The state’s Economic Development Authority unveiled five picks for $500,000 of Innovation Challenge Grants, created last year to encourage communities to boost their local “Innovation ecosystem” by working with nearby universities and other businesses. Cape May County, Hoboken, Newark, Paterson and Plainfield will each get a $100,000 grant, the EDA announced Tuesday, after nine grants also of $100,000 each were awarded to municipalities last September.
“The robust and creative responses to both rounds of this challenge illustrate that communities throughout the Garden State are embracing Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision for making New Jersey the State of Innovation,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said Tuesday in a statement “Strengthening local ecosystems where new ideas can thrive will have long-term positive effects that will impact the state’s entrepreneurs and small businesses for years to come.”
Cape May County’s plan calls for a local “Entrepreneurial Resource Center” to boost economic development in the county and all its municipalities, all around designated federal Opportunity Zones. Hoboken’s plan entails coordination with Stevens Institute of Technology, the city library and Propelify, LLC to unveil a new innovation center to North Jersey small businesses and startups.
The project entails coordination between the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Newark Community Economic Development Corp., utility company PSEG and iNeighborhoods. Paterson’s plan calls for a new incubator for startups and small businesses, through coordinating with Montclair State University, the William Paterson University Small Business Development Center and two “Long-term lessees” at the Paterson Food Incubator site.