Newark’s goal of becoming a national — and international — destination for innovative tech companies may not be that far way.
The latest Demo Day at Newark Venture Partners showed just how far the city’s reach has become.
Founders representing the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, India, China, Nigeria and the Caribbean joined those from New York City, Atlanta, Chicago and Sacramento, California.
Together, the cohort represents the industries of HRtech, insurtech, video compression, health tech, supply chain tech, marketplaces, augmented reality and Wayfinding.
“This cohort shows Newark’s capacity to nurture founders and companies from all over the world, in a range of different industries,” Dan Borok, managing partner of NVP, said in a release.
“Whether you are reinventing how video files are shared or addressing the student debt crisis — there is no place better for a startup to put down roots than Newark.”
Tom Wisniewski, also a managing partner, agreed.
“This cohort is proof that Newark can and should be New Jersey’s gateway to global innovation,” he said. “NVP Labs is now operating with an acceptance rate of less than 1%.
“These startups are top-of-the-line and could have chosen accelerator programs anywhere in the world — and they chose Newark. That speaks volumes about the program we are growing, and the city we are thriving in.”
NVP officials said founding teams from this cohort participated in a rigorous curriculum to fine-tune their go-to-market and sales strategies, and their marketing plans. Weekly roundtables on issues like product development, design, recruiting, finance, UX/UI, data science and more featured experts from across the NVP network of over 500 professional mentors, offering one-on-one assistance and group discussions.
At the close of the program, each company was handed an individualized playbook, written and compiled by NVP’s in-house growth team, NVP officials said.
This cohort was also the first to have access to NVP’s new BDR intern program. The interns, all New Jersey college students, joined startup teams to grow sales pipelines and augment business development efforts.
As of Demo Day, three interns have landed ongoing, part-time positions with startups RickCast, Augmented Review and Sensor Transport, and two of the remaining interns have become founders themselves.
NVP Labs Director Allison Williams said it’s all part of the organization’s approach.
“NVP Labs strives to offer our companies the best accelerator experience on the East Coast, and that means providing real hands-on execution support that actually moves the needle, in addition to resources, mentorship and introductions,” she said.
“Our new and growing BDR intern program is one way we help our founders move faster, while opening our doors to New Jersey’s vast talent pool.”
To date, NVP has invested more than $21 million in 65 companies with 573 employees in fintech, healthcare IT, future of work, enterprise SaaS and AI-powered applications.
Here’s a look at the nine companies in this spring’s cohort:
- Augmented Review: The product design process takes collaboration from numerous stakeholders across global teams, Augmented Review officials said. Currently, 3D modeling software is not built for any form of collaboration, so the solution today is to render a 3D print or physical mockup manufactured abroad. This delays projects by months and adds substantial costs. With Augmented Review, industrial designers can share any 3D model to a colleague in a WhatsApp-like platform where it can be viewed in augmented reality and commented on in real-time.
- EVO: Traditional life insurance companies are feeling threatened by data-driven insurance startups that use connected health data to price policies more affordably and without blood testing, EVO officials say. EVO brings this capability to the traditional players with an off-the-shelf health engagement platform and proprietary data insights, allowing for insurers to track member behaviors and improve upon existing risk assessment models. On behalf of top reinsurers and carriers globally, EVO said it has collected data from over 20,000 members across 29 different countries with proven engagement of 3x higher than previously observed.
- PeduL: Corporate recruitment for student talent is more competitive than ever, and wide-reaching efforts must be made in order to get access to a diverse student population PeduL officials said. PeduL transforms this effort from a physical, laborious one to a digital solution. With a network of over 500,000 students looking for financial support to further their educational goals, PeduL contracts with enterprises to market custom financial scholarships where corporates can engage with thousands of applicants and convert best-fits to internship and full-time positions
- Riskcast: Over 70% of construction companies still use paper and pen for field data collection, Riskcast officials said. This results in weeks of delay in field labor and production insights, resulting in more than 80% of projects exceeding budget and $178B spent on inefficiencies. RiskCast collects and analyzes real-time job site data to predict and forecast risk on construction projects. With a co-founding team with 40-plus years of construction tech experience, RiskCast is currently active on over 50 projects and proven to cut payroll errors to below 1% and decrease spend on inefficiencies by more than 50%.
- Sensor Transport: Billions are lost every year due to lost or damaged goods during transport, Sensor Transport officials said. While consumer shipment tracking is quite robust, cargo shipments are still manually delivered using pen and paper. The people doing the delivery are disconnected and anonymous. Therefore, when issues arise, managers need to sort through stacks of paperwork and old text chains with dispatchers. With SensorTransport, shippers extend their existing operational systems into the hands of the people actually doing the delivery.
- SIRL: While brick-and-mortar retail is a $20 trillion market, data into shopper behavior and identity is lacking, especially when compared with the optimization and retargeting that happens on e-commerce sites today, SIRL officials said. SIRL is the only company that can track a user’s indoor movements to less than 30 centimeters via their proprietary Bluetooth low-energy technology. Currently working with one of the largest global retailers and one of the largest CPG companies, SIRL provides user level data to identify missed sales opportunities, to improve operational efficiency and to re-target the shopper after leaving the store.
- Talentwall: While startups and enterprises have embraced the applicant tracking system (ATS) to log and track candidate activity, these platforms are not optimized for the way recruiting has evolved into a team sport. Recruiting leaders, hiring managers and executives need fast visibility into funnel volume, diversity, candidate communications and conversions to make quicker, more informed decisions. TalentWall sits on top of the ATS and brings all of this most relevant data to the surface in a simple, single glance interface.
- Time Study: A large portion of the $300 billion in hospital administrative expenses can be attributed to time tracking across dozens of criteria to meet financial requirements for areas such as Medicare reimbursement and grant compliance, Time Study officials said. The current solution for administrators is to manually gather data from over 100 different hospital stakeholders and to painstakingly calculate reports. Time Study leverages machine learning and predictive analytics to automate time submissions, tracking and reporting, all via one platform and with a few clicks. Time Study is implemented in over 30 hospitals within the largest health systems, saving time for over 20,000 end-users and avoiding millions in potential fines for non-compliance.
- Vectorly: Online video accounts for 80% of online traffic, and consumers are ever more demanding for a fast, smooth and easy user experience, Vectorly officials said. Video companies spend $15 billion a year on cloud infrastructure, and this will only continue to grow as more people watch 4K content on 5G networks. Vectorly leverages patented AI and computer vision technology to transform video from pixels to mathematical equations, compressing videos by 50x while also improving quality.