On Monday, July 14, seven New Jersey tech companies will have the opportunity to pitch their product for a room full of angel investors looking to back the next step in technology innovation.The companies selected to participate represent those left after a three-tier screening process. Upon selection, they are granted $25,000 in seed money along with their invitation to participate.
This year, all seven companies happen to be home grown right here in New Jersey.
The event, known informally as “Demo Day,” represents the culmination of an intensive, 16-week business development training hosted by TechLaunch, a Clifton-based technology accelerator. The company provides seed-stage funding, mentors and general business education that all lead to the final event: LaunchPad.
LaunchPad is an invite-only event, but Mario Casabona, founder and CEO of TechLaunch, says the event is as inclusive as possible.
“The people that get invited are not just investors. The media gets invited with the angel investors,” he said. “Even V.C.s (venture capitalists) get invited so they get a glimpse at new technology that’s in the pipeline.”
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Casabona also mentioned the 130 mentors who are involved throughout the process, as well as affiliates that include universities. One of these schools, Montclair State University, is also hosting the event.
“They’ve been great supporters,” Casabona said of the university. “Champions, I should say.”
One difference in this year’s LaunchPad is a shift in focus to companies developing hardware and software, not just apps.
“We noticed a higher interested in hardware developing among the investors,” Casabona said.
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