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Angel groups finding syndication can give them big impact
Tom Sullivan knew TrustEgg was going to be big the first time he heard the pitch. It was a startup and therefore untested, but it had the potential to upend the way families provide for their children.
The idea was this: Create a website that would allow parents to collect money from friends and family members and create a trust fund for their children. It would lower the cost for consumers, take banks and lawyers out of the equation and still invest those trust fund dollars in a top-notch Vanguard fund.
But Sullivan's early-stage venture fund, Innovation Garden, couldn't afford to finance TrustEgg all on its own. He needed help, so he called a few angels.
Lucky for him, angels work well with others.
Crowdfunding success can help kickstart interest from VC firms
The nights are the worst for any new parent, but Arturas Vaitaitis doesn't dwell on the sleeplessness. For him, a soundly sleeping baby was bittersweet.
"I had anxiety issues. I couldn't sleep. I would wake up in the middle of the night and go up to my son and see if he's fine," said Vaitaitis, who lives in North Bergen and works on Wall Street. "I would poke him, which would wake him up, which is a horrible thing to do."
But out of those experiences came the idea for Monbaby, a high-tech baby monitor encased in a button that Vaitaitis invented and is now trying to turn into a viable business.
His story is featured in a three-minute video on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site where Vaitaitis, a native of Lithuania, is looking to raise $10,000 in the next 30 or so days.
For him, Kickstarter is more than just a fundraising tool; it's a proving ground. That's critical as more and more angel and venture capital groups are looking for proof of concept before they're willing to invest.
Because as one angel investor told Vaitaitis early on: "Show me a thousand preorders on Kickstarter and the money is yours."
Crowdfunding is fast becoming a major player in the startup space. The federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act has made it easier for entrepreneurs to raise money from the masses, and many, including Vaitaitis, are taking advantage.
Vaitaitis is seeking product crowdfunding, which is popular through sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo and gives entrepreneurs money to create a physical product. But there are also equity crowdfunding sites, such as SeedInvest and Wefunder, that allow people to invest in startups, sometimes for as little as $100.
Katherine Kish, executive director of Einstein's Alley, a nonprofit that supports technology growth in New Jersey, said the impact of crowdfunding is so far more psychological than financial.
Katherine Kish, Executive Director, Einstein's Alley, was a panelist at the AJC New Jersey Immigration Program. April 4, 2013 at Fairleigh Dickinson University
Immigration overhaul will boost business, panel says
April 4, 2013
MADISON - A Washington lobbyist, as well as several union chiefs and business leaders, Thursday said an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will help boost the nation's economy, keeping needed science and low-skilled workers in states such as New Jersey legally. [more]
AJC forum touts benefits of immigration
Republican strategist, business leaders agree on need for reform
April 8, 2013
A leading Republican advocate of immigration reform told an American Jewish Committee New Jersey forum the chances of passing a new law this year are 50-50. [more]
Einstein's Alley Names New Member to Board of Trustees
Plainsboro, NJ (March 25, 2013) Einstein's Alley, the private, non-profit economic development initiative for Central New Jersey, is proud to announce the addition of James C. Bourke, CPA., CITP., CFF to the Board of Trustees. Jim, a Partner, Member of the Board of Directors and a Member of the Management Committee at WithumSmith+Brown, Red Bank, New Jersey and is Director of Firm Technology, will also serve as Treasurer of Einstein’s Alley. [more]
Einstein's Alley Names New Members to Board of Trustees
Plainsboro, NJ (January 07, 2013) Einstein's Alley, the private, non-profit economic development initiative for Central New Jersey, is proud to announce the addition of Darren Hammell, COO and Co-Founder of Princeton Power Systems, Ryan Stark Lilienthal, a Princeton attorney specializing in immigration law, and Michael A. Palladino, Dean of Science Monmouth University as new members of the Board of Trustees. [more]
Bringing Einstein’s Spirit of Innovation Back to Life in Central New Jersey’s Tech Corridor
September 21, 2012
Think of an area with a cluster of high-tech companies with a brilliant workforce and world-class research laboratories and universities nearby. You probably thought of California’s Silicon Valley or Massachusetts’s Route 128 corridor. It’s the objective of Einstein’s Alley (EA), a 501(c)(4) corporation located in Central New Jersey, to put the superlative collection of tech and academia positioned between Princeton and Rutgers on the same footing as those two renowned scientific giants. [more]
New Jersey seeks to regain edge in high technology
The Asbury Park Press NJ | APP.com
July 16, 2012
New Jersey’s formerly booming high-tech sector has a lower profile, battered by a series of corporate contractions over the last 16 years. But there are new efforts by state officials and business leaders to help the state recapture its once-dominant share of jobs in science, engineering and technology.
