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New Jersey Ranks in Top 10 States for Venture Capital Dollars Invested

Edison

photo : Thomas Edison

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced that New Jersey now ranks ninth in the nation based on venture capital (VC) dollars invested per state. According to PitchBook, innovation-focused companies in New Jersey secured $5.5 billion in 219 venture capital deals in 2021, up from $1.7 billion thorough 154 deals in 2020. This represents a significant improvement for New Jersey relative to 2017, when the state saw a total of $818 million in 143 venture capital deals. In this latest ranking, New Jersey jumped three spots from where it stood at #12 in 2020, and seven spots from #16 in 2013. New Jersey’s share of the Northeast market also grew, by 1.4 percentage points in 2021 to 5.5 percent.

In January 2021, the Governor signed the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA). In part, the ERA calls for the establishment the New Jersey Evergreen Fund (NJIEF), which is designed to create the ecosystem conditions necessary for entrepreneurs to succeed. Expected to launch this year, the NJIEF will create a platform for even greater investment opportunity in NJ businesses by leveraging public and private funds to invest in New Jersey-based companies. Details of the NJIEF, which is currently under development, can be found at https://www.njeda.com/evergreen/.

The ERA also made enhancements to the state’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. Last summer, the NJEDA approved expanding the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program based on those enhancements as well as revisions made to the program through legislation in 2019. Examples of the enhancements include increasing the amount of tax credits available annually under the program from $25 million to $35 million. It also increased the amount of tax credits available per qualified investment in an emerging New Jersey technology business from 10 percent to 20 percent and adding five percent bonus credit for qualified investments made in a New Jersey certified minority-or women-owned technology business or a technology business that is located in a qualified Opportunity Zone or New Markets Tax Credit Census Tract.

Last year, the NJEDA approved a record-breaking 559 Angel Investor Tax Credit Program applications, a nearly 400 percent increase over 2020. These approved applications represented the injection of more than $100 million in 39 New Jersey businesses. This constitutes a more than threefold year-over-year increase in investment and tax credit totals.

NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan cited the commitment of the NJEDA and Princeton-based venture capital firm SOSV to bring SOSV’s acclaimed HAX hard tech startup development program to Newark. SOSV will also establish the U.S. headquarters of the HAX program at the Newark site. SOSV selected Newark as the location for the new HAX program through a competitive process that included locations across the country. SOSV intends to take 100 companies through the HAX program over the next five years and invest $25 million in these startups. The NJEDA has also committed $25 million toward this initiative.  Participating companies may receive up to $50 million from SOSV as follow-on financing to support the companies as they grow. With this support, companies participating in the HAX program are expected to create at least 2,500 new, high-paying jobs in the decade ahead as well as attract millions in new capital.

The NJEDA’s Angel/Venture Capital Funding website launched in early 2021 to showcase capital raises, along with mergers and acquisitions throughout the Garden State. Investors or founders interested in having their investments listed on the page should

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