The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT Corporation, and Somerville-based HealRWorld (HRW), a social impact company dedicated to spurring the growth of sustainable businesses, have partnered to form a New Jersey-based accelerator with global reach.
In addition, R. Paul Herman, a globally recognized expert investment advisor on positive impact and profit and the founder of HIP Investor Ratings LLC, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson, founder of The Lantern Foundation and Lemelson Capital, and John Pyrovolakis, entrepreneur and founder of the Innovation Accelerator Foundation, will advise HealRWorld in the creation of a new, sustainable SME investment fund that will leverage deal flow both NJII and HRW will be generating through the accelerator, as well as investments sourced from HealRWorld’s global database of over 1 million businesses.
HRW leverages its extensive data to provide unique insights into the sustainability attributes of small and medium enterprises worldwide and has produced a sustainability rating for such companies. HRW has proven sustainably-committed companies are linked to considerably higher credit worthiness.
NJII applies resources of NJIT, the State’s science and technology university, to challenges identified by its industry partners. One such emerging challenge is the recognition by major corporations of the importance of assessing the impact of sustainability in their supply chain, how it affects their brand image, and ultimately how it impacts their long-term profitability.
On May 12, NJIT President, Dr. Joel S. Bloom spoke at a special event at the United Nations dedicated to creating a shared future for entrepreneurs and MSMEs in the Framework of UN Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Bloom said, “NJIT, through its New Jersey Innovation Institute, is poised to launch a new innovation commercialization framework that will incubate start-up companies in NJIT-based facilities. We are excited to partner with HealRWorld on a new sustainability-themed accelerator that will support companies helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations with a focus as well on women-owned/led organizations. Our model will accelerate the development of startup, early-stage, and scale-up companies through cohorts organized by the technology and geographic affinity of the participating companies, and partner with large companies and granting organizations to scout, vet, and curate smaller technology-based companies that provide a source of corporate innovation.”
According to NJII’s Executive Director, Financial Services Innovation, George Nikolaou, “NJII operates the largest tech/life sciences incubator/business development center in NJ, the Enterprise Development Center, and has established a cluster development business acceleration program – HealthIT Connections with funding from JP Morgan Chase’s Small Business Forward initiative to help scale up Health IT companies accelerate their development. NJII is in the process of expanding its Technology Adoption and Acceleration programs for both large corporations and small businesses within the framework of its Innovation as a Service (IaaS) offerings.”
HealRWorld CEO Michele Bongiovanni stated, “HRW is proud to partner with NJII in the new global accelerator and offer a three pronged value proposition: access to sustainability innovation for the corporations, for small innovative companies real world challenges, coaching and funding, and curated deal flow to investors.”
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