The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology announced on Thursday 14 early-stage companies that will receive funding through the New Jersey Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer support program.
“What we hear time and again from members of the technology and life sciences community is the need for capital for early-stage businesses to fuel their growth,” Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, who chairs the Assembly Science Innovation and Technology Committee, said. “Today, we have taken an important step to ensure that these 14 New Jersey early stage companies have the funding they need to succeed.”
The $400,000 program was designed to enhance the state’s innovation economy by providing technical support and grants to small businesses wanting to be or are participating in the federal SBIR/STTR program. The federal program, which is open to U.S.-based small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, provides more than $3 billion every year to small businesses.
“New Jersey has all the ingredients to lead the nation in innovation and supporting young companies from their earliest stages is essential to achieving that goal,” Gunjan Doshi, chairman, CSIT, said. “Alleviating some of the financial burdens these companies face as they compete for SBIR and STTR grants is critical to strengthening their competitiveness in the marketplace. This has always been the case and is even more significant as our economy begins to re-emerge and re-open from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The SBIR program focuses on small businesses’ technical potential and provides incentives to profit from commercialization. The STTR program funds cooperative R&D partnerships between small businesses and research institutions.
“Several of the companies selected to receive funding are working on technologies that are directly related to addressing health, economic and societal challenges caused by the COVID19 pandemic,” Judith Sheft, executive director, CSIT, said. “Since March, New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem has been at the forefront in the fight against the virus. The SBIR/STTR funding will help early-stage companies strengthen their position in the marketplace as they work toward commercializing potentially life-saving and life-enhancing therapies and technologies.”
During this round of the program, the CSIT said it will award $25,000 in matching grants to 12 businesses that have established a federal Phase 1 SBIR/STTR award and $50,000 in bridge funding grants to two New Jersey-based small businesses that completed Phase I and have applied for Phase II.
“Providing the resources that enable businesses to collaborate with governmental agencies and New Jersey’s world-class academic institutions as they grow has two key benefits — increasing each company’s competitiveness and bolstering the Garden State’s vibrant life sciences community,” Debbie Hart, CEO and president of BioNJ and vice chair of the CSIT, said.
Here are the New Jersey-based Phase 1 winners:
- Bezwada Biomedical LLC (Somerset County)
- Bright Cloud International Corp. (Middlesex County)
- Cascade Biotechnology Inc. (Middlesex County)
- Cloud Juncxion Inc. (Somerset County)
- GreenBlu Inc. (Mercer County)
- Nangio Tx Inc. (Essex County)
- Oculomotor Technologies (Essex County)
- Plumeria Therapeutics (Mercer County)
- Prokaryotics (Union County)
- Spreadsheet Labs Manual (Gloucester County)
- Twinleaf LLC (Middlesex County)
- Viocare Inc. (Mercer County)
“Early-stage technology and life sciences often struggle to secure funding and the COVID-19 pandemic has made fundraising even harder,” State Senator Robert Singer said. “It is imperative that we, as a state, provide the necessary tools for our innovation economy to thrive, even in these adverse times.”