EDA Approves Venture Fund Investment to Spur Growth of Early-Stage Tech & Life Sciences Companies

Continuing its efforts to bolster innovation in the Garden State, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved its 14th venture fund investment.  Action taken today will result in a limited partnership investment of up to $7.5 million in Tech Council Ventures II, which aims to invest in early-stage companies spanning key industries that are currently experiencing rapid growth.

“Since the days of Thomas Edison, New Jersey has always been a leader in innovation,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “Through investments in venture funds such as Tech Council Ventures II, the State routinely provides early-stage companies with much-needed capital that they can use to bring products to market or expand existing product lines. These investments have the dual benefit of keeping New Jersey at the forefront of innovation and creating jobs within the Garden State.”

Among its myriad of resources for the technology sector, the EDA helps increase available capital for emerging technology companies by investing as a limited partner in venture capital firms that invest in New Jersey-based enterprises. Investments made by the EDA are expected to earn a reasonable market rate return, which is measured in financial terms and by job growth. Gains resulting from these investments are utilized to offer new funding opportunities to support New Jersey businesses. Prior to today’s action, the EDA had approved investments in 13 venture capital funds totaling more than $42 million; these funds have leveraged the EDA’s investment in New Jersey technology businesses with private capital, by more than 62 times. The attraction of private investors into these companies demonstrates the credibility of the technology ecosystem in New Jersey and the attractiveness of investment opportunities in the state.

Tech Council Ventures II is the second fund formed in sponsorship and strategic partnership with the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC). Tech Council Ventures II will seek to invest in 20 to 25 early-stage companies with an average initial investment of $500,000 to $2 million in fast-growing sectors, such as healthcare information technology, life sciences, education technology, financial technology, media technology and energy.

The EDA supported the predecessor vehicle formed in 2000, NJTC Fund I, with a $7.15 million limited partnership investment. The EDA’s investment to the $70 million fund resulted in a public/private leverage multiplier of 51.76 times the total $370 million of third party partner capital into New Jersey-based businesses. The 24 New Jersey companies that benefited have generated an estimated 1,983 jobs in the State. Achieve 3000, located in Lakewood, Fairfield-based Archive Systems, Cytosorbents in Monmouth Junction, and Power Survey, of Kearny, are among the two-dozen New Jersey businesses that leveraged funding from NJTC Fund I to thrive in the Garden State.

“As the leading association supporting and advocating for the technology community in New Jersey, we see Tech Council Ventures as a critical component of the resources we offer to nurture early-stage technology startups,” said James Barrood, President and CEO of NJTC. “We appreciate the strong support of the EDA and believe this fund will make a big difference to the state’s ecosystem.”

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