Press Releases

Mayor Baraka, Acting Govenor Guadagno, Senator Booker, and Other Dignitaries Launch $50 Million Technology Venture Fund

Newark, NJ –- July 21, 2015 — Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno, U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker, former Governor Thomas Kean, former Nebraska Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, Audible.Com Founder and CEO Donald Katz, Prudential Financial Vice Chairman Mark Grier, and other leaders announced the formation of Newark Venture Partners, a $50 million technology venture fund that will bring a state-of-the-art, ultra-high bandwidth 25,000 square-foot accelerator to Newark, along with “Firebolt Newark Wi-Fi,” the world’s fastest, large-scale, contiguous public outdoor Wi-Fi to the City, at a press conference at Audible.Com in 1 Washington Park in downtown Newark yesterday.

Newark Venture Partners leaders will manage an early-stage investment fund that will provide capital as well as sophisticated company-building services and a collaborative state-of-the-art 25,000-square-foot accelerator workspace with ultra-high bandwidth access to the Internet for innovative tech start-ups.  The accelerator’s 1 Washington Park location, adjacent to Newark’s Broad Street train station and just 18 minutes by train from Manhattan, also houses the headquarters of Audible and its Newark-based employees as well as the Rutgers University Business School, which is providing rent-free access to the facility, now being readied for construction.

Also unveiled yesterday was downtown Newark’s new Firebolt Wi-Fi, the fastest network of its kind in the country.  Built by the Military Park Partnership, and funded by Audible, Prudential Financial, Rutgers Newark, and NJIT, the Firebolt Wi-Fi system covers a two-linear-mile stretch of downtown Newark.  The network which has already been used by more than 50,000 people prior to announcement is capable of delivering hundreds of megabits per second download speeds to client devices. The successful network was made possible by cutting-edge custom hardware from Ackrion Inc, a Springfield Massachusetts based startup.  In addition, the same cutting-edge solution is also available at several community recreation centers and housing authority locations in the city’s neighborhoods.  

Sign Up for E-News

“The fund and the Wi-Fi network are major steps toward establishing Newark as a technology hub for the region," said Mayor Ras J. Baraka.  "We are making the right tech investments in our workforce and our neighborhoods.  This is about creating more opportunities to grow the economy, for Newark 3.0 to thrive.”

“From Thomas Edison’s work to the invention of the transistor, New Jersey has a proud history of technological innovation,” said Sen. Booker. “Now, Newark is poised to take the next big step forward. Giving start-ups here access to ultra-high bandwidth Internet will attract more entrepreneurship to our community and bring the opportunities of an increasingly interconnected global economy even closer to people. That means the creation of jobs and a stronger city and state.”

Audible’s executives and advanced technologists will play a key role in providing mentoring to resident portfolio companies. “Audible moved to Newark in late 2007 to help accelerate the comeback of a great American city,” said Mr. Katz, also the founder of Newark Venture Partners. “As the fastest-growing private employer in Newark, we have added hundreds of employees who are thriving in a city at a historic tipping point.  Along with the Newark Venture Partners leadership team, we look forward to mentoring fellow entrepreneurs and their employees.”

The first fund of its kind in the New York metropolitan area, Newark Venture Partners is part of a national “social impact investing” trend characterized by a “double bottom line” investment thesis that will include regularly published metrics on the fund’s contribution to social and economic improvement such as job growth, taxable revenue growth, increased residential in-migration, foot traffic, and the growth of vibrant street level amenities.

“We say often that Newark has the greatest infrastructure in the region, and today’s announcements underscore that," said City of Newark Chief Information Office Seth Wainer.  "Look soon for more ways we will be leveraging that infrastructure for Smart City initiatives, gigabit services, and a more efficient government.” 

