ Ignite provides access to affordable lab and office space, which is fundamental to cultivating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Funding for the NJ Ignite is provided by a combination of support from the NJEDA and the collaborative workspaces. The NJEDA said it will provide up to six months’ rent for technology and life science startups moving to collaborative spaces. The collaborative workspaces will then provide rent for half the length of the NJEDA’s commitment.
Indiegrove, located in Jersey City, provides members with amenities such as meeting rooms, high-speed internet and kitchen facilities. It currently has 212 members, many of which are in the technology and life sciences industry. It previously was awarded a $175,000 loan from the NJEDA to help support expansion at its facility.
“We have a remarkable community of dynamic entrepreneurs here in Jersey City,” Zahra Amanpour, founder, Indiegrove, said. “The NJEDA has been instrumental in supporting our growth, and we are confident that our participation in NJ Ignite will allow us to draw new tenants to Indiegrove.”
PICb, located near Princeton University, has 31,000 square feet of wet- and dry-labs as well as private and coworking spaces. The coworking space can accommodate up to 200 scientists and entrepreneurs, and has amenities including conference rooms, videoconferencing, a freezer room for storage and/or samples, four cell culture rooms, polymerase chain reaction machines, flow cytometers, fume hoods, centrifuges, microscopes and weigh scales.
“We’ve welcomed over a dozen startups since opening our doors last year and have seen interest from many other biology, chemistry, and engineering companies,” Nishta Rao, PICb director, said. “We’re excited about the hub of entrepreneurship taking shape at Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs and see NJ Ignite as a pivotal tool for entrepreneurs wanting to start their businesses here.”
CoWork Street, located in Camden, is for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs. It has dedicated office space, a conference room, training space, a phone room, a lounge area and a full kitchen.
“Camden City is experiencing an unprecedented rebirth and our members have found tremendous value in launching their startups, and growing and scaling up their businesses here,” Rosemari Hicks, founder, CoWork Street, said. “We encourage entrepreneurs in all sectors, including technology and life sciences, to come check out all that we have to offer.”
While participating in the NJ Ignite program, collaborative workspaces are free to set their own criteria for how they will select eligible startups, the NJEDA said.