New Jersey tech entrepreneur Jessica Gonzalez has sold two of her companies, InCharged and Vendx, to New York-based IBrands Global, but she will stay on as the chief innovation officer for both IBrands and BluLabs — a new company that will serve as the innovation arm of IBrands.
Terms of the deal, which was announced in late January, were not released.
Gonzalez, well-known in the New Jersey tech ecosystem, was lauded for her ability to pivot when the pandemic struck. In fact, that is when she created Vendx, an interactive, touchscreen vending machine that uses sampling, social media engagement and gamification to incentivize consumer interaction, while gathering data for brands and marketers.
InCharged, founded in 2009, was Gonzalez’s first company. It is the country’s leading cell phone charging station manufacturer and distributor, with an extensive outdoor advertising platform.
InCharged and Vendx, both Woman and Minority Business Enterprise Certified brands, have worked with major companies such as Google, Toyota, AT&T, Estee Lauder and DKNY.
Gonzalez served on Gov. Phil Murphy’s Restart and Recovery Commission and has been a regular member of various ROI-NJ Influencer lists.
IBrands Global is a leading international supply chain platform and brand collective. Its CEO, Remy Garson, said acquiring the two companies, as well as creating the chief innovation officer role, marks a shift toward first-to-market product innovation, experiential marketing and a tech-driven approach.
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Furthermore, it demonstrates a focus on solutions-based product innovation, expanding beyond IBrands’ current portfolio of health, wellness, food service and fashion brands. IBrands’ portfolio companies, including BluZen, bebe, EBY, Alloy Apparel and Pam & Gela, will also have the opportunity to expand into a new form of retail via Vendx’s fleet of touchless vending machines, which will open up thousands of locations in 2022.
“To be a market leader, you can’t just create products to fill white space,” he said. “We’re developing products that solve problems and create efficiencies in the lives’ of our customers.”
Gonzalez said she is eager to get started.
“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and make a difference on Day One,” she said. “The IBrands platform with its existing distribution gives me the opportunity to bring my most creative ideas to life with the full support of an execution-focused team, so my creations will reach the masses.”