The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced that applications for the New Jersey Innovation Fellows program will open on Tuesday.
This program will level the playing field for an underrepresented group of first-time entrepreneurs looking to start a business in New Jersey.
Startup groups of 3 or more members can apply for a two-year grant to help start a business in a targeted industry.
The group is eligible to receive $200,000 in funding and may increase by including Opportunity Zone residents, New Jersey college and university graduates, and women and minority entrepreneurs. The maximum grant amount awarded is $400,000.
Funding is intended to act as an alternative to income. This should attract people who are usually unable to commit to entrepreneurship due to financial constraints.
To be eligible, the applicant team must have at least half of the group certified as “first-time entrepreneurs” and at least two-thirds of the group must come from the workforce. Recipients can also receive instruction and training in a variety of business and management subjects during the grant period using curricula developed by some of New Jersey’s top universities.
NJIF is a competitive program officially announced in November 2022.