Press Release
November 12, 2008
2 minute read



Financial Assistance Will Help New Product Reach Commercialization


Trenton, N.J. (November 12, 2008) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has finalized a $200,000 Edison Innovation Fund investment to assist in the growth of Princeton-based SterraClimb, LLC, a company that has invented and prototyped the world’s first portable, motorized stair-climbing hand truck.  The Edison Innovation Fund, a key element of Governor Jon S. Corzine’s Economic Growth Strategy, was created to support life sciences and technology companies throughout their discovery, development and commercialization stages. 


“The support of technology companies within the state is crucial to growing New Jersey’s economy and reputation as a home for innovation,” said Caren Franzini, EDA chief executive officer. “SterraClimb is a perfect example of a company that is using the Edison Innovation Fund to take a great idea and develop it to meet the needs of the marketplace.”


The EDA, in consultation with the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, is responsible for managing the Edison Innovation Fund. Since the launch of the Fund in October 2006, New Jersey has delivered over $330 million in financing assistance, venture fund investments, business incentives and tax credits to early-stage and established life sciences and technology businesses. In addition, over $670 million in total public/private capital has been leveraged by Edison Innovation Fund investments.


Franzini noted that this investment was made under the Edison Innovation Commercialization Fund.  The Commercialization Fund, one component of the Edison Innovation Fund, was designed to improve the probability of commercialization.  The Commercialization Fund was created to assist New Jersey life sciences or technology companies that have not yet achieved “proof of concept” to take the next critical steps, such as beta testing, on the path towards commercialization.


“SterraClimb is extremely pleased that the EDA has recognized our technology and the many goals we have set for the near future,” says CEO Gregory Rollins, who joined the SterraClimb team last year with a 35-year track record as a successful entrepreneur in previous ventures.  “We are confident that this investment will aid in the deliverance of a very exciting array of high-technology products, as well as creating jobs here in New Jersey.” 


SterraClimb is the first portable, fully powered stair-climbing hand truck, which eliminates the need to carry heavy objects up and down stairs.  The company’s patent-pending technology enables users to transport loads across uneven surfaces and up and down stairs without physical exertion or strain.  SterraClimb is the brainchild of Princeton University undergraduates Steven Kamara and Michael Yang. Two versions of the product are being developed – one for the everyday consumer, and one for businesses such as UPS and FedEx, which deliver heavy packages on a daily basis.


The EDA is a state financing and development agency that works to promote economic growth, job creation and the revitalization of New Jersey’s communities with financing and incentives, access to technical support and real estate development assistance.


For information on the Edison Innovation Fund and to learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at