With its start-up money running out at the end of the year – and the source of that money no longer available – officials at the New Jersey Technology Solutions Center are working to find new ways to raise capital.
The tech center was established in October to serve as a project incubator for companies looking for contracts in the lucrative high-technology field. The center provided money for seed projects in the hope that government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security would fund full-fledged projects.
In turn, it was hoped, these contracts would provide jobs for people who decided to not transfer to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., when Fort Monmouth is closed in September. The initial anticipation was that as many as 300 jobs could be preserved or created.
But the source of that original money – congressional budget earmarks – is no longer available. Instead, center officials are looking for general funding from the governmental agencies with which they hope to eventually do business.
They’re also hoping that the approximately six projects to which they’ve awarded seed money will be sufficiently appealing to some of these agencies that the agencies will agree to fund expanded projects.
So far, the center has awarded about $800,000 in seed money for these projects, said Rob Levin, the center’s general counselor and a member of its board of trustees.
“We’ve given out six to eight awards at $100,000 to $150,000 each,” he said.
He said the seed contracts that were funded were in subject areas that are of interest to departments such as Homeland Security.