NJEDA announces application deadline for entrepreneur program

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 8, 2023

NJEDA announces application deadline for entrepreneur program

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 8, 2023

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced March 7 it will open the application for the New Jersey Innovation Fellows (NJIF) program March 14 at 10 a.m.

The $10 million program, which supports entrepreneurs with income replacement grants, is the latest effort by the NJEDA to build out the state’s innovation economy, which was reported extensively about in the March 6 issue of NJBIZ. It is designed to help entice entrepreneurs who would normally be unable to commit full-time to starting a business because of financial constraints.

Through NJIF, startup groups can apply for a two-year grant to help start a business in a targeted industry. To qualify, teams must have at least one-half certify as “first-time entrepreneurs,” while at least two-thirds of the group must come from the workforce.

Groups are eligible for a base of $200,000 in funding, with the potential for bonuses with the inclusion of Opportunity Zone residents and graduates of Garden State colleges and universities as well as female and minority entrepreneurs. The maximum grants awarded will be $400,000.

Tim Sullivan

“Providing grants through the NJIF Program will give more individuals the financial flexibility to take calculated business risks and follow their entrepreneurial dreams,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan in November when the program was announced.

“New Jersey is committed to ensuring that passionate entrepreneurs are equipped with the resources they need to turn their innovative ideas and vision into a viable enterprise,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in the November press release announcing the program. “By supplementing the income of startup founders, we are helping to remove the barriers that too often exist on the path to success. The NJIF Program will be a game-changer by supporting innovators in overcoming the financial obstacles associated with advancing early-stage companies.”

More details on the program can be found here.