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TechLaunch is New Jersey’s technology accelerator that facilitates the commercialization of innovative technologies and ideas by transforming them into successful business models. Through our intense 16-week TechLaunch program, we provide mentoring from industry experts, co-working space, extensive business training, advisory services and culminate with Demo Day presentations to an audience of potential investors, mentors, business advisors, entrepreneurs and media. Learn more about us by visiting our About page.
We are primarily looking for technology focused companies with awesome team qualifications and a unique idea. The further along the business evolution the better. If you have a top-notch team and can develop the product within the 16-week TechLaunch program, we want you to apply. All companies should have the following characteristics:
Must be a technology company. We’re looking for those focused on social media, gaming, e-commerce, machine to machine (M2M) and internet-of-things (IoT), and we're very interested in applications that support key NJ industries such as Communications, Networks, Media, Biotech, Manufacturing, Health Care, HealthIt, Pharma/Life Sciences, MedTech, or Transportation. These are the people we can help the most. If you can get your product ready for Demo Day, we’re interested.
At least 2 full-time co-founders. Going it alone is tremendously difficult, so we prefer a team to share the burden. Bringing diverse skills is also key, which goes beyond just the programming and engineering aspects. Business, finance, sales and marketing acumen is important for any startup. Also, we need your company to be your first priority, which entails being in the co-working space regularly to take advantage of the available resources and training.
Technical resources. We can provide access to technical support, but a tech lead is crucial. We will consider those who outsource development if you can prove your ability to manage, adapt and build your product in time for Demo Day.
Know your space. It is critical that you have some experience if you hope to innovate and differentiate, especially in today’s competitive global marketplace. If you’re already founded or been involved in a startup too, great, but that isn’t a prerequisite.
Passion. Don’t necessarily have the experience? We’ll still consider you if you’re passionate about your product or your market. Some of the most successful startups were founded by individuals who hadn’t done it before. Show us why you’re passionate, regardless of your experience. Remember, we’re investing in you as much as in your idea.
Team players. Getting the most out of our program means working well with others. We have found having prior working experience with your co-founders is important for success. We foster an environment of collaboration, and work hard to provide individuals and resources to help you succeed. We make the connections and help you build business relationships for the future. Being open to new ideas is paramount, and a willingness to share your ideas with others in the program will help everyone involved.
Our TechLaunch accelerator program is 16 weeks. Learning from our inaugural year which featured a 12-week schedule, we feel strongly that a few extra weeks can go a long way and have adjusted our schedule to make the program even better! This will give teams some extra time to digest and integrate the various lessons learned throughout the program. One of the most important aspects of the program is Investor communications, negotiations and introductions. We’re also thrilled to have the collaboration of Montclair State University as the setting for our accelerator. Beyond the great facilities, we’re able to provide an energetic environment that fosters true collaboration. The University is behind our effort to continue building the NJ Tech community, and you will have an opportunity to engage faculty and students as you develop your business. Whether you’re looking for help troubleshooting technical challenges, test your product with a closed user-group of target customers to gather focus-group feedback, or even get additional support from interns, TechLaunch is the perfect place for a startup.
Refer to this schedule for upcoming program details.
We’ll provide working space, internet access, workshops/mentor/speaker expenses and other miscellaneous perks. The rest, including travel, food and living expenses, is up to you.
Companies who join TechLaunch are provided a broad range of services, guidance, and co-working space in anticipation of securing follow-on funding. Those companies that join TechLaunch will provide 5% equity in the company in exchange for services valued in excess of $75,000. The Company will also be eligible for a matching $50,000 follow-on financing.
Not a problem at all. We base our selections of our application questionnaire, which covers many elements typically found in a business plan. You should thoroughly think through your plan, but part of what we’ll offer is guidance in building a true business plan that will catch investors’ eyes. Having said that, if you do have a business plan ready it will help demonstrate your level of commitment to your company. Couldn't hurt you.
Applications will be reviewed by our screening committee, which consist of industry experts, Angel investors and VCs. Once finalists are selected, each will have an in-person interview prior to the ultimate selection for the TechLaunch program.
Weekly work-shops, regular guest speakers, weekly dinners and pitch practice, weekly interaction with Angel investors and VCs, networking opportunities, marketing support and, arguably most important, continued encouragement and coaching.
Yes. We expect all companies to use the co-working space for the 16 weeks and to attend all scheduled weekly events. This leaves you plenty of time to build the product, but if we’re going to add any value we need you here. We think you’ll want to use the office space we provide quite often as there you’ll be working alongside other energized entrepreneurs like yourself. You’ll create relationships which can last a lifetime. This really proved beneficial to the other portfolio companies, and you never know when a mentor or investor may just drop by unannounced. Happens quite a bit, actually.
No. We cannot commit to signing an NDA for every idea we consider. We simply have too much access to ideas that are similar, especially during the application process. While we won’t sign any paperwork, we do commit to maintaining the utmost confidentiality with your idea. We can’t be successful and continue to find new ideas unless we strictly abide by this principal.
No, we are looking for passionate people with great ideas. Experience and knowledge in your field is a plus, even if you’ve never been in a startup. It’s likely your lack of startup experience is a key reason why you’re applying.
New Jersey is an ideal place to build and grow your company for so many reasons, including continued proximity to the mentors and investors who may continue to be involved long after you leave TechLaunch. But to be clear, this is your company and you can take it wherever you want once the program is finished. With a thriving technology ecosystem, we think you’ll find the resources and access you need right here in NJ—not to mention a short drive to the Jersey Shore when you need to unwind!
Have more questions? Please contact us.