Accelerating programs for small businesses can be found throughout the state. Finding one that’s free is a different matter.
The city of Plainfield — as part of its continuous efforts to build its economic base through its residents — is offering just that through a partnership with “from HERE,” a new accelerator program that opened this week. It will be part of the Queen City Innovation Hub.
Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp said the from HERE accelerator program, which will be based at 108 Watchung Ave., is meant to target entrepreneurial-minded residents, prospective and existing business owners from the city.
“We are investing in the entrepreneurs of this great city,” he said. “Outside of the variety of resources and funding we have for small businesses, this is our way of supporting the individual entrepreneur, the person just getting started on their journey of building a business from the ground up.”
To join, you must be at least 21, a Plainfield resident, a registered Plainfield business owner, or be ready to register your business in Plainfield to apply. (Apply here.)
The city of Plainfield is the primary sponsor for the accelerator program; marketing and education sponsors include the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Paramount Assets, Stephanie Licata, NextGen Counsel and Z Austin Agency.
Mapp said the program shows the city is eager and willing to work with the business community — and the potential business community.
Founder and CEO Sneh Kadakia said “from HERE” is a work-near-home service that provides access to on-demand workspaces for entrepreneurs seeking the amenities of a workspace without the hassle of excessive travel.
From HERE was created to echo current lifestyles and to provide all the benefits that come with an office environment at a pace that makes sense to your lifestyle, she said. The state-of-the-art facilities include hot desks, private offices, day-pass desks, meeting rooms, lounge areas, printers and scanners, power outlets, convenient parking — and all the coffee and tea you can drink, she said.
A second location is planned for Princeton Junction later this year.
“If you choose to open your business here in Plainfield, we want to lay the groundwork for your success,” he said. “We want you to be able to launch, grow and establish your company here — and have the resources, education and support to do that.
“The creation of the ‘Queen City Innovation Hub’ allows us, in partnership with ‘from HERE,’ to intentionally empower everyone for entrepreneurial success. We look forward to seeing this first class of participants in the accelerator program truly represent what entrepreneurship looks like in Plainfield.”
The from HERE program is the brainchild of founder and CEO Sneh Kadakia. She said it was designed to help current and future business owners navigate the challenges of establishing and running a successful business.
During the program, participants will have access to resources, programming, workspace, support and the advice of other professionals within the community.
“Being entrepreneurs, we have personally gone through the challenges of building a small business from idea to conception,” she said. “Our goal, through this accelerator program, is to take all of those learnings and share them in a timely, meaningful way with our peers.
“There is no better way for us to give back to this city than to equip our neighborhood entrepreneurs with the resources and community they need to establish their businesses … from HERE.”
Mapp has sponsored numerous initiatives to help the approximate 50,000 residents of Plainfield. In June, he announced the city was using $1.1 million of federal relief funds to pay off the water bills of those most in danger of having services cut off.