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No. 7: Don Katz (updated)

Power 100

Katz is the executive chairman of Audible, one of Newark’s most prominent corporate citizens. But Katz’s influence extends further. He is also the founder of Newark Venture Partners, which has invested $26 million in 74 technology companies that employ a total of 500 people. Executives of technology companies said these businesses bring high-paying jobs to New Jersey.

Newark Venture Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in business-to-business technology companies. Its purpose is to provide professional guidance and money to budding entrepreneurs who have started businesses and who need money to grow them.

Audible founder Don Katz.

Audible founder Don Katz. – NJBIZ FILE PHOTO

NVP works within a family of engaged corporate partners and alongside a full-time growth team to help new companies grow, learn and thrive.

“I’m excited to see how this class of amazing companies contributes to our efforts to tether Newark to the elements of the economy that are creating jobs and taxable revenue and that validates the profound business case for this city,” Katz said at a recent event showcasing NVP’s most recent investment cohort.

“Everyone loves a comeback story and Newark has a great one, including Newark Venture Partners, which is an internationally acknowledged phenomenon that has exceeded all of my founder expectations,” Katz said. “When I recently visited NVP labs I was dazzled by one impassioned founder, team, and company after another. Now it is time to double down on NVP’s measurable success.”

NVP’s bridge-to-seed program, which has served seven classes since fall 2016, has received more than 7,000 applications as a whole.  The latest class in the accelerator program had more than 2,600 companies apply to NVP seeking spots in the bridge-to-seed program. Seven companies gave presentations and graduated in January 2020. According to NVP, the founders for more than half this class are people of color, and across the portfolio more than 50 percent of investments were founded by at least one woman or person of color.

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