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NJEDA

NJEDA Board approves creation of New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund to cultivate entrepreneurship

The New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund will drive investment and cultivate entrepreneurship in the state. 

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board  approved the creation of the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund (NJIEF), a groundbreaking new tool to increase access to strategic resources and venture capital in New Jersey. The NJIEF will create partnerships between the state and the private sector to collaboratively align New Jersey’s well-resourced corporations, and national investors to support entrepreneurs and grow the innovation economy in the state.

Under the NJIEF, the State will become an equity investor in startups deploying up to $600 million into companies alongside professional venture capital groups. This strategic investment will not only support New Jersey’s entrepreneurs, but will also ensure that more companies start, grow, and stay in state. Established by the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, the NJIEF is an innovative tool designed to incentivize investment in emerging New Jersey companies while creating mentoring, networking, and educational opportunities to help position these companies for success.

The New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund is a groundbreaking public-private partnership that will fuel our innovation economy by attracting entrepreneurs and venture capital to the state,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The NJIEF draws on the strengths of New Jersey’s world-class corporate leaders to create a steady stream of investment and expertise that will nurture the next generation of innovators. By fostering investments in entrepreneurship and start-up companies, we are driving job creation and economic growth for New Jersey.”

The concept for the NJIEF was first announced in October 2018 as part of Governor Murphy’s economic development strategic plan The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey.

“New Jersey has long served as fertile ground for inventions that changed our world – from Thomas Edison and the creation of the lightbulb to Beatrice Hicks and the development of a switch that helped land the Apollo spaceship on the moon,” said New Jersey State Senator Andrew Zwicker. “Our state has a long history of investing in entrepreneurs, and the NJIEF is a key component of reclaiming New Jersey’s leadership role in innovation by creating a vibrant culture of investment that is dedicated to growing the companies of the future.”

“When entrepreneurs think of leaders in innovation, New Jersey should be at the top of their list,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The NJIEF will not only serve as a novel approach to investing in entrepreneurs, but also a key contributor for job creation and sustainable economic growth. Today’s announcement serves as a testament to Governor Murphy’s leadership in growing NJ’s innovation economy by investing in New Jersey companies and startups.”

“The NJIEF is a game-changing program that will catalyze venture capital investments into New Jersey startups,” said Kathleen Coviello, NJEDA’s Chief Economic Transformation Officer. “The state’s role as an equity investor will encourage established corporations to commit capital and knowledge-sharing resources, creating a dynamic cycle of innovation.”

The seed capital to launch the NJIEF will be raised by auctioning up to $300 million in transferrable tax credits — with an annual cap of $60 million during each of the first five years after program launch — to corporations registered to do business in New Jersey. Corporations seeking to purchase the tax credits must commit to supporting the state’s innovation economy through activities such as mentorship, internships, sales and distribution pipeline access, and availability to serve on the NJIEF Advisory Board for one year.

Auction bids will be evaluated according to price and the specific strategic commitments the bidding company makes to support NJIEF’s portfolio companies and the state’s broader innovation ecosystem, including networking and mentorship opportunities. Once the funding is raised, the NJEDA will partner with professional venture capital firms operating anywhere in the country to co-invest the funds in eligible high growth businesses in New Jersey.

Full details on the NJIEF are available at https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/. The NJEDA expects to launch the NJIEF later this year.

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 state resources available to New Jersey entrepreneurs and early-stage companies, visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

strategic alliances

Latinas in Business CEO appointed by NJEDA to help NJ Economic Recovery

Latinas in Business founder and CEO Susana G Baumann has been appointed to the Entrepreneur Zone Working Group by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), making her an active leader in the NJ economic recovery that is expected to take place in the next months. 

Susana G Baumann

Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

This group of policy experts will evaluate the viability of reducing unemployment in marginalized communities by establishing “Entrepreneur Zones” within existing Opportunity Zones.

“As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that we redouble our efforts to achieve Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Helping innovative companies launch and grow in New Jersey is a critical driver of sustainable, equitable economic growth. It is especially important to support the growth of companies in historically marginalized communities where job opportunities and access to capital are hard to come by. Entrepreneur Zones have the potential to achieve both of these goals, and the Working Group will provide valuable recommendations on how this policy could work in New Jersey.”

