Support for Apprentice.io Highlights EDA’s Commitment to Growth of State’s Technology Industry
TRENTON, N.J. (February 13, 2018) – With a focus on fostering innovation in the Garden State, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved a $250,000 loan for Jersey City-based Apprentice.io through the NJ CoVest Fund. Launched last year, the Fund was designed to help emerging technology companies bridge the funding gap between product development and commercialization and furthers the EDA’s ability to support businesses throughout their lifecycle of growth.
Apprentice is a leader in enterprise augmented reality, offering solutions for complex manufacturing processes, biopharma and research and development. Its proprietary technology provides for virtual collaboration, creates automated documentation for labs and manufacturing suites, and improves adherence to regulatory requirements through intelligent data capture. The company previously earned the ‘Best New Product/Service’ award from INTERPHEX for its three augmented reality modules: Tandem, Manuals, and BioCapture.
“Our company’s motto is, ‘We don’t just augment reality, we augment human ability,’” Apprentice Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Angelo Stracquatanio said. “With support from the NJ CoVest Fund, we will be able to further our mission of helping today’s scientists and manufacturers work with artificial intelligence to accomplish their goals, reduce errors and help with troubleshooting and general processes.”
The NJ CoVest Fund provides funding to New Jersey-based early-stage technology companies in the form of convertible notes with warrants, requiring a negative pledge and springing lien on protected intellectual property. With a total funding pool of $3 million, eligible technology companies can receive investments ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. NJ CoVest funds feature three percent interest and 10-year maturity, with no payments due for the first seven years.
Also today, the EDA announced that it approved 256 Angel Investor Tax Credit applications in 2017, representing the injection of a total of $111 million of private capital into 39 different technology and life sciences companies throughout the Garden State. The Angel Investor Tax Credit Program offers a 10 percent refundable tax credit against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for qualified investments in an emerging technology business with a physical presence in New Jersey and that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state. Since the program’s inception in 2013, the EDA has approved 929 applications for investments in 65 New Jersey-based technology businesses totaling more than $332 million.
2017 saw several additional milestones for New Jersey’s technology and life sciences sector, including partnering with two New Jersey-based venture capital firms that will deploy EDA capital on a 1:3 basis in New Jersey companies. A $1 million investment supported Newark Venture Partners’ $23 million early stage venture fund, providing capital, company building services and residence to innovative tech startups; up to a $7.5 million investment will support Tech Council Ventures, which will make early stage venture capital investments. Tech Council Ventures has committed to invest up to 50 percent of their fund in New Jersey companies.
2017 also marked the arrival of six new tenants at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT), New Jersey’s leading life sciences incubator located on the 50-acre Technology Centre of New Jersey campus in North Brunswick: Angex Pharmaceuticals, Genomic Prediction, EUProtein, Health Interactive, Innovera Pharmaceuticals, and SPES Pharmaceuticals. In August, the EDA announced the expansion of its successful incubator program with the creation of the Biotechnology Development Center (BDC), also on the Tech Centre campus. The BDC offers suites of intermediate lab and office space from 3,400 to 10,000 square feet for emerging life sciences companies including those that have outgrown incubator space.
“From the early stages of a technology or life sciences company’s growth to the post-product phase and beyond, the EDA offers a continuum of assistance to meet specific needs,” EDA President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura said. “I encourage entrepreneurs to visit our website to learn how the EDA can help their companies grow here in the Garden State.”
EDA Board meetings are typically held at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at 36 West State Street in Trenton. The Board meeting schedule, as well as Board agendas and minutes, are available at www.njeda.gov. All Board actions will take effect at the expiration of the statutory period for the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes.
The EDA offers a multitude of resources to help technology grow and thrive. To learn about these resources, visit https://www.njeda.gov/tls and follow @NJEDATech on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.