New Jersey is adding a Philadelphia-based accelerator to its existing NJ Accelerate program, which is meant to provide startups and entrepreneurs with private and state funding and access to facilities, financing and mentorship.
The accelerator – University City Science Center’s Launch Lane in Philadelphia – has already helped 35 technology and digital health startups get off the ground, four of which are based in New Jersey, since its 2014 founding, according to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Oct. 7 announcement.
“Our proximity to southern New Jersey makes us an ideal choice for entrepreneurs who have already set down roots and are looking to expand their footprint in the Garden State,” reads a Thursday statement from Aron Starosta, vice president of commercialization and new ventures at University City Science Center.
Starosta continued that the aid program would help Launch Lane “leverage the strengths of the regions to increase visibility among New Jersey early-stage companies.”
Accelerators are a fixed-term class of startups that have access to facilities, educational opportunities and mentorship. They’re expected to finalize their product pitch by the time they finish the program.
By taking part in NJ Accelerate, startups that go to Launch Lane can get six months covered, and matching loans of up to $250,000 each from the NJEDA and Launch Lane, if they set up shop in New Jersey within six months of finishing the program.
Another feature of NJ Accelerate calls for the state to sponsor accelerator events in New Jersey, from any such business around the country, with the NJEDA matching that business dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 per event and $100,000 per accelerator.
The most prominent accelerator moving to New Jersey is Princeton-based SOSV’s $50 million HAX accelerator coming to Newark. The 60,000-square-foot space will open next year to attract 100 startups, which each have to create 2,500 jobs over the next five years. Half of the costs of the office space will be footed by the NJEDA.