Investors Share Tips for Entrepreneurs Ahead of Next Week’s New Jersey Founders & Funders
NVP, an early-stage venture firm, is housed in the same building as Audible, the world’s leading provider and seller of spoken-word entertainment. Audible Founder & Chief Executive Officer Don Katz, who founded NVP, is a strong advocate for Newark’s innovation economy. Both NVP and Audible are dedicated to catalyzing development of the city’s technology ecosystem. Together with strategic partners in higher-education, as well as the public and private sector, they are part of a community-wide resurgence that is leading to the attraction of technology companies of all sizes to Newark.
NVP is a frequent participant in New Jersey Founders & Funders events. Held semi-annually, New Jersey Founders & Funders enables early-stage technology and life sciences companies to meet with angel and venture capital investors in 10-minute, one-on-one “speed dating” sessions. These meetings lead to invaluable feedback for entrepreneurs regarding strategy, business models, and funding opportunities.
For investors like NVP, New Jersey Founders & Funders offers an opportunity to learn about the pipeline of innovative companies growing in the Garden State.
"Newark Venture Partners is committed to supporting entrepreneurs that want to grow their businesses in New Jersey, and we are always interested to hear from the startups that come through the NJEDA's Annual Founders and Funders events,” NVP Managing Partner Thomas Wisniewski said. “The founders chosen to participate are high-caliber, and it's a great opportunity to network with fellow investors that are active in New Jersey's tech ecosystem."
NVP is a leading early-stage venture fund that helps innovative entrepreneurs build technology-focused companies. Its direct investment arm invests up to $1 million in Seed and Series A companies, and its bridge-to-seed accelerator program, NVP Labs, invests in up to 10 startups twice a year. The NJEDA made a $1 million investment in 2017 to support NVP and its portfolio of entrepreneurs. Investing alongside the EDA are other key industry partners in the city including Prudential, Panasonic, RWJBarnabas Health, Dun & Bradstreet, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fidelco Realty Group, Audible, and TD Bank.
“To avoid a common pitch mistake that trips up founders, focus on the messaging on each page before you fill the page with words and graphics,” Wisniewski advises entrepreneurs. “What is the one thought you are trying to impart? What are the three facts that support it? Remove everything else.”
@NewJerseyEDA also asked two other investors participating in next week’s event for their advice:
Philadelphia-based Rittenhouse Ventures focuses on early-growth business-to-business software companies across the Mid-Atlantic region, generally with $1 to $10 million in revenue. Comprised of active, hands-on investors, Rittenhouse typically invests in small $1 to $3 million financing rounds in capital-efficient companies.
“As a very active New Jersey investor, we love to see the diversity of companies across the state that gather for this event,” Rittenhouse Ventures Managing Partner Saul Richter said. “I always recommend that entrepreneurs describe their business, and the stage that it’s in, within the first minute of a pitch. Also, make sure you have an ask, and get to that in the pitch.”
Delaware Crossing Investor Group (DCIG) is a network of former and current executives and entrepreneurs who provide counsel and capital to early-stage companies. Most of DCIG’s investments are in the Mid-Atlantic Region and often in conjunction with other angel groups and early-stage venture capitalists. DCIG meets monthly alternating between Doylestown, PA and Princeton, NJ.
DCIG Angel Investor Benjamin David Novak noted that New Jersey Founders & Funders provides a forum to meet with only those companies in DCIG’s investment “sweet spot,” allowing for more quality time with each.
“One of the most effective ways that entrepreneurs can increase their chances of receiving investment from an angel group is understanding that group’s investment preferences and limitations, such as industry, geography, stage, and deal structure,” Novak said. “Entrepreneurs should quickly and concisely convey how their investment opportunity is a good fit.”
The following investors have already registered for next week’s New Jersey Founders & Funders event: