Tech accelerator launches website, begins accepting applicants
A technology business accelerator backed by the state is launching its website today, and has begun taking applicants for a 12-week course that begins in August.
Techlaunch.com, the site for the Launchpad program, is designed to spark interest in the program.
Mario Casabona, a venture capitalist who is leading the effort, said roughly 50 people — primarily, angel investors and entrepreneurs — have agreed to serve as mentors for program participants.
"Mainly we're hoping to bring in the aspiring entrepreneurs and great ideas that we have in New Jersey" for new technology businesses, Casabona said.
The Economic Development Authority is supporting the program, providing $150,000 in funding. Private investors have committed $300,000, Casabona said.
The course is designed to help people who have ideas for technology applications turn them into businesses that can attract outside investors.
The funding will "be spent putting the program together, and also providing a seed investment to the companies we select to go through the Launchpad program," Casabona said.
The program will include 10 to 12 companies, which will receive $18,000 to $20,000 each.
The applications are due June 8, and participants will be selected July 9. The program is scheduled to start Aug. 6 and end Oct. 26; on Nov. 1, the program will have the Techlaunch "demo day and investor conference," in which the participants will pitch their ideas to investors.
Applicants must have an idea that can be developed over the 12-week period and be eligible to be pitched at the investor conference, Casabona said.