TechUnited:NJ Hosts $100,000 In Startup Prizes Via BetterX Challenges; Sorin Of Brown Rudnick To Establish BRIDGE Program In NJ

BetterX Summit

  • At its BetterX Summit Friday, TechUnited:NJ (Jersey City) announced three competitions whose winners will be unveiled at Propelify in October.
  • The challenges will give startups the opportunity both to highlight their solutions and to work with executive mentors who can help them sell to large corporations.
  • This year’s $50,000 BetterPlanet Challenge, sponsored by PSEG (Newark), seeks startups with affordable and innovative solutions for decarbonization or affordable alternatives to fossil fuel.
  • Startups will have to “build the modern patient experience” to qualify for this year’s BetterWellness Challenge and its $25,000 prize, sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health (West Orange) and Labcorp (Burlington, NC).
  • Audible is sponsoring a $25,000 challenge on how tech can help modernize Main Streets across America, with a special focus on Newark.
  • During the BetterX Summit, two VCs, Mark Kolb, entrepreneur in residence at Tech Council Ventures (Summit) and Joanne Lin, principal at Newark Venture Partners, discussed doing well by doing good.
  • Neither of the VCs operates designated social-impact venture funds, but they both agreed that given two equal candidates for funding, the one that also has a social mission will be more interesting to them.
  • Aparna Khurjekar, SVP and president of Verizon Business Markets (Basking Ridge), discussed many of the opportunities available to startups through the implementation of 5G.
  • With Verizon in our backyard, now is the time for New Jersey startups to begin taking advantage of these new capabilities, said Aaron Price, president and CEO of TechUnited:NJ.

Brown Rudnick BRIDGE Program

David Sorin | File photo
  • Law firm Brown Rudnick (New York) announced plans to launch an initiative to increase the number of successful tech startups in the communities surrounding or near its key offices.
  • The initiative is called the “Brown Rudnick Institute for Development, Growth and Emerging Technologies (BRIDGE).”
  • BRIDGE will begin this fall in Princeton, with a kickoff event that will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs and investors, as well as accelerators and incubators from universities and colleges in the region.
  • In January, Brown Rudnick accelerated its growing Technology practice with the addition of five new partners who are internationally known for their work with venture capital firms and emerging growth companies. David Sorin, Scott Smedresman, Jared Sorin, Joseph Ferino and Matthew Uretsky.
  • David Sorin, who will spearhead this initiative, has been a long-time supporter of the New Jersey technology eocsystem.

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