Bolstering the already active ecosystem at the Garden State’s leading life sciences incubator, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) announced that Lenzie Harcum has joined the EDA as the manager of its Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT).
Strategically located in the heart of New Jersey’s research corridor between Rutgers and Princeton universities, CCIT not only offers the most wet labs of any incubator in New Jersey, but also provides access to a wide array of resource and networking opportunities essential to the startup community. CCIT provides tenant companies with educational programs and a wealth of supporting resources, including helping to identify funding sources and providing access to small business development resources and administrative support. The incubator routinely hosts events such as New Jersey Founders & Funders, which introduces startup companies to angel and venture investors, and Lunch & Learn presentations that bring in industry experts to discuss topics relevant to emerging companies.
Among his many duties as CCIT Manager, Harcum will be responsible for all aspects of developing and administering CCIT programming. Harcum’s activities will support the growth of the life sciences businesses at CCIT, managing tenant relationships while providing guidance to foster successful expansion or graduation of tenant companies. Harcum will also cultivate the EDA’s relationship with graduate companies, supporting their growth through introductions and continued engagement with CCIT programming, member tenants and CCIT’s advisory board, and will help to develop new opportunities for the EDA within the State’s life sciences sector, resulting in increased technology-driven economic development.
Harcum joins the EDA after a decade spent at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he ultimately served as vice president of the agency’s Life Sciences & Healthcare Team. He also spent several years leading the University of North Carolina’s technology program. Harcum received his MBA from Campbell University in North Carolina and his Bachelor of Science in Business from East Carolina University.
“With nearly two decades of experience in both the life sciences and economic development fields, Lenzie brings a breadth of knowledge to his position at CCIT,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “Having such a talented individual at the helm of our life sciences incubator has the dual benefit of increasing CCIT’s visibility and providing yet another resource to help emerging companies grow at CCIT and beyond.”
@NJEDATech spoke with Harcum about CCIT and his plans for its future:
What attracted you to the position at CCIT?
New Jersey has significant life sciences assets including a large pharmaceutical community, an impressive life sciences talent pool, local access to significant academic research and development base and affordable and appropriate lab real estate for entrepreneurial startups. The New Jersey life sciences ecosystem has great strengths and I look forward to helping the community grow further.
What do you envision as your goals during your first few months at CCIT?
Having spent the past ten years developing the New York City life sciences community, it is important to begin developing relationships with the life sciences stakeholders in New Jersey. These stakeholders are important resources for the entrepreneurial community. I look forward to building New Jersey’s bio community while creating new programming to benefit the CCIT community. I also look forward to raising the visibility of New Jersey’s life sciences assets.
Given your vast experience with the economic development and biotechnology companies, what’s one piece of advice that you have for emerging biotechnology companies?
Choose wisely when seeking private investment. Securing an investor is more than just gaining access to money. The right investors will leverage their network and strategic contacts to benefit the company. They will provide management guidance and technical expertise.