New Jersey names first startups in ‘innovation fellows’ incubator

New Jersey's economic development authority named 10 companies that will receive a total of $3.6 million in funding to support their businesses.
The Pulaski Skyway bridge connecting Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey. (Getty Images)

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Thursday announced the inaugural cohort of the New Jersey Innovation Fellows program, the authority’s new incubator for startups.

The program’s first cohort includes 10 businesses, represented by 30 entrepreneurs. The program will give the group a total of $3.6 million in income replacement grants, as well as mentorship and training opportunities, a news release said. The incubator is geared toward “first-time entrepreneurs, diverse entrepreneurs and recent grad students” who may not be able to forego steady income to get their startup businesses off the ground, according to the release.

Included in the $3.6 million, 20 first-time entrepreneurs will receive a total of $1.7 million in bonus grants. While each business receives an income replacement grant of $200,000, that total can be increased to $400,000 through bonus grants. Bonus grants are available to companies in “designated opportunity zones,” to teams with members who self-certify as a women or minorities and those who’ve graduated from a New Jersey college or university.

The selected businesses represent the life sciences, film, information technology and professional services industries. In future cohorts, the state’s economic authority will look to include startups in the infant and maternal health care and clean energy industries, according to the announcement.


“Governor Phil Murphy has been committed to growing our state’s innovation economy and ensuring entrepreneurs of all backgrounds have the tools to get their businesses off the ground,” Tim Sullivan, CEO of the state’s economic development authority, said in the news release. “The NJIF, a first-in-the-nation program, levels the playing field for first-time entrepreneurs by providing the funding and training needed to succeed. By supporting these 10 new, cutting-edge companies, New Jersey is firmly cementing itself as a national leader in innovation.”

The inaugural cohort:

  • AbilityHUB, West Windsor – $350,000
  • AntaMed, East Orange – $350,000
  • Fire Start Productions, Gloucester Township – $250,000
  • Helloboss, Jersey City – $350,000
  • Klick Studios, Burlington City – $400,000
  • Liv Again Wellness, Vineland – $350,000
  • My FitPlate, Jersey City – $400,000
  • Planthopper Corp, Keansburg – $350,000
  • Quarks Advantage, Jersey City – $400,000
  • Thrivio Health, North Bergen – $400,000
Keely Quinlan

Written by Keely Quinlan

Keely Quinlan reports on privacy and digital government for StateScoop. She was an investigative news reporter with Clarksville Now in Tennessee, where she resides, and her coverage included local crimes, courts, public education and public health. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Stereogum and other outlets. She earned her bachelor’s in journalism and master’s in social and cultural analysis from New York University.

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