PrimeWork in Somerset — Courtesy: Economic Development Authority/PrimeWork
By Joshua Burd
The state Economic Development Authority has added two co-working facilities in Somerset and Gloucester counties to its list of locations that qualify for rent subsidies for startup businesses.
The agency on Friday announced that the locations, PrimeWork in the Somerset section of Franklin and Incutate in Mantua Township, are now part of the recently unveiled NJ Ignite program for fledgling technology and life sciences firms. To that end, the facilities are eligible for rent support grants aimed at making lab and office space more affordable for such businesses and allowing them to work alongside other growing companies.
The program also benefits incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces by providing a tool to help attract young businesses to their facilities, the EDA said, while encouraging the creation of new collaborative workspaces throughout the state. With the two newest approvals announced Friday, 11 workspaces statewide are now eligible for the grants under NJ Ignite.
Other well-known locations include Bell Works in Holmdel and Kearny Point in Kearny.
“Entrepreneurs often face critical decisions about how to spend their capital,” said Tim Sullivan, the authority’s CEO. “Through NJ Ignite, we’re helping to alleviate that burden by allowing startups to put their money toward creating jobs, investing in research and development, and commercializing and marketing their products and services.
“This focus is vital to achieving (Gov. Phil Murphy’s) vision for reclaiming New Jersey’s role as a worldwide leader in innovation.”
The rent support available to startups through NJ Ignite is made possible through a combination of support from the EDA and the collaborative workspace, with the NJEDA supporting up to six months’ rent and the collaborative workspace supporting rent for half the length of the authority’s commitment, according to a news release. In exchange for the grant, the startup business must commit to paying rent for a term equal to the EDA and the collaborative workspaces’ combined months of support.
PrimeWork, which recently opened its first New Jersey location in Somerset, describes itself as a “short-term, all-inclusive office space solution where a fledgling company can scale upwards without compromising the proprietary nature of its business.” The collaborative workspace offers members furnished offices, flexible lease options to accommodate a range of budgets, spacious conference rooms, mail service, mega speed Wi-Fi, kitchen amenities and more.
“Collaborative workspaces are the wave of the future for startups that don’t want to commit to long-term leases,” PrimeWork Founder and CEO Avi Orlansky said. “Expanding into New Jersey has enabled us to reach a whole new crop of entrepreneurs and it is our sincere hope that many of them will decide to move to one of our facilities with support of the NJ Ignite program.”
Incutate in Sewell is focused on providing an environment where startups at their earliest stages and established companies can interact with one another in a collaborative environment, according to a news release. Started in 2011 by the law firm Lauletta Birnbaum as a consulting firm to serve the needs of early-stage companies, Incutate has evolved into a co-working space that routinely brings in experts to discuss issues relevant to tenant companies. Topics include accounting, intellectual property, financing and legal advice.
“Our proximity to Rowan University makes us an attractive option for startups launched by the university’s students and alumni who are looking for office space and hands-on mentorship,” Lauletta Birnbaum Founding Member Frank A. Lauletta said. “Thanks to NJ Ignite, even more early-stage companies will be able to benefit from our numerous amenities and programs.”