The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announces that it will hold its next New Jersey Founders & Funders event on May 9 at 1776’s retail incubator in the Cherry Hill Mall. 1776, the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators, cut the ribbon on the 11,000-square-foot collaborative workspace earlier this year, expanding its footprint into the Garden State.
Now in its sixth year, New Jersey Founders & Funders enables early-stage businesses to meet with potential investors in 10-minute, one-on-one “speed dating” sessions to discuss strategy, business models, and funding opportunities. Each participating entrepreneur meets an average of six investors in curated one-on-one meetings during the event. Follow-up responses from attendees at the November 2018 New Jersey Founders & Funders event indicated that over 90 percent of those participants secured additional meetings with at least one investor. Entrepreneurs interested in participating in New Jersey Founders & Funders can apply online at https://application.njeda.com/tls/. Participation is a on a first-come-first-served basis.
1776 is one of the first 11 collaborative workspaces approved by the NJEDA to participate in NJ Ignite. NJ Ignite supports technology and life sciences startups moving to collaborative workspaces. Specifically, the program offers rent support which makes lab and office space more affordable, providing eligible startups with greater access to environments where they can work alongside other growing technology and life sciences companies. The program also benefits incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces by providing a tool to help attract young businesses to their facilities, while encouraging the creation of new collaborative workspaces throughout the state.
As a requirement of participating in NJ Ignite, 1776 must host a minimum of eight innovation ecosystem-building events throughout the year. In addition to the upcoming New Jersey Founders & Funders event, 1776 previously hosted the South Jersey Tech Collective, a group of founders, leaders, and investors associated with technology companies in and around Southern New Jersey. At the event, 1776 and the NJEDA discussed tips and resources for local entrepreneurs considering starting their businesses in New Jersey.
“We are thrilled that 1776 has quickly become an engaged member of our state’s innovation community and is connecting its tenant companies with resources that support their growth,” NJEDA Chief Executive (CEO) Officer Tim Sullivan said. “Repurposing existing real estate assets in ways that foster a synergetic ecosystem is a core component of Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for making New Jersey the State of Innovation.”
1776 CEO Jenn Maher was one of several panelists to discuss how shared workspaces are beneficial to entrepreneurs across a broad spectrum of industries in front of a standing-room only crowd at Friday’s New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum. The panel was moderated by NJEDA Vice President of Technology and Life Sciences Investments Kathleen Coviello.
Forty-five entrepreneurs at 30 startups have already set down roots at 1776’s New Jersey location. Approximately 25 of the tenants are artisans and makers, and the rest are focused on technology and life sciences, event planning, branding and marketing, real estate, and customer experience management. In addition to offices and an open floor plan conducive to networking and collaboration, 1776 also includes an artisan market, which sells products created by maker tenants.
“Entrepreneurs on both sides of the Delaware River are flocking to 1776’s Cherry Hill location and NJ Ignite will help even more technology and life sciences companies to become a part of our vibrant startup family,” 1776 President Ron Braunfeld said.
The Cherry Hill Mall retail incubator is 1776’s first collaborative workspace in a mall and its 10th in the Mid Atlantic-Northeast Region. 1776 sees its New Jersey location as integral for its vision of having a presence throughout the Northeast region.
“You can’t think about a Northeast strategy without including New Jersey, so when mall developer PREIT contacted us about the possibility, we jumped at the opportunity,” Braunfeld said.
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