EDA APPROVES MORE THAN $17.6 MILLION IN ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT INVESTMENTS TO SUPPORT FOUR EMERGING NEW JERSEY TECH COMPANIES
Furthering the Christie Administration’s commitment to supporting emerging technology companies in the Garden State, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has approved more than $17.6 million in Angel Investor Tax Credit investments to support four New Jersey companies.
“Investors have pumped more than $46 million in private investment funding into New Jersey tech companies since the Angel Investor Tax Credit program was established last year,” EDA CEO Michele Brown said. “This program continues to strengthen New Jersey’s competitive edge and encourage investment in our most promising companies.”
Signed into law by Governor Christie in January 2013, the Angel Investor Tax Credit program provides credits against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for 10 percent of a qualified investment in an emerging technology business with a physical presence in New Jersey and that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state. Investors do not need to be New Jersey residents, nor have any state tax liabilities to take advantage of this program.
At this month’s board meeting yesterday (Dec. 9), the EDA approved Angel Investor Tax Credit investments to support emerging companies in Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex Counties.
ElectroCore will benefit from three Angel Investor Tax Credit investments totaling $10.33 million. The electroceutical healthcare company, whose global headquarters are in Basking Ridge, develops non-invasive, patient-administered therapies for treatment for neurological, psychiatric and gastroenterology conditions.
A $4.25 million Angel Investor Tax Credit investment was also approved in support of Princeton-based Agile Therapeutics, a women’s health specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new prescription contraceptive products. Agile twice benefitted from the state’s innovative Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program to support its continued growth. Administered by the EDA, the NOL Program allows emerging technology and life sciences companies to sell net operating losses and research and development tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations in order to raise cash to finance their growth and operation.
In addition, the Board yesterday approved a $140,000 Angel Investor Tax Credit investment to support Aucta Pharmaceuticals, which is one of more than two dozen current tenants at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovation Technologies (CCIT), located in North Brunswick. Aucta Pharmaceuticals is a new drug product development company concentrating on novel and generic formulation product development.
Twenty-one investments totaling more than $2.9 million were also approved to support New Brunswick-based Zipz Inc. The company utilizes specialized plastics and processes to innovate the single-serve wine category.
Since the launch of the Angel Investor Tax Credit program in July 2013, the EDA has approved 102 investments, representing a total of more than $46 million in private investment in emerging companies.
Companies that have been supported through the Angel Investor Tax Credit program include Middlesex County-based United Silicon Carbide (USCi). Four Angel Investor Tax Credit investments totaling $4.75 million were approved in 2013 to support USCi. The company was one of two EDA-supported businesses ranked on NJBiz’s 2014 list of Fastest Growing Companies. USCi’s technology is designed to replace silicon in semiconductor applications to increase performance and improve efficiency.
USCi also previously benefitted from a $2 million Edison Innovation Green Growth Fund (EIGGF) loan. In 2011, the Christie Administration launched the EIGGF to help New Jersey clean technology companies advance energy efficient and renewable energy products in the state. Jointly administered by the EDA and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the EIGGF offers up to $2 million to New Jersey class I renewable or energy efficiency clean technology companies that have begun generating commercial revenues and are seeking matching funding to support the growth of their business. With the positive performance of the company, up to 50 percent of the funding may be converted to a performance grant.
The EDA spoke to USCi President & CEO Dr. J. Christopher Dries to learn more about how the company benefitted from the EDA’s support.
Q&A with USCi President & CEO Dr. J. Christopher Dries
What does funding provided through the Angel Investor Tax Credit mean to USCi?
Put simply, the Angel investor tax credit enables USCi investors to invest in the Company at a discount. While USCi is already an attractive high growth opportunity for our investors, the ability to credit one’s NJ income tax for a portion of the investment provides even more incentive to invest in high technology enterprises based in New Jersey. For entrepreneurs such as myself and my team, it provides additional motivation to develop and grow businesses within the state.
How has additional state assistance, such as the EIGGF funding loan, contributed to the growth of USCi?
The EIGGF provided critical growth stage financing for our business when we needed it most. Drawdowns on the loan were tied to significant commercial development milestones, and by aligning these milestones with necessary capital requirements at each stage it mitigated risk to the EDA and BPU, while focusing USCi on commercial business development. Most importantly, the loan provided working capital for inventory builds associated with our commercial growth.
What is USCi’s biggest success to date?
Our biggest success to date has been significant design wins at multi-billion dollar customers / partners. These wins were predicated upon exceptional performance by our technical and manufacturing teams, delivering parts to the marketplace that are the best performing SiC electrical components in the world. Putting together a dedicated team that could accomplish such a feat in a relatively short period of time makes us all at USCi exceptionally proud.
What’s on the horizon for USCi?
A continual expansion of our product offerings at higher voltage ratings, higher currents, and availability in module form will take place over the next several years. We intend to expand our applications engineering and sales support to Southeast Asia and Europe where many of our customers are located. We’ve nearly doubled our revenue each year for the past several years, and I see the potential of that growth accelerating as we take market share from incumbent Silicon devices and our SiC competitors.
For more information on the Angel Investor Tax Credit program, visit www.njeda.gov and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn @NJEDATech.