NJ’s Business Incubators: Tremendous Resource for Tech, Clean-Energy Startup Companies

Recently in New Jersey there has been a lot of discussion about the role of business incubators and other business models that help and nurture startups in the emerging N.J. tech ecosystem.

Next week there will be an entire discussion devoted to differentiating between accelerators and incubators, and how these business models can help startups, at the Venture Association of New Jersey (VANJ). Other models are also emerging, such as the one being advanced by Innovation Garden (Princeton), which NJTechWeekly.com will be covering in-depth shortly.

As Travis Kahn, executive director of TechLaunch (Montclair), observed at NJConnect Meetup on June 13, 2012, many tech startups are unaware of these New Jersey facilities and resources.

To rectify the situation, here is a list of several N.J. Business Incubation Network (BIN) members. We’ve limited it to the ones that accept tech, digital tech, medical tech and green energy companies, omitting those devoted exclusively to general business, life sciences and biotech, since we don’t cover those fields. More information can be found on the BIN website or by visiting the individual websites of the incubators below.

Many of these incubators are looking for not only companies but mentors. We encourage you to be a good N.J. tech citizen and give back some of your time to them.

Burlington County College High Technology and Life Sciences Incubators (Mount Laurel)

The Burlington County College's (BCC) mission is to encourage and assist high-tech and life sciences entrepreneurs with innovative, commercially attractive technology and science ideas to start and grow their companies in a supportive environment. The BCC incubators focus on meeting startups’ special needs by providing a professional work environment, shared services, training and business-related programs, . BCC believes the management and mentoring provided daily will enhance and develop these companies into strong, viable successes.

Enterprise Development Center at NJIT (Newark)

Many promising tech companies NJTechWeekly.com has reviewed are located in the NJIT Enterprise Development Center (EDC), such as iSpeech, which won a NJTC award, and HiLin, which recently took the day at the Startupalooza event. The EDC is New Jersey’s oldest and largest incubator for technology and life science companies, having graduated over 80 successful businesses since its 1988 inception. EDC clients have access to NJIT university resources, including faculty collaborators and academic experts,  instrumentation, a clean room, machine shop and manufacturing facility and MBA and technical student teams and interns to assist with product and strategy development. Clients participate in on-site angel and VC events and monthly entrepreneurial networking forums and workshops. Businesses have access to the EDC Incubator Seed Fund to subsidize technical writers, business plan optimization, marketing tools, organizational design and other related services.

Business Development Incubator (Jersey City)

The Business Development Incubator (BDI) at New Jersey City University (NJCU) is an integral part of the Smart Growth Redevelopment Plan for Jersey City-Westside. BDI is located in a designated New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone with excellent public transportation that connects client companies to the greater New York metropolitan area, midway between Newark International Airport and Manhattan. BDI facilitates the formation and development of technology-based entrepreneurial ventures, helping them survive and grow during their critical startup period.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Business Accelerator (Lyndhurst) 

(It was announced in January that the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s business accelerator will close and could reopen by September as a different entity associated with Bergen Community College’s Lyndhurst campus.) 

The New Jersey Meadowlands Business Accelerator provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurial companies focused on alternative energy and green technologies and services. It opened in October 2008 and supports these companies’ development by providing critical support services and the guidance entrepreneurs need to turn an idea or a technology into a commercial business. A company located at the Meadowlands Business Accelerator is SpeechTrans, which NJTechWeekly.com has written about.

Picatinny Innovation Center (Dover)

The Picatinny Innovation Center’s missions: to accelerate the commercialization of new products by entrepreneurial technology companies and corporate development teams; and to work with the U.S. Army development organizations to bring new products to market based on Department of Defense technologies, while making new high-tech products available to the army.

Roher College of Business Incubator at Rowan University (Mullica Hill)

By attracting and assisting high-promise technology-based startups, the Rohrer College of Business Incubator is committed to playing a vital economic role by not only implementing and realizing venture growth but by increasing South Jersey’s job creation capacity. The Rohrer College of Business Incubator is located within the Samuel H. Jones Innovation Center, on a 200-acre mixed research and academic campus, South Jersey Technology Park.

Rutgers-Camden Business Incubator (Camden)

This incubator is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) New Jersey corporation organized by Rutgers University-Camden to further economic development and high-tech job creation in Camden. The Rutgers-Camden Technology Campus (RCTC) holds a lease agreement with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to occupy space at its Waterfront Technology Center at 200 Federal Street, Camden. The Rutgers-Camden Business Incubator is primarily a science, technology and healthcare incubator/accelerator. In April RCTC introduced a paperless platform created by one of its companies, ApplyRapid.

The Rutgers EcoComplex (Bordentown)

The Rutgers EcoComplex research facility has four mission areas: renewable energy, solid waste management, controlled environment agriculture and water resources. Businesses initiated and supported are in the fields of bioenergy, bioreactor landfills, anaerobic digestion of food waste, cogeneration, landfill gas to transportation fuel, compost pile management, sustainable greenhouse production and aquaponics. The EcoComplex is a full-service business accelerator accommodating private for-profit client companies.

Sustainable Business Accelerator (Basking Ridge) (a virtual accelerator)

The Sustainable Business Accelerator (SBANJ) says it is unique in focusing on sustainable businesses and nonprofits — companies and organizations developing green technologies, modeling sustainable business practices  or advancing new business practices such as municipal energy aggregation. Its mission: to provide assistance to enterprises (especially, but not exclusively, startups) and nonprofits with business initiatives that address issues of sustainability — helping the environment through green/clean tech products, providing social benefits to communities and/or reducing their operations’ total impact.

Addition (coincidentally as this was being published the NJ BIN added a new incubator to its network.)

Warren County Community College Small Business Center (Phillipsburg)

The Warren County Community College Small Business Growth Center is located in Warren County Community College’s Phillipsburg Education Center.  SBGC nurtures the devel¬opment of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the startup period, when they are most vulnerable,” said Eve Azar, vice president of corporate and continuing education. “Our programs provide their client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms. By keeping operating expenses low, entrepreneurs located in the incubator can invest money into their business while taking advantage of in-house business experts and collaboration and networking with other incubator clients.”

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