New Jersey is an amazing, dynamic, and engaging state with a beautiful tapestry of people, landscapes, and industries. Having lived in several states nationwide, I can truly attest to New Jersey’s brilliance in spirit and ingenuity.
It is synonymous and a bit foretelling that NJ was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights because it is that very spirit of ingenuity, resilience, and grit that makes New Jersey the innovative and entrepreneurial state that it is. That same energy also attracted me to New Jersey, as it has attracted millions from all over the world.
New Jersey’s innovation brought the world the boardwalk, movies, electricity, and submarines. In 1977, New Jersey also helped bring the Small Business Development Centers into existence, as it was one of the pilot states to help small businesses and entrepreneurs with Rutgers University and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). And over 45 years later, the NJSBDC is still pushing forward.
At the NJSBDC, we pride ourselves on celebrating innovation and diversity. We endlessly look to find new and engaging ways to help New Jersey’s small businesses and entrepreneurs successfully start and grow their businesses. Whether working with clients to help them improve their credit or helping them understand the intricacies of completing an RFP toward winning a contract, we stay in the trenches to champion New Jersey’s businesses. In fact, in the early phases of the pandemic, the NJSBDC worked to address concerns raised while communicating with business owners, training to include necessary health/ safety strategies, self-care, emotional awareness, and mental health resources while also shifting the dynamic and integrated inspiration into our activities, developing #NJThrives to share success stories of businesses able to succeed despite the pandemic, which turned into a comprehensive series of webinars aiming to help businesses overcome post-pandemic challenges.
Today, our work continues to drive our innovation. We continue with New Jersey’s spirit of ingenuity by listening to our clients’ needs and developing programs and initiatives to help unlock their potential and opportunities on several fronts. Some of these programs and initiatives include:
NJSBDC’s Tech Team
The NJSBDC’s Tech Team was created to help businesses commercialize their technological and innovative pursuits by creating the NJSBDC Tech Team. In the dynamic landscape of technology-driven entrepreneurship, the NJSBDC Tech Team is a beacon of support and guidance for innovators and tech-based small businesses in New Jersey. With a diverse range of initiatives, this dedicated team offers a comprehensive suite of resources and expertise to help businesses navigate the complex world of federal grants, particularly the coveted SBIR/STTR programs.
The NJSBDC Tech Team stands apart from the fold with its unique PreSubmission Review Panels. Collaborating with seasoned experts who have been on the other side of federal agency evaluations, they meticulously replicate the grant review process, providing invaluable feedback to applicants and significantly enhancing their chances of success.
For entrepreneurs, the potential rewards are substantial. Each accepted proposal can unlock a share of the $2,000,000 in grants from federal agencies, offering a financial boost to fuel the R&D and the commercialization of their innovative endeavors. In an era where innovation drives progress, the NJSBDC Tech Team stands as a vital partner, ensuring that New Jersey’s entrepreneurs can access the funding and expertise they need to turn visionary ideas into reality.
NJSBDC Small Business Learning Labs (SBLLs)
The NJSBDC’s Learning Labs were designed to help businesses gain in procurement readiness/scalability, state compliance/grant readiness, and creditworthiness/access to capital, all significant hurdles to business growth and profitability.
Through the SBLLs, businesses work within a small cohort of similar business owners to finalize and submit procurement certification applications, state-compliance applications, grants, and other necessary items for a business’ legitimacy or profitability. The wonderful deployment of the labs creates an environment of learning and growth. When the business leaves our SBLL’s, they will ultimately “hit” the submit button and walk away knowing their application was successfully submitted-this is a new way of ensuring innovation is working at its best!
The NJSBDC Capital Team is a powerhouse of diverse professionals with extensive experience of over 100 years in various private sectors, dedicated to helping small and midsize businesses thrive. Originally established to help businesses secure funding, the Capital Team has since evolved, offering a broader range of services and expertise. Our team members possess vast knowledge and experience across various private sectors, ensuring tailored support for every unique business challenge including capital, procurement, cyber security, supply chain and so much more…..
NJ Business Resource Hub
Continuing to address New Jersey’s small business needs and ensure they have the resources needed to reach their success, we’re leveraging a myriad of partners across the state. These partnering organizations reflect the state’s diversity, including women, minorities, immigrants, veterans, LGBTQ+, and disabled business owners. As a result, we aligned economic development resources for all businesses across the state, creating an NJ Business Resource Hub.
As you can see, the NJSBDC network is not only in lockstep with where New Jersey businesses are but also leading the pack on where we need to go. Join us as we continue to embody the New Jersey spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation as we continue to push the needle forward.