Hoboken’s Mission 50 launches innovation and commercialization lab

Coworking community’s owner provides $25K and dedicated office space to support entrepreneurship programs at four Hudson County colleges

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez joined the Mission 50 team and its membership, Hudson County higher-education leadership, dignitaries and other guests for the official launch of the Mission 50 Innovation and Commercialization Lab in Hoboken this week.

Located on the second floor of the newly renovated and rebranded boutique office building and coworking community at 50 Harrison St., the lab will support the entrepreneurship programs at Stevens Institute of Technology, Saint Peter’s University, New Jersey City University and Hudson County Community College.

Guests in attendance at the Nov. 8 ribbon-cutting ceremony included Eugene Cornacchia, president, Saint Peter’s University; Nariman Farvardin, president, Stevens Institute of Technology; Christopher Reber, president, Hudson County Community College; Carlos Lejnieks, board of trustees member, New Jersey City University; as well as students from the universities and Mission 50 members.

Owned and operated by JDA Group LLC, Mission 50 has a long history of serving independent professionals, growing entrepreneurial companies, and mature enterprises in the Greater New York City marketplace. Its multimillion-dollar transformation, completed in 2021, responds to evolving workplace needs.

“As one of the first coworking spaces to open in the region, Mission 50 is celebrating 10 years of fostering entrepreneurship and business growth,” said Gregory Dell’Aquila, JDA’s founder and CEO. “It has also been our company’s mission to support the entrepreneurs of tomorrow by working hand-in-hand with Hudson County’s institutions of higher learning. In line with that mission, we are proud to be establishing the Mission 50 Innovation and Commercialization Lab.”

New lab designed as a coworking hub

The lab is comprised of four dedicated offices and a collaboration space in Mission 50’s coworking hub. Each school will have access to its own workspace, as well as conference and meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art video conferencing and a range of onsite amenities.

“This is a great example of what is possible when leaders in the private sector and institutions of higher learning think creatively about how they work together to promote innovation and greater opportunities for our citizens in this economy,” Menendez (D-N.J.) said at the ribbon cutting. “The task of taking an idea and bringing it to market is no easy feat. That’s why this lab holds so much promise.

“Here at Mission 50, students, professors and researchers will have the opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors and find ways to monetize their discoveries. How exciting would it be to see that the next hit product or revolutionary startup was born right here in Hoboken and Hudson County?”

Student pitch competition prizes announced by Mission 50

Dell’Aquila also has committed $25,000 toward innovation on Hudson County’s college campuses.

“Each of the four schools will receive $5,000 to fund university-led student business pitch competitions,” he said. “The winners from each school will be invited to compete in a countywide pitch competition hosted by Mission 50 in the spring, with an additional prize of $5,000.”