Coming to NJ: An Autumn of Extraordinary Tech and Entrepreneurial Activity

Photo: A pitch at Startup Weekend at JuiceTank in February. Photo Credit: Esther Surden
A pitch at Startup Weekend at JuiceTank in February. | Esther Surden

There are two Lean Startup Machine events coming to New Jersey this season. Can you believe it?

The first, Lean Startup Machine New Jersey, is in Somerset on Sept. 19 to 21 at JuiceTank, and is almost sold out. JuiceTank hosted a very successful Startup Weekend earlier this year. Mason Carter said there are still a few tickets left for this Lean event, and hears that those who use the code “MeetupNJ” will get a discount.  

The second Lean Startup Machine event is Lean Newark, which is selling insider tickets right now for the weekend of Nov. 7-9. Hosted by April Peters, with Emily Manz and Melissa Jackson, this will be a great place for  any group — nonprofits, would-be tech startups, and companies at the intersection of art and music and technology — seeking to test new ideas and to verify the existence of potential customers before investing thousands of dollars. There are a limited number of 50-percent-off tickets available until Sept. 17 (Today!).

If you are a would-be startup entrepreneur and haven’t validated your business plan by figuring out whether you can actually get customers, I highly recommend that you attend one of these Lean weekends.

These are just two of the events that are in store for N.J. tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks and months. If the onslaught and frequency of these gatherings doesn’t convince you and everyone else outside of N.J. that we have a vibrant tech ecosystem here, now, nothing will.

The second of the Founders & Funders events, which are sponsored by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), is coming up on Sept. 17. This session is at capacity, but there will be another on Dec. 9, and as of this writing there are still spots available for that one. At the December event, the EDA will offer a warm introduction to angel and venture-capital investors, matching startups with appropriate possible funders. Apply here.

There is an intriguing hackathon on tap for the first time, on the weekend of Sept 27-28. What are Minds For, the NJIT Enterprise Development Center startup run by Michael Liguori, whose Vognition technology is used for natural-language voice control of devices, is letting anyone with curiosity and imagination try out the technology. The “Voice Control Hackathon” will take place at Lam Cloud, in Cranbury. Sign up here.

On Sept. 24, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is coming to Tigerlabs in Princeton for a startup pitch-off event with the TechLaunch accelerator and NJ Tech Meetup, open to the public. This should be an exciting afternoon. RVSP at NJ Tech’s meetup page.

Of course, we don’t want to forget the Asbury Agile conference in Oct.3, in Asbury Park. For the last few years, Bret Morgan, Danny Crock and colleagues have put on informative and entertaining Asbury Agile conferences aimed at developers. As the organizers say on their website, “Asbury Agile is less about agile methodology and more about being an agile, well rounded, nimble professional. Topics range across disciplines and the intimate event allows for open and informal discussions.”

Add all of this activity to the many, many other tech events that will be taking place on a regular basis, featuring great speakers and professional development opportunities, and you have an extraordinary season. Go to’s Events Page to see what’s happening or join our newsletter’s mailing list.

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