The Act requires the Working Group to consider whether the establishment of entrepreneur zones in which the State provides tax incentives, regulation relief, and financial support to local entrepreneurs is the most effective way to create jobs in the State. 

Susana G Baumann called to serve by NJEDA

On behalf of her experience working with Latina entrepreneurs and Latina-owned businesses, through which she has empowered them and shown the path for entrepreneurship, Susana was called to serve her fellow citizens. Susana will serve without compensation but will be considered a Special State Officer.

As an award-winning multicultural communications expert and strategist, public speaker, journalist, published author, and small business advocate, Susana has worked extensively with communities, organizations, and government agencies both locally and nationwide. 

Previously, Susana has been named “Journalist of the Year” by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey for her service and advocacy to Latino small businesses; a “Latina of Influence” by Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine; and in 2018, received the Red Shoe Movement “Leaders Who Walk the Talk” Award in NYC, among other recognitions. 

influencer, Susana G Baumann

Susana G Baumann 2017 Latina of Influence by Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine.

In 2019, she was invited to become a SheSource Expert at Women’s Media Center (WMC), a progressive, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem to raise the visibility, viability, and decision-making power of women and girls in media, thereby ensuring that their stories get told and their voices are heard.

In 2020, Susana was distinguished from a pool of candidates from Encore.org, and assigned an Encore Fellowship to work with United Way of Central Jersey in New Business Development and Branding Strategy. She is also an active member of the NJ-AARP Speaker’s Bureau. 

Susana has been featured in several national media outlets including Abasto Magazine, Huffington Post, VOXXI News, Negocios Now, Americano Newspaper, CBS, FOX, Yahoo Finance News, and has been a guest to the Joe Torres TV program Tiempo at WABCTV, and several times to Contigo en la Comunidad at Univision 41 NYC.

Latina SmallBiz Expo Pitch Competition winners, Susana G Baumann

At Univision 41 Contigo en la Comunidad (L to R) Katiria Soto, Susana G Baumann, Mary Dressendofer, Tania Molina

Her extensive experience as a Latina leader and business entrepreneur has positioned her as the perfect candidate to serve on the Working Group Entrepreneur Zone, where she will continue to help better the lives of entrepreneurs in the state of New Jersey. 

You might be interested: National Conversation with Latina Leaders to address Latina Small Business recovery in Post-Covid19 economic crisis

Other relevant NJ leaders to serve in the Entrepreneur Zone Working Group

The Entrepreneur Zone Working Group will evaluate the viability of the Entrepreneur Zone concept and consider options for implementing the policy in New Jersey. The members of Entrepreneur Zone Working Group are:

  • Dr. Dale G. Caldwell – Chair of the Working Group; Professor, Farleigh Dickinson University
  • Susana G. Baumann – President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.
  • Kelly Brozyna – Chief Executive Officer and State Director, America’s Small Business Development Centers – New Jersey
  • Saki Dodelson – CEO and Founder, Beable
  • John Harmon – President and CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
  • Jill Johnson – CEO, Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Kevin Johnson – K Johnson Enterprises, LLC.
  • Brandon McKoy – President, New Jersey Policy Perspective
  • Carlos A. Medina, Esq. – President, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Courtenay Mercer –Principal, Mercer Planning Associates; Executive Director, Downtown NJ
  • Damon Pennington – President & CEO, ATS Group
  • Indy Samra – Co-Founder, Punjabi Chamber of Commerce
  • Tom Szaky – Founder and CEO, TerraCycle

In addition to considering the establishment of entrepreneur zones throughout the state of New Jersey, the Working Group is also charged with identifying census tracts within the State that are suitable for designation as an entrepreneur zone.

It’s a great honor for Latinas in Business to have Susana in such a position where she is called once more to serve the New Jersey community and help better the quality of life for New Jerseyeans, as she has been doing for many years. 

About NJEDA 

NJEDA, Working Group

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) grows the state’s economy and increases equitable access to opportunity by supporting high-quality job creation, catalyzing investment, and fostering vibrant, inclusive community development.  NJEDA works in partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders to implement programs and initiatives that improve quality of life, enhance economic vitality, and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness. Their vision is to make New Jersey a national model for sustainable and equitable economic growth by investing in communities, fostering innovation, and supporting industries with high quality-jobs in the State.