Jersey Shore and South Jersey Tech Meetups Create Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

In addition to providing funding and resources  to New Jersey’s technology and biotechnology community, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) continuously promotes networking opportunities for entrepreneurs as a way to foster synergy within the Garden State’s vibrant technology ecosystem.

Through its social media pages — @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn — the EDA routinely highlights events such as technology Meetups, where innovators can convene with other technology professionals. Meetups create an atmosphere of collaboration and provide a platform for entrepreneurs to discuss topics that affect their businesses. Meetup organizers often invite industry leaders to these events to provide attendees with insight into areas relevant to New Jersey’s thriving technology industry. In addition to in-person events, Meetup websites offer members an online forum for communication, leading to a free-flowing exchange of ideas. The Meetups are free to join, but there may be fees for specific events.

“Collaboration is a hallmark of New Jersey’s extraordinary technology sector and we continue to encourage interaction among innovators,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “Positive energy generated at Jersey Shore and South Jersey Meetups carry over long after the events have ended.”

Innovators looking to network at the Jersey Shore or in South Jersey have several options including:

Jersey Shore Tech (Monmouth County) – Located at Cowerks coworking space in Asbury Park, Jersey Shore Tech is considered the largest tech Meetup in the area. Ideal for entrepreneurs, startups, software developers, tech enthusiasts, and business leaders looking to network, learn, and grow their businesses, this group currently has more than 1,600 members. Recent Meetup events have included a Lunch and Learn with attorneys with McCarter & English, their monthly Coffee and Coworking networking event, and a panel discussion on how to launch better products. The next event scheduled is Coffee and Coworking #33 on July 15. The morning networking event will take place at High Voltage in Asbury Park.

Central NJ Strategic Design + Tech (Monmouth County) – Central NJ Strategic Design + Tech, based at Bell Works in Holmdel, supports innovators from all technology areas by educating them on new ways of designing, prototyping, building and fulfilling tech hardware, software, system and components. Through a series of events such as demo nights, hackathons, startup weekends and other hands-on workshops, the Meetup aims to help people accelerate the commercialization process, and reduce the risk of moving from concept, into production and releasing to the public market. The group, which is sponsored by Wisdom + Craft consulting company, currently has close to 700 members. Recent events have included “Lessons from Startup CEOs – Sanjay Macwan – Media Labs at NBCUniversal,” and “Helping Business Owners Manage the Big Picture.” The next event – Design + UX Networking – is tentatively scheduled for July 18 at Bell Works.

Venture HUB of the Burlington County Library System (BCLS) (Burlington County) – The BCLS Venture HUB is dedicated to building an active and vigorous entrepreneurial community of startups, techies, creators, freelancers, telecommuters and collaborators in Burlington County and beyond. The group, which currently has more than 300 members, has hosted  a variety of Meetup events including  “Lean Venture Series – Creative Techniques for Nimble Business,” “Startup Storyslam,” “Content Marketing Explained – Using Social and Digital Tools to Grow your Business,” and “Cyber security: Protecting Your Most Important Assets.”  Tonight at 7:30 p.m. the BCLS Venture HUB will host Megan DeGeorge, cofounder and chief operating officer of Think Like a Girl, a startup company of young entrepreneurs seeking to empower girls “to develop into our world’s problem solvers.” Registration is required and space is limited.

Waterfront Ventures (Camden County) – Waterfront Ventures is an organization dedicated to developing a thriving culture in Camden by bringing fun, innovation, and networking opportunities to the Camden Waterfront.  Waterfront Ventures’ Meetup began last month at a kickoff startup conference and already has over 100 members on its Meetup roster. With the motto that by building a thriving culture first, it can attract startups, small businesses and investors to grow the local community, Waterfront Ventures has several events in its pipeline, including a Demo Day festival slated for Sept. 30.

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