Ten new NJ tech startups pitched products to investors and advisers at Montclair State University earlier this week. According to NorthJersey.com, the event marked the end of NJ’s first technology accelerator program, TechLaunch. Designed to highlight NJ’s entrepreneurial spirit, the TechLaunch program was specifically chosen by the NJ Economic Development Authority. Launched nine months ago by Mario Casabona, angel investor from Kinnelon, the program is is funded partly by the EDA.
The search winnowed 90 companies down to 10. During a 12-week program, mentors and coaches offered advice on their projects. TechLaunch also aims to make NJ’s entrepreneurial culture more welcoming to both entrepreneurs and investors. Casabona told NorthJersey.com, “It’s really trying to create a climate, a culture.” Though this year’s first class produced only apps and web companies, Casabona said this was not necessarily the goal. TechLaunch plans to mentor another group of 10 startups next year. He hopes the program will be able to raise around $1 million to create two sessions a year.