“We are excited to partner with Audible and other impact investors in creating Newark Venture Partners," said Mr. Grier. "Our hope is that these companies will grow to call Newark home, just as Prudential has since the company was founded here 140 years ago. Our additional support of Firebolt, the ultra-fast, public Wi-Fi network, promises to be a boon for the community of Newark by expanding Internet access, stimulating innovation and giving businesses a competitive edge. We are particularly pleased that our support extends the Wi-Fi beyond the downtown core to recreation centers around the city to further benefit Newark residents.”

“Access to broadband services and an understanding of computers and the Internet is key to the future of equality of opportunity,” said Reverend Dr. David Jefferson of the Metropolitan Baptist Church.  “Social Impact Venture Investing is clearly a way to do well and do substantial good too.  Newark’s 21st-century technology infrastructure must be attended by 21st-century skills for all of our citizens.  This fund and these efforts will surely be lasting milestones for the comeback of Newark.”

Newark’s transportation advantages, its proximity to New York City, its many cultural amenities including The Prudential Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center – and the presence of more than 40,000 college students – will also contribute to the creation of a vibrant growth economy environment.

“Rutgers Business School is excited to partner with Newark Venture Partners investors to realize this forward-thinking plan for attracting new companies to Newark,” said Rutgers University Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “The establishment of a dynamic technology facility and hub for innovation also creates an incredible new avenue of opportunity for Rutgers students and the rest of the academic community in Newark.”

 

ABOUT NEWARK VENTURE PARTNERS
Newark Venture Partners is New Jersey’s first elite 21st-century venture organization, providing capital, company-building services and residence to innovative tech start-ups in Newark. Newark Venture Partners exists in principal part to establish Newark’s comeback as a technology and innovation hub, and to affirm Newark and New Jersey as a flourishing home to early-stage growth companies that will catalyze economic development and create access to new jobs for all citizens.

 

ABOUT FIREBOLT NEWARK WI-FI
Firebolt Newark Wi-Fi is Newark’s new free, lightning-fast public Wi-Fi network, connecting Newark’s downtown and other neighborhoods. Firebolt Newark Wi-Fi is the fastest, large-scale contiguous open public Wi-Fi network of its kind in the world.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Morristown

Free Climate Documentary by Oscar Nominated Director; Saturday July 29

July 25, 2017

DENVILLE, NJ - How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change, a deeply moving documentary by Oscar-Nominated director Josh Fox, will be screened at the Denville Municipal Building (1 St. Mary's Place, Denville), on Saturday, July 29, at 10:30 AM, by 350NJ, Food & Water Watch, Citizens Climate Lobby, and the Coalition Against the Pilgrim ...

Just Pups Pet Stores & Owner Agree to Stop Selling Animals in NJ, Pay $326,000 to Settle Fraud Suit

July 25, 2017

NEWARK, NJ – "Just Pups stores in East Brunswick, East Hanover, Emerson, and Paramus were among 26 pet stores cited for noncompliance with state consumer laws last year in a string of staggering accusations. As of yesterday, "Just Pups" owner Frank LoSacco can never sell pets in New Jersey again.

Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of ...

Free Summer Family Movie Night; Wednesday July 26

July 25, 2017

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ -  Morris Township's Free Summer Family Movie Nights will continue on Wednesday July 26 with the showing of the Lego Batman Movie (Rated PG). The movie will take place at Ginty Field at approximately 8:30pm

The animated action movie takes place in Gotham City, where Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects while discovering that he accidentally adopted a ...

Butterfly Tent Safari Returns to Essex County Environmental Center July 15

ROSELAND, NJ – Butterflies are once again coming to the Essex County Environmental Center located at 621B Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland. The “Butterfly Tent Safari” will be open to the public beginning July 15 through July 29.  The Butterfly Tent Safari is an interactive display where visitors can observe hundreds of butterflies while walking through a ...

Free Movie Night in Morris Township Wednesday July 12

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ -  The movie Jungle Book (Rated PG) will be shown during Morris Township's Free Family Movie Night on Wednesday July 12. Bring the whole family down to Ginty Field and enjoy this classic film that tells the story of Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who’s guided by his animal guardians, sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening Shere ...

