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Governor Murphy Announces Fintech Accelerator Project in Hoboken

May 7, 2024

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NJ FAST is the state’s fourth strategic innovation center and will support research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Fintech and Insuretech sectors.

HOBOKEN, NJ (May 7, 2024) – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and Plug and play, a Silicon Valley-based company and innovation platform known for connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms and government agencies, has launched an accelerator hub known as the Fintech Accelerator in Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ FAST). NJ FAST is the premier Plug and Play location on the East Coast, with partnerships around the world.

THE Strategic Innovation Center (SIC) will serve as a hub for financial technology (fintech) and insurance technology (insuretech) startups. Stevens Institute of Technology will serve as a founding academic partner and Prudential financier will be the founding partner company of NJ FAST.

“As the fourth strategic innovation center, NJ FAST positions New Jersey to remain at the forefront of innovation, research and development, particularly in the cutting-edge fintech and insurancetech sectors. » said Governor Phil Murphy. “NJ FAST will enable new entrepreneurs to bring their world-class ideas to New Jersey, increasing our state’s already impressive talent pipeline, while capitalizing on the resources and expertise of our partners at Stevens Institute of Technology.” This center sends a clear message that when it comes to technology and innovation, the Garden State is the place to be.

NJEDA and Plug and Play have signed a non-binding letter of intent to form a limited partnership known as NJ FAST. The two entities will oversee NJ FAST’s accelerator program with the potential to make equity investments in select participating companies. The program will host two cohorts per year, consisting of at least 10 companies per cohort. Companies will be recruited from around the world to participate in the program, but at least 20% of the cohort will be from New Jersey and there will be a strong emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. Equity investments of up to $1 million will be made in at least 15 percent of participating companies.

Pending approval from its board, NJEDA intends to invest up to $17.5 million in the fintech accelerator.

“Since taking office, Governor Murphy has prioritized growing New Jersey’s innovation economy by ensuring that the businesses of the future have access to best-in-class resources and support to as entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses. » said Tim Sullivan, CEO of NJEDA. “Powered by NJEDA’s Strategic Innovation Center program, NJFAST aims to make New Jersey a national leader in fintech and insurancetech by supporting innovation, which will help empower startups and spur the creation of new technologies which, in turn, will create jobs and support long-term, sustainable economic growth across the state.

Plug and Play was founded in the 1990s and achieved rapid success through investments in companies such as PayPal and Dropbox. The company operates in more than 60 locations on five continents and NJ FAST is the company’s first-ever East Coast partnership. The Plug and Play network includes 50,000 startups, more than 500 large corporations, and hundreds of venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. From 2020 to 2022, Plug and Play was the most active startup accelerator in the world, according to CB Previews. Plug and Play invests in more than 250 companies per year.

The company plans to commit at least 10 percent of the total capital commitment, up to a maximum of $2.5 million, in funding for the Innovation Center and will work to secure financing and industry support from various corporate entities.

“We couldn’t be more excited to land in New Jersey and work with NJEDA, the Stevens Institute and Prudential to strengthen our presence on the East Coast and implement our approach to open innovation in the financial services industry and insurance in order to identify and accelerate the most promising projects. startups in space”, said Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer of Plug and Play.

The Stevens Institute and Prudential will provide training and other educational, licensing and research opportunities to start-up companies participating in NJ FAST, and much more. Stevens will also host events each year on its campus and provide a permanent team of student interns who will work to support participating businesses.

The Stevens Institute already has a strong presence in the fintech sector. Its fintech-focused research center, the FinTech Advancement Research Center, collaborates with academic and industry partners on innovative solutions such as decentralized finance, AI-driven finance, quantum finance and solutions to climate-related impacts on investments. The research center also works to secure financial data by creating and testing fairer trading platforms and supporting improved market simulation and stress testing tools.

“NJFAST is an excellent example of public-private-higher education collaboration that has the potential to bring significant economic value to our state and serve as a national and global leader,” said Nariman Farvardin, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology.. “Stevens is excited to leverage his deep and significant expertise in financial systems, technology and entrepreneurship as well as our knowledge of emerging areas such as AI, machine learning and quantum computing, to the benefit of all partners and the State. »

“Prudential is excited to become a flagship partner of the NJ Fast accelerator. Our commitment to our home base of New Jersey, and specifically Newark, dates back nearly 150 years, so the opportunity to strengthen our ties to this community is very rewarding,” said Stacey Goodman, Prudential’s chief information officer. “Prudential’s purpose is to improve lives by solving the financial challenges of our changing world and we firmly believe this partnership will help us achieve our goal.”

With renowned financial institutions, such as Prudential, Barclay’s, Fiserv and JP Morgan, already operating in New Jersey, NJ FAST will build on the state’s long history as a financial industry leader. With a focus on fintech, NJ FAST will support the growth of new types of businesses and career opportunities, expanding New Jersey’s influence in the nation’s financial and fintech sectors.

“NJ FAST represents the type and level of fintech investment we need to solidify New Jersey’s place as an innovator in the new global economy,” said Sen. Raj Mukherji, D-Hudson. “By targeting support to businesses and entrepreneurs in the innovation economy, many of whom already call New Jersey home, the state, in partnership with the Stevens Institute, will worsen economic agglomeration along the chains supply chain and will create thousands of quality jobs in Hudson County and the state. .”

“NJ FAST will create exciting new businesses for entrepreneurs in Hudson County, New Jersey and the region. Investments like this are critical to creating jobs and growing New Jersey’s innovation economy,” said NJEDA Director of Economic Transformation Kathleen Coviello. “NJ FAST will serve as a hub for innovative fintech entrepreneurs, helping to advance new, cutting-edge developments. »

CIS are facilities that support research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking opportunities, hands-on training, business support services and training opportunities. SICs can be accelerators, incubators or research centers. Having a physical location where entrepreneurs can collaborate will help support new, diverse innovators and drive long-term economic growth.

Last week, Governor Murphy attended the ribbon cutting at HAX’s flagship U.S. headquarters in Newark. HAX, also SIC, will support 100 new businesses over the next five years, generating at least 2,500 new jobs.

About NJEDA

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is the state’s primary agency responsible for stimulating economic growth. NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong, vibrant communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and lead the way to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders, NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to improve the state’s economic vitality and quality of life and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses, call NJEDA Customer Service at 844-965-1125 or visit https://www.njeda.gov and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramAnd LinkedIn