NJIT accepting applications from people of color for entrepreneurship residency

6-month program, starting in March, will provide workspace, coaching and stipend for Newark residents

Applications are now being accepted for local business leaders of color to join New Jersey Institute of Technology‘s Paul Profeta Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program.

The program, operated by NJIT’s VentureLink business incubator, matches NJIT-developed intellectual property with Newark-area people of color who have impressive talent but lack traditional management or technology backgrounds.

Participants will be provided with workspace, coaching and stipends for six months. VentureLink also will provide access to experts in business development and the patent subject matter. NJIT officials said they control nearly 300 patents (received or pending), and that many could be the foundation of a business.

The first cohort will run from March-September. The deadline to apply is March 1. (Get more information here.)

Will Lutz, general manager for entrepreneurship and commercialization at VentureLink, said the core of the program is a la carte time and resources in support of an entrepreneur building their startup.

“This will be wrapped in scheduled entrepreneurship workshops, including cohort sessions and networking at our monthly Open Coffee Club; industry mentorship and funding relationships, where relevant; and residency at VentureLink@NJIT,” he said.

Applicants will be evaluated based on skills, need and a desire to learn the startup process.

The selected entrepreneurs will be expected to work and learn full-time throughout the six-month period. They also will receive access to the NJIT IP database and connections with investors.

Lutz said entrepreneurs also will receive a living stipend to support their time in the program — $13,000 paid in monthly installments.

“It’s going to provide an on-ramp to technology entrepreneurship in a way that a lot of venture capital hasn’t been able to do,” Lutz said. “Not everyone has enough in the bank to start a startup. We hope this addresses that.”