SciPark Aims to Make New Jersey the New Silicon Valley
Laboratory Equipment Online
April 1, 2012
SciPark, a massive 32.3 acre R&D campus designed for high tech, biomedical and pharmaceutical companies, is offering New Jersey a chance to capitalize on its storied scientific history.
U. licenses professor’s new speaker technology
March 6, 2012
"...[Frick Lab] is a good poster child for the types of successful collaborations that can happen between industry and academia," Taylor said at an Einstein’s Alley event in Frick last November..."
A fight for N.J. biomedical industry
April 4, 2012
The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey recently said the state’s biopharmaceutical and medical technology fields generated $24.2 billion worth of economic impact in 2011. With eye-popping figures like that, there’s no question the life sciences sector is vital to the Garden State’s economy.
Jersey's Man of Science
New Jersey Monthly
December 19, 2011
As the lone physicist in the U.S. Congress, Rush Holt has become a voice for innovation and education.
Einstein's Alley Executive Director meets Einstein Lecturer, Nobel Laureate, Ada Yonath
Ada Yonath, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 was the 20th speaker and first woman Nobel laureate in the Princeton Chamber Einstein Memorial Lecture Series. She spoke on March 19th at Princeton University on research and advances in understanding how antibiotics work and the importance of new antibiotics to saving lives today and tomorrow.
EINSTEIN'S ALLEY NAMES NEW MEMBERS TO ADVISORY COUNCIL
Plainsboro, NJ (April 14, 2014) Einstein's Alley, the private, non-profit economic development initiative for Central New Jersey, is proud to announce the addition of Robert J. Bianchini, Ph.D. , Global Head Technical Licensing and Development at Merck Consumer Care and Judith A. Sheft, Associate Vice President Technology Development at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, as new members of the Einstein’s Alley Advisory Council.
Dr. Bianchini joined Merck in 2009 as Vice-President of R&D, Consumer Care (MCC), where he has led the development and global expansion of its major Dermatology brands such as Coppertone, Lotrimin, and Tinactin. Presently, he is leading MCC's Technical License and Open Innovation Program.
Prior to Merck & Co., he held executive positions at Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive. Most recently, he was Chief Scientific Officer of a Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation Venture, Molsaic. He has authored over 25 patents and publications and has lectured globally.
Ms. Sheft is responsible for managing NJIT's Office of Technology Development and creates programs and policies focusing on patent creation, intellectual property valuation, strategic use and protection of IP assets. She is also involved with economic development in the Newark Innovation Zone having responsibilities for management of the university's high technology business accelerator/incubator, the Enterprise Development Center, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
She is on the Board of Advisors to the NJIT School of Management and the NJIT Albert Dorman Honor's College Interdisiplinary Design Studio program.
Prior to joining NJIT, she had been a founding member of Licenz Group, an IP consulting firm. Before that she had worked as the Intellectual Property and Compliance Vice President for Agere Systems, the semiconductor subsidiary of Lucent Technologies.
Continuing as members of the Einstein's Alley Advisory Council are: Mario M. Casabona, TechLaunch, Doug Crisman, Private investor & Business Advisor, Peter Crowley, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michael P. Eldredge, American Sensor Technologies, Inc, Larry A Evans, Virtual Board of Advisors, R. Peter Hagen, Jr., iQ Venture Advisors, LLC, Paul Kuhl, WithumSmith+Brown, Marguerite Mount, The Mercadien Group, John P. Riganati, NJTSC & SRI, Ralph Widner, Economic Development expert, Melanie Willoughby, NJ Business & Industry Association.
Einstein's Alley, a non-profit organization, helps enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in its five county Central New Jersey region in order to attract and retain technology-based businesses. Einstein's Alley collaborates and coordinates with existing governmental, non-profit and business sectors to help grow the region as a magnet for entrepreneurial activity and as a globally recognized economic powerhouse.
