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Press Release
June 12, 2024
3 minute read

NJEDA Approves NJ Innovation Evergreen Fund Investment to Morristown-Based TripWorks, Inc.


Tech Council Ventures will invest $1.5 million into the travel-tech startup

TRENTON, N.J. (June 12, 2024) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved an investment into an emerging New Jersey-based company from the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund (NJIEF). The investment into Morristown-based TripWorks, Inc. comes from the approval of an application submitted by Tech Council Ventures, LLC for an initial Qualified Investment of $1.5 million.

“Under Governor Phil Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has been committed to supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, who will become the business leaders and job creators of tomorrow,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “This unique program creates a self-sustaining cycle of investment, which allows for industry leaders to constantly improve, network, and grow. Today’s approval is another great step in bolstering our state’s innovation economy.”

The NJIEF, launched in 2022, is a groundbreaking tool to increase access to strategic resources and venture capital in New Jersey. Under the NJIEF, the State acts as an equity investor in startups, deploying up to $600 million into companies alongside professional venture capital groups. The Evergreen Fund currently has over $40 million available and is expected to use this to fund initial investments into six to ten high-growth businesses in New Jersey. The NJEDA is planning for another tax credit auction in 2025 to raise additional capital for further investment.

“The endorsement of Tech Council Venture’s funding for TripWorks underscores the NJIEF’s success in fulfilling its mission: to foster an environment conducive to investment in New Jersey’s high-caliber companies and innovators. It’s a testament to our commitment to nurturing revolutionary innovations and pioneering enterprises,” said NJEDA Chief Economic Transformation Officer Kathleen Coviello. “The NJIEF is instrumental in realizing this goal, and we anticipate it will propel numerous emerging businesses in New Jersey towards prosperity.”

Based in Morristown, TripWorks, Inc. is a software platform that enables tour and activity operators to offer a fully digital end-to-end booking, reservation, and payment system to their customers. By utilizing a capital-efficient and reliable approach, TripWorks has grown to over 150 tour operators in the United States and internationally.

“Tour and activity operators face a market saturated with a hodgepodge of antiquated and immature solutions, making it difficult for business owners to successfully run their business,” said Aaron Fessler, Founder and CEO of Trip Works. “TripWorks changes that dynamic for tour operators, thanks to world class, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade software that helps business owners grow their revenue and easily operate. Our team already has traction in this market with customer wins, and a track record of innovation. We’re excited to see what’s next. This grant – coupled with recognition and backing from industry-leading sources like Arival – will allow us to continue to invest in the product and continue our rapid growth.”

Tech Council Ventures, LLC is one of the 13 Qualified Venture Firms (QVF) approved to date to access up to $12.5 million annually from the NJIEF to co-invest in innovative, high-growth New Jersey-based businesses. Founded in 2000, Tech Council Ventures is a leader in investing and supporting innovative, New Jersey-based entrepreneurs and companies. The firm serves on the NJEDA’s Technology Advisory Board, has participated in New Jersey Founders and Funders events, and has utilized the Angel Investor Tax Credit program.

“Tech Council Ventures is excited to invest in the great business Aaron Fessler is building at TripWorks working with tour and attraction operators, and we are pleased to partner with the NJEDA and its Innovation Evergreen Fund in supporting one of New Jersey’s most promising technology companies and experienced entrepreneurs,” said Jim Gunton, Managing Partner of Tech Council Ventures, LLC.

Applications for venture firms seeking to qualify as a QVF can be found here and are being accepted on a rolling basis. The firms approved to date represent diversity in terms of investment strategy, industry, and stage. Additionally, there continues to be strong momentum from interested managers. The roster of the current approved managers can be found here.

Applications for approved QVFs to apply for Qualified Investments into high-growth, innovative businesses based in New Jersey are also now open. The total capital available for new investments stands at over $40 million.

About the NJEDA

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses, call NJEDA Customer Care at 844-965-1125 or visit https://www.njeda.gov and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn

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