25+ Entrepreneurs Pitch to Investors During NJEDA’s Latest NJ Founders & Funders
5 Female-Led Startups Among Participants
iBalans Founder & CEO Diena Seeger was among more than two dozen New Jersey entrepreneurs pitching to investors at today’s New Jersey Founders & Funders event.
Princeton, N.J. (November 13, 2019) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today connected more than two dozen New Jersey entrepreneurs with investors from around the Mid-Atlantic region during its latest New Jersey Founders & Funders event at Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs (PICb).
New Jersey Founders & Funders enables early-stage New Jersey technology and life sciences companies to meet potential investors in 10-minute, one-on-one “speed dating” sessions to discuss strategy, business models, and funding opportunities.
“We routinely hear from entrepreneurs about how beneficial New Jersey Founders & Funders is to the growth of their companies, in terms of both the connections made and the invaluable feedback received,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “Governor Murphy is focused on reclaiming New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation and events such as this reinforce the importance of ensuring these young companies have access to the capital and resources they need to flourish.”
Brian Sabina, NJEDA Senior Vice President of Economic Transformation, spoke to participants about the tools the State offers to spur opportunities for early-stage companies, and in particular, the Murphy Administration’s focus on fostering a more diverse, inclusive innovation ecosystem.
“New Jersey Founders & Funders is an excellent opportunity for the investor community to see the exciting pipeline of up-and-coming companies in the Garden State,” Sabina said. “Today’s event serves as an important reminder of why we continue to work with our partners in the public and private sectors to jumpstart investment dollars flowing to New Jersey technology and life sciences businesses.”
Over the summer, Governor Murphy signed legislation expanding the New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit, increasing the amount of tax credits investors can receive for investments into early-stage companies in the Garden State. Under the expanded program, there will also be a bonus for investors that infuse funding into minority- or women-owned businesses. In addition, the NJEDA has been working closely with First Lady Tammy Murphy’s office to establish a New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds, a nationwide network of angel investors focused on supporting female entrepreneurs.
Today’s event also showcased the innovative work being done by young life sciences companies at PICb. PICb is also one of 16 incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces to participate in the NJEDA’s NJ Ignite Program, which offers rent support to startups moving to a collaborative workspace.
Situated three miles from Princeton University, PICb offers 31,000 square feet of shared wet- and dry-labs as well as private and coworking office space. PICb can accommodate up to 200 scientists and entrepreneurs who have access to amenities such as conference rooms, videoconference capabilities, a freezer room for storage of samples, four dedicated cell culture rooms, polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) machines to make millions of copies of a particular section of DNA, flow cytometers to analyze the characteristics of certain cells and particles, and fume hoods.
Among the companies that participated in today’s New Jersey Founders & Funders event were:
Rizlab Health, Inc. Dr. Mehdi Javanmard, an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers University, and Dr. Shahriar Azizpour co-founded Rizlab Health, Inc. last year to bring hematology analysis from bench to the patient’s fingertips. As a tenant of PICb, Rizlab Health has been benefiting from PICb’s amenities and resources. The company has already secured funding from the Baylor College of Medicine Translational Research Institute of Space Health (sponsored by NASA) and the federal Department of Human Health Services.
iBalans. Under the direction of Founder & CEO Diena Seeger, health-technology company iBalans develops exercise equipment and training programs for rehabilitation, athletic training and wellness that focus on the link between the brain and body. The inaugural product developed by Atlantic County-based iBalans is the WAV Sensorimotor Trainer, a sensory based exercise bar powered by fluid motion. Seeger says WAV training encourages brain activity critical to healthy movement and better balance, posture and stability.
Futurestay. New Brunswick-based Futurestay offers a technology platform enabling vacation rental managers to connect with guests across Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO/HomeAway and Expedia, from a single dashboard. Futurestay Founder S. Philip Kennard noted that the company’s proprietary Smart Connection™ technology automates everything that matters to a vacation rental business — from distribution, to payments, guest messaging, calendars, and creation of direct owner websites. Launched in 2014, Futurestay works with over 100,000 vacation rental properties in over 120 countries.
For details on these and other programs, visit https://www.njeda.gov/tls.