Einstein's Alley is currently raising awareness through conferences/presentations, STEM gatherings and a municipal sign program designating the high tech corridor at key locations; fostering more entrepreneurial funding in New Jersey as well as spotlighting issues surrounding immigration and employment.
For more information www.einsteinsalley.org
On Wednesday, November 20th, Einstein's Alley along with eleven other business groups, associations, local and bi-national chambers of commerce in NJ hosted the 1st Annual NJ Immigrant Entrepreneur Award Program at the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship-Silberman College of Business-Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The NJIEAwards honored ten first-generation immigrant business leaders helping local New Jersey communities thrive.
The awardees received awards named after historical immigrant entrepreneurs in New Jersey such as Nicholas Marcalus, George Merck , Ida Rosenthal.
Jon Lau, whose company Applied Info designs software technology for the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, received the Albert Einstein Award for Innovation sponsored by Einstein's Alley. After explaining how he came on a boat to the US as a child, and went on to become an industry leader in multimedia communication and technology innovation. Lau stated “This is my payback to the United States, because I truly believe this is the land of opportunity.”
Larry Evans &
Ryan Lilienthal &
| Dr. and Mrs. Rozanski
& Stacy Mattia
The winner of the 2013 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Awards was Jay Kulkarni, founder of Theorem. Kulkarni sent a video message; and his son Brian accepted the award on his behalf. “The paradox of the American dream is that it is highly sought after by non- Americans.” said Kulkarni. “It’s larger than an idea, more lasting than a mere dream; it is an ideal that fervently sought after outside of America.” “Unlike one who’s born an American, immigrants become an American by choice and that’s a powerful statement.”Mordechai Rozanski, President of Rider University and recipient of the Special Award for Immigrant Accomplishment, agreed with that sentiment, “Unlike those who were born here, we came here by choice. We worked harder, we achieved a little more, not only for our families, but to be worthy of the privileges- chief among them citizenship.”
The 2013 Awardees:
- 2013 NJ Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year: Jay Kulkarni, India, CEO & Founder of Theorem, Chatham NJ
- George Perrott Macculloch Award for Leadership: Louis Rodriguez, Colombia, SA, Owner of Independent Power Systems Consulting, Marlboro NJ
- Ida Rosenthal Young Entrepreneur Award: Adenah Bayoh, Liberia, Owner of Irvington International House of Pancakes, Irvington NJ
- Evelio Cuellar Award for Family Business: Geetha Jayaraman, Malaysia, Owner of Grab em Snacks and Spoon & Sprout Café, Ringoes NJ
- Albert Einstein Award for Innovation: John T Lau, China, President of Appliedinfo Partners, Somerset, NJ
- Caspar Wistar Award for Growth: Shau-wai Lam, China, Chairman and CEO of DCH Auto Group, South Amboy, NJ
- David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy: Samia Bahsoun, Senegal, of President and CEO of S2 Associates International based, Holmdel NJ
- George Merck Award for Community Engagement: Rita Gurevich, Russia, President and Founder of SPHERE Technology Solutions based, Hoboken NJ
- Nicholas Marcalus Award for Sustainability: Mitrajit Mukherjee, India, President and Founder of Exelus, Fairfield, NJ
- Special Award for Immigrant Accomplishment: Mordechai Rozanski, Poland, President of Rider University
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Einstein Archives Online
The Einstein Archives Online Website provides the first online access to Albert Einstein’s scientific and non-scientific manuscripts held by the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, constituting the material record of one of the most influential intellects in the modern era. It also enables access to the Einstein Archive Database, a comprehensive source of information on all items in the Albert Einstein Archives.
Einstein's Alley attended the Commissioning Ceremony of the Primus Green Energy Pilot Plant at the company headquarters in Hillsborough, NJ.
Primus Green Energy's alternative fuel business is based on their liquid fuel synthesis technology, a proprietary, low-cost process to convert syngas, and eventually biomass, to gasoline, jet fuels and aromatic chemicals directly without need for further treatment.
Robert Johnsen, the CEO welcomed the Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno, local political figures, and David Langiulli, representing Princeton University, a strategic partner in developing the technology.