November 1, 2018
3 minute read

​NJEDA Showcases Newark’s Collaborative Innovation Ecosystem During Latest New Jersey Founders & Funders Event

Tech Council Ventures Managing Partner Stephen Socolof (left) meets with Designity Founder and CEO Shahrouz Varshabi and Business Development Specialist Marco Calabrese during today's New Jersey Founders & Funders.

Newark N.J. (November 1, 2018) – Entrepreneurs and investors gathered at Newark Venture Partners (NVP) today for the semi-annual New Jersey Founders & Funders event, hosted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).

The event facilitates one-on-one “speed dating” sessions so that technology and life sciences companies can discuss strategies, business models, and funding opportunities with potential investors. New Jersey Founders & Funders supports companies at their earliest stages and highlights the collaborative nature of the Garden State’s innovation ecosystem.

Governor Phil Murphy made opening remarks at today’s event.

“The interplay among entrepreneurs and investors is key to spurring the growth of emerging companies and is a critical component of our vision to make New Jersey the State of Innovation,” Governor Murphy said. “New Jersey Founders & Funders is a prime example of the Garden State’s innovation ecosystem in action and we look forward to hearing about subsequent meetings and partnerships that result from today’s event.”

NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan noted that today’s New Jersey Founders & Funders is being held in Newark to showcase the city as a hub of innovation. NVP, an early-stage venture firm, is located in the same building as the headquarters of Audible, the world’s leading provider and seller of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word entertainment. NVP was founded by Don Katz, the founder and CEO of Audible, who is a passionate advocate for Newark’s innovation economy. Both NVP and Audible are part of a community-wide resurgence that is attracting technology companies of all sizes to Newark.

Attendees at today’s event also heard about NJEDA programs and initiatives created to drive innovation and support early-stage companies as they grow and thrive in the Garden State. These include the NJ Ignite Program and the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, among others. In addition, they heard about Governor Murphy’s recently-proposed New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund, which is designed to supercharge the return of venture capital to the Garden State. The Governor’s proposal will create a fund to invest in early-stage companies and ensure the companies benefit from mentorship and support as they grow.

“Governor Murphy’s plan to re-establish New Jersey as a leader in innovation centers around a commitment to supporting young technology and life sciences companies,” Sullivan said. “We are proud to support the Governor’s vision by offering current and proposed NJEDA resources crafted to propel New Jersey’s innovation economy forward.”  

Seventeen angel and venture capital investors from around the Mid-Atlantic Region engaged with entrepreneurs at today’s New Jersey Founders & Funders event. In addition to Newark Venture Partners, participants included Martinson Ventures, Goldin Ventures, and Jumpstart NJ Angel Network.

Three companies that are currently part of NVP Labs, NVP's bridge-to-seed accelerator program, participated in today’s event. The Rutgers Business School in Newark provides NVP with 25,000 square feet of space rent-free.
Upsider and Talentegy have both developed online platforms that use artificial intelligence (AI) to more effectively connect human resource agents with ideal job candidates. Upsider helps recruiters identify and connect with the best candidates, while Talentegy monitors the candidate experience and provides data-driven insights that can improve the recruitment process. 
StackSource offers a solution helping developers and investors seeking commercial real estate loans through its digital marketplace that matches deals to the more than 250 participating lenders, integrates industry data for instant diligence, and manages the loan origination process end-to-end.

Additionally, Designity and Peace of Mind Company (POM) graduated from previous NVP Labs cohorts. Both companies are currently located at NVP.

Designity describes itself as “the world's first virtual design agency that provides clients with design agency quality at the marketplace rate.” Using Designity’s digital platform, local emerging designers complete projects under professional creative art directors’ supervision for quality assurance. More than 6,500 local designers have already completed over 1,000 projects using the company’s technology.

POM provides personal safety solutions to higher education and health care clients through a hardware/software system that connects users to local emergency services with the click of a button. 
Emerging New Jersey technology and life sciences companies interested in attending a future New Jersey Founders & Funders event can apply online at

To learn about the various resources available to support the technology industry, visit and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.