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NJIT advisory board to guide entrepreneurs

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The New Jersey Institute of Technology has formed a venture advisory board to provide advice and support for companies based at the Newark school's Enterprise Development Center, an incubator that houses early-stage technology and life science businesses.

The 13-member board, consisting mostly of business executives, also will provide members of the EDC with access to funding, networking and other resources, according to a news release.

Founding board member Alan Wink, director of capital markets at accounting firm EisnerAmper, said he formed the idea after participating on a similar board years ago at Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken.
 
Seeing how early-stage companies can benefit from the support of seasoned professionals, Wink said he proposed the idea for NJIT and found receptive partners. The group had its first meeting May 2.
 
“This is a stellar group of professionals who can provide strategic guidance, financial guidance, and marketing guidance for these companies,” Wink said, noting the diverse professional and geographic backgrounds of board members will be an asset for the EDC.

The board includes: Jerry Creighton, executive director of the EDC; Judith Sheft, associate vice president of technology development at NJIT, David Sorin, attorney at SorinRand; Ray Thek, attorney at Lowenstein Sandler; Steve Dyer, chairman of JumpstartNJ; Lucas Nelson, associate at DFJ Gotham Ventures; Yanev Suissa, principal at New Enterprise Associates; Michael Moretti, senior vice president at Silicon Valley Bank; Linda Gridley, CEO at Gridley & Co.; Lyneir Richardson, CEO at Brick City Development Corp.; Richard Cleavland and Wink, both at accounting firm EisnerAmper; and Chris Kuenne, founder of Rosetta, a Princeton-based marketing agency.

The EDC, which houses an annual average of 90 companies with combined revenue between $40 million and $82 million, helps tenants develop, launch and market their products. The companies attract between $58 million to $67 million in third-party investments on annual basis, according to NJIT.

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