The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has supported 35 investments totaling more than $2 million into 11 innovation-focused companies through the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program since April. The program is designed to support COVID-19-impacted small businesses in the Garden State’s innovation ecosystem.
The New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program is a $5 million program that offers a guarantee to support repayment of an investor loan advanced for working capital purposes and is designed to encourage investors to support businesses within their portfolios during this pandemic when investor support is crucial. It provides an NJEDA guarantee of up to 80 percent for an eligible new loan or convertible note by a qualified investor into a New Jersey qualified business, not to exceed a $200,000 guarantee per company.
NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan noted that companies benefiting from the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program have an average of five employees and the average investment size is $59,000.
“We are finding that investors participating in this program are focusing on our state’s smallest innovation companies,” Sullivan said. “Strengthening New Jersey’s innovation sector is essential as we begin to recover from the pandemic, and it is encouraging to see investment dollars flowing to where they can make the biggest impact.”
Since the NJEDA last reported out in mid-July, the Authority closed on guarantees on 16 investments into four innovation-focus businesses through the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program. These investments injected a total of $550,000 into the innovation economy. The investments supported information technology companies Peace of Mind (POM) Partners, based in Newark, and Tripod Technologies, headquartered in Cherry Hill, as well as health technology companies InquisitHealth, located in River Edge, and MAPay, LLC, based in Voorhees.
POM Partners and Tripod Technologies participated in the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program for the first time in recent weeks, while healthcare technology companies InquisitHealth and MAPay, LLC continued to benefit from the program, having previously received investments.
POM Partners has created a one-touch safety device that instantly connects customers to the help they need in an emergency. A robust safety system, the POM is a small and sleek button that attaches to a person’s belongings and connects to the POM Safe app, which has several safety features designed to provide peace of mind. Whether sending a user’s location to a designated contact, providing a virtual escort to ensure arrival to a destination on time, or acting as a visual deterrent against would-be assailants, the POM can help customers get out of an uncomfortable situation, and takes the stress out of personal safety on the job, while traveling to work, or in daily life. POM Partners has received six investments totaling $240,000 through the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program since mid-July.
“Our POM device is perfect for healthcare workers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, as it connects them directly with first responders, sends GPS locations, and opens two-way calling, all while eliminating the need to strip off gloves to use a cell phone,” said POM Partners President, Co-Founder & CEO Andrew Leahy. “Thanks to the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program, we are able to scale up our production and provide support to those combatting the pandemic.”
Tripod Technologies developed its flagship product, eureQa, to redefine the software test automation platform. eureQa is designed to enable companies to effectively operate their digital businesses and provides support for functional, cross browser/device, mobile & performance testing, and synthetic monitoring in a single enterprise class cloud platform. Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, eureQa is designed to give companies the tools they need to improve the user experience and overall quality. Tripod Technologies has received $150,000 from five investments as part of the NJ Entrepreneur Support Program since mid-July.
“New Jersey’s proximity to an abundance of technology companies, coupled with its easy access to major markets like New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, has been extremely advantageous to us as we’ve grown,” Tripod Technologies CEO Badri Nittoor said. “Despite the challenges that COVID-19 poses to startups like ours, the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program has allowed us to continue attracting capital even during these uncertain times.”
InquisitHealth, which connects patients via a “peer-to-peer” mentoring platform, closed on four investments totaling $110,000 through the program since mid-July.
MAPay, LLC, developer of a healthcare payment network, received a $50,000 investment through the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program in August.
As previously announced by the NJEDA, InquisitHealth and MAPay, LLC closed on a combined $340,000 in investments through the program in prior months.
Investors are qualified for the New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program if they have already provided funding to a New Jersey company through a simple agreement for equity (SAFE), convertible note, or equity investment as of March 9, 2020 (the date of the Governor’s Executive Order 103). Participating investors are not required to be New Jersey residents and can include, but are not limited to, individuals, trusts, and corporations. There will be no fees associated with the NJ Entrepreneur Support Program.
The New Jersey Entrepreneur Support Program is part of a suite of pandemic relief programs the NJEDA launched this spring to provide a variety of resources for businesses of all sizes. These resources include grants for small businesses, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions, funding for entrepreneurs, and technical support and marketplace information. In total, the NJEDA’s COVID-19 relief programs have supported nearly 15,000 small businesses in communities across New Jersey.
The NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program hit a milestone this month when the Authority approved the 100th loan through the program. To date, 100 businesses have been approved for loans totaling $6.8 million. The Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program provides working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues.
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