EDA PARTNERS WITH MID-ATLANTIC CAPITAL ALLIANCE TO ATTRACT VENTURE DOLLARS TO CAMDEN
With a clear view of the new and improved Waterfront and the Philadelphia skyline standing tall on the opposite shore, investor members of the Mid-Atlantic Capital Alliance (MAC) could see that Camden was officially open for business.
During an event last Tuesday at the Waterfront Technology Center, The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) led potential investors on a tour of the Camden Waterfront in an effort to attract venture capital to the budding city.
Both the view from the center and the potential for business growth in the city were certainly eye opening.
“The basic mission of the EDA is to broaden New Jersey’s economic base by building vibrant, diverse communities, creating and maintaining jobs, and providing businesses and nonprofits with the necessary financial and technical support to grow and succeed,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren Franzini. “We are absolutely committed to supporting business growth and technology initiatives, and are confident that this economic growth plan will create the basis for sustainable growth in Camden and across the state.”
The revitalization of Camden has been a top priority of Governor Corzine’s comprehensive Economic Growth Strategy. That vision, with a focus on innovation, has been realized with the success of the Waterfront Technology Center at Camden. The five-story, 100,000-square-foot building, designed to accommodate existing businesses in the biosciences, microelectronics, advanced materials, information technology and other high-technology and life sciences fields, received its first tenants in 2006. Its development at 200 Federal St. has helped trigger increased private investment, especially in the waterfront area.
In Camden, the EDA recently approved a $1-million investment through the Edison Innovation Fund to assist myLEADERBOARD, Inc., a company that will relocate from Pennsylvania to the tech center. The company is a service provider of real-time event information transmitted electronically via a hand held device to spectators at professional golf tournaments.
To help spark additional commercial business activity in the city, $15 million was allocated through the Economic Recovery Board (ERB) for Camden to launch the 5-4-3-2-1 Business Lease Incentive, which provides grants to businesses that plan to lease more than 500 square feet of market-rate building space. The incentive reimburses financially viable businesses a portion of their annual lease payment. Over $1.7 million has been approved for projects including The Victor’s Pub, Rutgers Camden Technology Campus, ACIN, Gestalt, and Susquehanna Patriot Bank.
The Waterfront Technology Center, the first of several buildings planned for the site, also lies within the Camden Innovation Zone, one of three technology-based neighborhoods that were established to encompass state universities, research institutions and related businesses and stimulate collaborative efforts that encourage the rapid transfer of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace.
“Those are just a few of the resources that we’ve targeted at the EDA to stimulate economic growth in Camden,” said Franzini.
Companies that want to learn more about opportunities for business growth in New Jersey should visit the state’s business portal at www.nj.gov/njbusiness or the EDA website at www.njeda.gov, or call the EDA’s Customer Care Center at (609) 777-4898.