BusinessNJEDA To Open Applications for First In Nation Innovation Fellows Program

TRENTON, N.J. (May 3, 2024) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is opening applications for the next cohort of the New Jersey Innovation Fellows (NJIF) Program on May 6th, and is currently accepting questions from potential applicants. The NJIF Program supports entrepreneurs with income replacement grants, mentorship, and training to provide security in the early stages of start-up business creation.

WHAT: Through the NJIF Program, the NJEDA supports teams of at least three entrepreneurs with mentorship, training, and income replacement capital of up to $400,000 over a two-year period, attracting innovative ideas and entrepreneurs who would otherwise be unable to pursue the launch of a new venture due to income needs or socio-economic constraints. In addition to financial benefits, the first-in-the-nation program also offers a comprehensive mentorship program facilitated by the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) or The Rowan Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RCIE), which can help mitigate the risk of business failure and propel start-ups to the next level.

Announced in January 2024, the inaugural cohort of NJIF entrepreneurs included 10 new businesses and 30 entrepreneurs, supporting ventures in the fields of life sciences, film, information technology, and professional services. The inaugural cohort of startups showcase a rich tapestry of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, with many startups at the forefront of the current artificial intelligence/technology revolution.

Last month, Governor Phil Murphy announced a new fellowship program for entrepreneurs who will focus exclusively on AI-powered discovery. The AI-focused fellowship, which is an extension of the NJIF program, will open for applications at a later date.

WHEN: The NJEDA will begin accepting applications for the second cohort of NJIF entrepreneurs at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 6th, 2024. The application will be open for 60 days, closing on Friday, July 5th, 2024. Potential applicants can ask questions on the application process or program specifics by emailing For more information on the program, click here.

The NJEDA will hold two informational webinars for potential NJIF applicants. The first webinar, on Friday, May 10th, at 9:00 a.m., will cover funding opportunities and the application process under the NJIF program, as well as the Commission on Science, Innovation, and Technology’s (CSIT) clean tech programs. To register, click here.

The second webinar, on Tuesday, May 21st at 10:00 a.m., will go over funding and programming opportunities available to create and improve resources for maternal and infant health, including an informational overview for potential NJIF applicants in the sector. To register, click here.

Article courtesy of the NJEDA.