Fourteen businesses in New Jersey’s technology, life sciences, and clean energy sectors received a combined $12.3 million from 50 investments approved through the state’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program during the first half of 2020, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced yesterday. Two of the approved companies benefited from legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy last year expanding the program.
New Jersey’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program offers a refundable tax credit against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for qualified investments in an emerging technology or life sciences business with a physical presence in New Jersey that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state. Businesses must have fewer than 225 employees to participate in the program, and at least three quarters of those employees must work in New Jersey. Investors have up to six months from the time of investment to apply to the program. More than $561 million in investments have been leveraged through the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program since it began in 2013.
Governor Murphy signed legislation last summer expanding the program. Beginning January 1, 2020, investors have been able to receive a 20 percent tax credit (up from 10 percent) on eligible investments and an additional five percent bonus for investments made in a business located in a qualified opportunity zone, low-income community, or a business that is certified by the State as minority- or women-owned. The legislation furthers the Governor’s vision of creating the most diverse innovation ecosystem in the nation and reclaiming the state’s role as a leader in innovation.
“Re-establishing New Jersey’s historic leadership role in the innovation economy is one of Governor Murphy’s top priorities, and the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program’s augmented parameters help advance that goal by encouraging investment in emerging businesses,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “We are excited to see more investors taking note of this attractive program and for the potential it brings for more precious capital to fuel the state’s innovation ecosystem.”
Sullivan noted that anyone considering investing an innovation-focused business should see if they are eligible to benefit from this program.
Two first-time participants in the New Jersey Angel Tax Credit Program were the first to benefit from the newly-expanded program. Elucida Oncology was the first company to qualify for the expanded 20 percent tax credit under the enhanced program and Bark Biome, doing business as DIG labs, was the first company to receive two investments that were eligible for the additional five percent bonus for investing in a woman-owned business. The remaining investments approved for the other 12 companies during the first half of 2020 were made at the end of 2019.
Biotechnology company Elucida Oncology, located in Monmouth Junction, focuses on clinical research, development and commercialization of life-changing technology to find, see, and treat an array of tumors. The company has created a novel, ultra-small nanoparticle delivery platform to further its work of detecting and treating primary tumor and metastatic cancers in order to extend and enhance people’s lives.
“As an entrepreneur and former Pfizer executive, I cannot underscore enough the critical value that early funding brings to companies like ours,” said Elucida Oncology CEO Geno J. Germano said. “I applaud and thank Governor Murphy for expanding the Angel Investor Tax Credit. I know it will impact our conversation with investors in the months and years ahead.”
Woman- and minority-owned Bark Biome, LLC, doing business as DIG labs and located in Lebanon, Hunterdon County, is an individualized pet health-technology platform that also markets, manufactures and sells personalized canine supplements. The company is developing a technology platform for pet parents to collect, analyze, and translate real-time insights into actionable health plans.
“Unfortunately, women – especially those who are ethnically diverse – have a much tougher time attracting capital than our male counterparts,” said DIG labs CEO Tara Zedayko. “The five percent bonus added to the programs for investing in women-owned businesses has been a terrific tool as we speak with potential investors.”
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