NJEDA approves $12M in investments through Angel Investor Tax Credit program

By Emily Bader
New Jersey | Jul 15, 2020 at 3:26 am

In the first half of 2020, 14 businesses in New Jersey’s technology, life sciences and clean energy sectors were selected to receive a combined $12.3 million from 50 investments approved through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority‘s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program.

The Angel Investor Tax Credit Program provides investors refundable tax credits against qualified investments for New Jersey businesses. It supports tech-based firms that have a physical presence in New Jersey that conduct research, manufacturing or technology commercialization in the state. To qualify, a business must have less than 225 employees and at least three quarters of those employees must work in New Jersey.

“Re-establishing New Jersey’s historic leadership role in the innovation economy is one of Governor (Phil) Murphy’s top priorities, and the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program’s augmented parameters help advance that goal by encouraging investment in emerging businesses,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “We are excited to see more investors taking note of this attractive program and for the potential it brings for more precious capital to fuel the state’s innovation ecosystem.”

Sullivan said those who are interested in investing in innovation-focused businesses should see if they are eligible.

Since the program began in 2013, more than $561 million in investments have been leveraged through the AITCP. Investors this year will benefit from an expanded program, which was signed into legislation by Gov. Phil Murphy in July 2019. Changes include (effective Jan. 1, 2020) doubling the tax credit — from 10% to 20% — that investors can receive. An addition 5% bonus was also added for businesses in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, low-income community or a business that is minority- or woman-owned.

Here are the first two participants to benefit from the expanded program:

  • Elucida Oncology, based in Monmouth Junction, is a biotechnology company focused on clinical research, development and commercialization of technology to treat tumors, and it qualified for the expanded 20% tax credit

“As an entrepreneur and former Pfizer executive, I cannot underscore enough the critical value that early funding brings to companies like ours,” Geno J. Germano, CEO, Elucida Oncology, said. “I applaud and thank Governor Murphy for expanding the Angel Investor Tax Credit. I know it will impact our conversation with investors in the months and years ahead.”

  • Bark Biome dba DIG labs, based in Lebanon, is an individualized pet health technology platform, and it qualified for the 5% bonus for being a woman- and minority-owned business.

“Unfortunately, women – especially those who are ethnically diverse – have a much tougher time attracting capital than our male counterparts,” Tara Zedayko, CEO, DIG labs, said. “The five percent bonus added to the programs for investing in women-owned businesses has been a terrific tool as we speak with potential investors.”

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | @emilybader