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The Great American Dream Machine

Our Point of ViewLaunching a business starts with a dream. This is as true for creating a company as it is for writing a play, becoming an athlete or making a scientific breakthrough.

There was no shortage of dreamers at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset last week as 90 high-tech entrepreneurs put their handiwork on display in the hope of dazzling venture capitalists. It was clear from the show that the creative spark continues to burn brightly in New Jersey. On hand were innovative solutions to everything from coaching workers to saving energy to diagnosing and treating disease.

This is good to keep in mind at a time when job growth is slowing throughout the state. Promising young companies are a key source of jobs, which is what makes public policies to nurture them so crucial to the health of the economy.

Private investors too are dreamers, and many seem ready to put up cash for emerging companies after the dry spell that followed the dot-com bust five years ago. More than a dozen venture capital firms turned out for last week’s conference, giving the entrepreneurs standing-room-only crowds to pitch to.

Of the companies that exhibited last week, one or two might possibly turn into the Honeywells or Johnson & Johnsons of tomorrow. But becoming a Fortune 500 company is hardly the only measure of success in business. Creating enterprises that generate jobs, wealth and valued goods and services is what dreams are all about.

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