The intersection of investors, inventors and mentors occurred Friday morning at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which hosted the 2011 Angel Investor Forum.
“I’m like eHarmony.com — I bring people together,” said Gerald Creighton, executive director of NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center, during the opening remarks.
Presentations ranged in topics from audio tools to biotechnology applications, and presenters represented every age demographic. What each of the businesses involved in the event had in common was a desire to grow through investment relationships.
The 10-minute presentations demonstrated both competitive advantages and innovative ideas in hopes of gaining funding to increase staff, research and development, and marketing opportunities.
“We’re looking for funding, for a long time,” said Tekpea Inc. CEO Fabrizio Bertocci, who presented first. “We’ve been talking to investors, but there are hiccups sometimes. This increases our chances of securing funding.”
The 19 companies involved Friday represented a small number of the 91 working with the Enterprise Development Center. Many, while based in the Newark building, have already established footholds in emerging markets — like ATC, which recently opened a subsidiary in India, and Xipto, which is developing contracts with European mobile network providers.
Tekpea, which has created a low-cost energy measurement system for smart grids, has roots in Italy, but is based at the center because “we believe what New Jersey offers, we don’t get anywhere else,” Bertocci said.
Many of the companies employ fewer than 10, but are anticipating bringing on large marketing staffs as their products grow. Funding requests ranged from the low hundreds of thousands to several million dollars.