If a small fraction of the existing 270,000 small businesses in the state were to create a single job, New Jersey would have the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
“The success of our economy is in this room,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who provided that fact while congratulating the winners of the first N.J. Business Incubation Awards on April 26, 2013, at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown.
It is “absolutely my job to get [you] the answers you need to move forward,” said Guadagno as she encouraged the audience and anyone who wants to create jobs in N.J. to make her their first point of contact for getting doors opened.
“I’m not ashamed to call anyone you need to know,” she added, providing her cellphone number from the podium. “All I ask is for you to do your jobs. Be innovative. Take a chance. Don’t be afraid of losing.”
The New Jersey Business Incubation Network (NJBIN) has 14 members, including recent additions from Asbury Park and Somerset County, according to Suzanne Zammit, NJBIN president.
Indeed, many of the day’s winners are hiring, and they credit NJBIN with putting them in the position to do so by providing them resources and connections that would have taken longer to find on their own.
The 20 winning companies span technology, green business, medicine, food, service, eyewear and education.
Yaron Avitov, CEO of GoldTier Technologies, said the Burlington County College high technology and life science incubator in Mount Laurel had provided him the access to legal, accounting and marketing advice he could never have afforded on his own. GoldTier, a software solutions provider that specializes in client onboarding, is hiring Java developers, program managers and business analysts.
Scott Fischer, founder of Ciel Power, is hiring three at his company, which already employs 15. The firm conducts home energy assessments and performs retrofits in conjunction with the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star Homes program.
Fischer said operating from the Lyndhurst-based Meadowlands Regional Accelerator at Bergen Community College provides him direct access to a talented labor pool of students as well as introductions and professional resources.
Amit Chhabra, founder and president of the award-winning payment processing software company TranSEND IT, which employs eight, has been operating from Burlington County College High Technology and Life Sciences incubator for seven years. “Isn’t that a long time?” asked NJTechWeekly.com. “Yes, but things don’t always happen the way you expect they will,” replied Chhabra. “The company has benefited from the incubator’s professional startup environment, supportive staff and relevant programs,” he added.
Kirsten Lambertsen, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Kuratur, said she had met her technical cofounder at the Asbury Park Business Development Center. Kuratur launched its beta service for bloggers on Nov. 22, 2012, and has more than 600 registered users.
Access to a target audience of military personnel has given Lightening Energy CEO Michael Epstein a unique opportunity to validate his company’s advanced power technology. Working from the Picatinny Technology Innovation Center in Dover, the company has 17 patents and patents pending. Its products include a battery that can take up to 300 charges and another with an ultralong cycle life of 20 years or more.
Operating out of the Meadowlands incubator, veteran-owned Recircle Brands, which has created a biodegradable plastic trash bag-dispensing system, is profitable, eco-friendly and hires other veterans. For every 162 boxes of bags made, said founder Jack Licata, 15 veterans and people with disabilities are employed. There are 8,000 homeless vets in N.J., he noted.
The complete list of winners appears here:
GoldTier Technologies www.goldtier.com
The Globecon Group www.globecon.com
Kvibe Productions LLC www.kvibe.com
Endomedix, Inc. www.endomedix.com
Ciel Power www.cielpower.com
Recircle Brands: Bag Ups www.bagups.net
EcoWalls LLC www.greenecowalls.com
Olive Creek Farms www.seaburst.com
Anna Mikka eyewear https://www.facebook.com/jt.annamikka
RKNet Studios/Cognitions Bridge www.cognitionsbridge.com
Beyond the Spice www.beyondthespice.com
Lightening Energy www.lighteningenergy.com
Universal Global Products (no website)
Hopes CAP Inc. www.hopes.org
mVisum Inc. www.mvisum.com