Press Release
June 19, 2024
3 minute read

NJEDA Partners with AfroTech to Host Major Innovation Event During North to Shore Festival

TRENTON, N.J. (June 19, 2024) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and AfroTech have partnered to host AfroTech Executive 2024 in Newark during this year’s North to Shore Festival. The event will bring together corporate executives, founders, entrepreneurs, and investors for vital discussions on tech innovation, financial literacy and responsibility, and generational wealth creation. Award-winning host, social justice advocate, lawyer, commentator, and entrepreneur Angela Rye will serve at the keynote speaker.

AfroTech Executive 2024 will take place on Friday, June 28, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. at Prudential Tower, 655 Broad St, Newark, N.J., 07102. The event will include two panel discussions and a fireside chat, followed by a networking reception. Click here to learn more and to purchase tickets.

“We are thrilled to partner with AfroTech, which has been dedicated to uplifting the Black community in the tech and innovation sectors. This event will bring together state and national figures for in-depth conversations focused on growing the innovation economy, and advancements in technology amidst the excitement of the North to Shore Festival,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Under Governor Phil Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has prioritized supporting minority and women entrepreneurs by ensuring they have equitable access to the tools they need to thrive and succeed. As we continue our mission to grow our diverse innovation economy, it will lead to greater ingenuity, new technologies, good-paying jobs, and a stronger New Jersey for the next generation.”

The first panel, which will be moderated by Vaughn Crowe, Managing Partner at Newark Venture Partners, will explore the diverse innovative economies of New Jersey and the funding opportunities driving them forward. The second panel will explore practical Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to streamline workflows, reduce biases, and promote inclusivity. The AI-focused panel will include Sam Caucci, Founder and CEO of 1Huddle and Nina Edwards, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Global Technology at Prudential.

The fireside chat will explore the importance of providing opportunities and access to fueling an innovative landscape. The chat will feature Angela Rye as the keynote speaker and Will Lucas, Brand Manager at AfroTech, as the moderator. Rye currently serves as the Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm formerly based in Washington, DC. She is a special correspondent on ESPN and was formally a Political Commentator on CNN.

“Once again, the Murphy Administration and NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan have responded affirmatively to a request from the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey to bring AfroTech to our state. This is an opportunity to showcase technology, innovation, and entrepreneurialism at the highest level and there is no better person to lead this presentation than Founder, Aaron Samuels,” said John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, Founder, President & CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. “Lastly, there is always an opportunity to have a thought-provoking discussion on issues that matter to individuals, businesses, and communities that have not had access to the transformational components of society, and this too will be a part of AfroTech. This is truly a must attend event.”

“The Murphy Administration has long been committed to supporting diverse entrepreneurs, which is good for our communities, our state, and our nation,” said Michelle Bodden, NJEDA’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. “This incredible event will bring prominent voices together in Newark to discuss ways we can continue breaking down barriers for the Black community and ensure they can reap the benefits of New Jersey’s growing innovation economy.”

AfroTech Executive 2024 will be held during the Newark portion of the North to Shore Festival. The festival is an annual three-week long festival that celebrates New Jersey’s leadership in entertainment, film, innovation, technology with over 300 events across 100 venues in Atlantic City, Asbury Park, and Newark. Last year, the North to Shore Festival drew an audience of nearly 250,000 to more than 300 shows. This year serves as the second North to Shore festival, running from June 10th – 30th. To date, the festival has recorded over $7.6 million in ticket sales and is expecting over 250,000 attendees.

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 and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn



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Please be advised that the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 18, 2024 @ 10:30 AM is hereby cancelled.