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INNOVATE® New Jersey

SOSV’S HAX is the world’s most active early stage investor in hard tech – the difficult to build physical tech at the forefront of science and engineering in disciplines like robotics, material science, and chemistry. Many investors have shied away from hard tech, and the last 30 years of the venture capital industry have even been defined by ‘software eating the world’. But this only fueled a bigger resource gap for hard tech founders.

This is HAX’s focus – to bring about more successful hard tech through investing and building with hard tech founders. Startups apply to HAX with an initial prototype, customer insight, and vision. We then invest capital and build alongside our founders, fundamentally inflecting their technical progress with our internal team of engineers and investment partners. Founders should think of HAX as an extension of their engineering, business development, fundraising, design, and marketing teams.

As startups reach critical milestones, we support fundraising strategy and investor introductions. We also continue to invest over $25 million USD per year globally into these startups, and just raised an additional $100M of growth capital to support the later rounds of funding for our startups.

The most valuable part of the program is engagement with a globally diverse community of HAX founders. Many have been successful, all have learned hard lessons, and everyone is excited to help each other succeed. Our community has grown to include a curated group of mentors, experts and partners that give our hard tech startups the best edge.

Our founders have a vision for a fundamentally better future built with hard tech – they know that it’s necessary to make an impact in solving the world’s most pressing problems, most notably in human and planetary health. We’ve made hundreds of investments in hard tech over the last decade into startups like Formlabs (MIT 3D printing startup), Opentrons (robotics for lab automation), and R-Zero (automated disinfection using UV-C).

We chose Newark for our global headquarters in 2021 and announced a partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to bring 100 hard tech startups and thousands of jobs to New Jersey in the coming years.

Its rich industrial history and talent pool – which draws from university ecosystems like Princeton, Rutgers, NJIT, and Stevens Institute of Technology as well as access to corporations in the healthcare and industrial space is a huge benefit for early stage founders. Startups also benefit from access to financial hubs like New York City and location on the northeastern corridor transport system.

The HAX initiative in Newark also includes the build out of a 35,000-squarefeet office in historic downtown Newark which will include industrial equipment for research and development of early stage hard technology and wet labs for chemistry. HAX founders also have access to partner facilities at locations like the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This access to advanced facilities gives hard tech startups an edge in rapidly prototyping, testing, and de-risking their technology.

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