NJTW News: Princeton University Engage 2021 And The State Of Philanthropy In NJ

[This article was taken from NJTW News, an NJTechWeekly.com newsletter. Sign up for it here.]

Princeton Engage 2021

  • Princeton University held its Engage 2021 conference last week.
  • The conference centered not only on innovation at Princeton, but also on how Princeton is reaching out into the region to create entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Highlights included:
    • An overview of all of the innovation and entrepreneurship programs at Princeton given by Rodney Priestley, vice dean for innovation.
    • A discussion about how Princeton is collaborating with other universities across the state, for example, by leading the regional I-Corps hub and participating in The Hub, in New Brunswick.
    • Many discussions of Princeton’s commitment to diversity and inclusion with Priestly saying “We strongly believe that we cannot be successful in innovation and entrepreneurship, If we do not do it in an inclusive manner.”
    • Andrea Goldsmith, dean of engineering, said “What’s important about fostering innovation at Princeton is that we have in our research labs, the seeds of technology… that is truly differentiated from what exists today.”
    • Goldsmith believes that New Jersey is the ideal place to foster startups who engage in “hard tech.”
    • She added that Princeton will be collaborating with the new HAX accelerator to be built in Newark.
Maria Vizcarrondo, president and CEO of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers | Screenshot by Esther Surden

State of Philanthropy In NJ

  • Speakers at James Barrood’s Innovation+ Chat discussed how philanthropy has changed in the last two years.
  • The pandemic has spurred foundations to distribute dollars to grassroots philanthropies, trusting them to determine how the money will be best spent.
  • That’s a trend the speakers, Jeffrey Vega, president and CEO of the Princeton Area Community Foundation and Maria Vizcarrondo, president and CEO of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, would like to see continued.
  • This change gotten the dollars to the people in need quickly.
  • During the pandemic, virtual meetings and collaborative software enabled many of NJ”s foundations and philanthropic organizations to operate more efficiently.
  • This too is here to stay, the speakers said.

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