One deserving Garden State entrepreneur was presented with a $50,000 prize at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) New Jersey Founders and Funders All-Stars event. Through a “pitch” competition featuring five previous New Jersey Founders and Funders participants, LugTrack, represented by Chief Financial Officer Denise Brouder, was selected to receive funding to support her company’s continued growth in New Jersey. LugTrack offers a patented system for tracking personal assets, such as luggage.
The New Jersey Founders and Funders program was launched in June 2014 to directly connect entrepreneurs with multiple investors in a speed-dating environment. New Jersey Founders and Funders enables early-stage New Jersey businesses to meet with investors in 10-minute, one-on-one sessions to discuss strategy, business models and funding opportunities. These discussions help early-stage companies gain critical insight on how best to position their startups within the Garden State’s vibrant technology ecosystem.
The All-Stars event, which was held at the newly-created, 32,600-square-foot Biotechnology Development Center on the Technology Centre of New Jersey campus in North Brunswick, marked the first time that past New Jersey Founders and Funders participants were offered the opportunity to reconnect with and update investors on their progress, while competing for the award of up to $50,000 approved by the EDA’s Board for one selected, registered, presenting life sciences or biotechnology company.
“We are grateful to have been selected to receive this award, which will help LugTrack move forward with our growth strategy and supplement our ongoing fundraising efforts,” said Brouder. “The technology community here in New Jersey truly fosters innovation and provides a supportive environment for those committed to pursuing novel ideas.”
All 225 past participant companies were invited to register, and 20 were selected by an independent panel to participate in the one-on-one sessions. The event was capped-off with lightning presentations by five companies selected by investors from the 20 participating in the one-on-one meetings to determine the recipient of the prize.
Other companies participating in today’s New Jersey Founders and Funders pitch competition included:
- Radius8, Princeton, Mercer County, provides retailers real-time visibility into what is happening in proximity to their customers and stores
- RevChip, Mt. Laurel, Burlington County, is a software firm with a timely SaaS offering that solves payments and simplifies digital marketing for small and medium-sized businesses
- Tenna, Edison, Middlesex County, is a technology company that empowers construction companies to find more value across their inventory of equipment, vehicles and physical assets.
- VectraCor, Totowa, Passaic County, is a privately-held medical device company focused on developing and commercializing monitoring devices in the area of diagnostic cardiology.
“Congratulations to LugTrack for its compelling presentation today, and to all present and past New Jersey Founders and Funders participants for their groundbreaking ideas and relentless drive to succeed in a competitive market,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “We applaud these and all the pioneering companies that have chosen to grow in New Jersey, and encourage them to explore resources available through the EDA.”
The award of up to $50,000 comes in the form of a forgivable loan, presented on the condition that the recipient receive a minimum 1:1 matching of outside, third party investor equity in the year following attendance at the event.
The event also included a panel of entrepreneurs sharing their insights on fundraising, maximizing the relationship with investors, and the path to exit. Ample networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and other community stakeholders rounded out the day.