Flag Display Shows History of Our Nation's Flag; Now Through September 15

July 26, 2017

MORRISTOWN, NJ - A special exhibit; "Saluting Old Glory: Our Nation's Flag" will be on display at the county library now through September 15. The display shows the evolution of our nation's flag and the history that is symbolically represented in the stars and stripes.  Visitors will see  the changes that took place in the American flags from the Colonial Period to ...

Morris County 4-H Fair Begins Today; Wednesday July 19

CHESTER, NJ - The 2017 Morris County 4-H Fair, a celebration of the efforts of 4-H youths from across Morris County, mixed with a car and motorcycle show, hot air balloons, fireworks, amusement rides and games, plus entertainment and food, kicks off today, July 19 and will run through Sunday, July 23 at Chubb Park in Chester Township.

Varieties of family-friendly activities are ...

Garden Tea and Tour at Morristown's Frelinghuysen Arboretum

July 19, 2017

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Step onto the beautiful grounds for an expert-led tour focusing on seasonal blooms at the magnificent Frelinghuysen Arboretum, one New Jersey’s most beautiful public gardens. Located in Morris Township, learn about the history of this site, which is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, along with fascinating facts about its gardens.

 A leisurely, ...

Women Veterans Peer Support Group

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Are you a female veteran that is looking for a peer support group? Cornerstone Family Programs located at 62 Elm Street is hosting a Peer Support Group on Wednesday July 26 from 7 -8:30 at the Morristown location.

Come and meet with other woman who have been there. Share in the conversation while finding support, resources and strategies. Topics of discussion will include ...

Morristown's Tiny Tot Tuesdays is Back

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Parents and toddlers can enjoy the sandy beach of Sunrise Lake Beach Club during Tiny Tot Tuesday's. This program allows toddlers to use the lake prior to the lake being open to the community for the day.

Beginning Tuesday July 11 from 9am - 10:45am, children age 4 and under can splash around Sunrise lake, enjoy the beach and meet new friends. The program will run ...

After 10 Drownings in One Month, NJ Authorities Offer Tips to Avoid Water-Related Tragedies

July 23, 2017

Within one month, authorities have reported 10 drowning deaths alone in New Jersey.

July 17: A 2-year-old drowned in a home swimming pool in Galloway
July 17: A 12-year-old drowned at the Sandy Hook beach
July 10: A 4-year-old died after being pulled from a lake in Ocean View
July 9: A 6-year-old drowned in a hotel pool in Wildwood
June 22: A 17-year-old died after being pulled from ...

'Skeleton Crew' hits home

UNION, NJ – Premiere Stages, in its quest for new, richly layered plays, is now presenting “Skeleton Crew” by Dominique Morrisseau.

The playwright had her play “Follow Me to Nellie’s” work shopped at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut several years ago. That was followed by s fine production at the Kean University ...

Town Hall Locations Offered To Congressman

July 26, 2017

The following letter was sent to Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen today in response to this video clip: http://tinyurl.com/ydh6j7na

Dear Congressman Frelinghuysen,

In light of the recent exchange with one of your constituents at the White Meadow Lake festival in Rockaway last weekend, I would like to offer my assistance.

During your conversation with the resident, Emily Kullmann, you ...

How the Newark riots and other race riots changed America

July 19, 2017

 

How the urban riots in Newark and other cities changed our country and politics forever

I grew up in New Jersey when Newark, Plainfield and other cities experienced rioting and later became a proofreader and reporter for The Star-Ledger  (1978-1983), for which  I covered Newark and Plainfield. 

The demise of Newark as a city has always intrigued and concerned ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, July 27, 9:00 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photographic Instructors' ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Fri, July 28, 9:00 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photographic Instructors' ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances Top This Week's Police Blotter

July 25, 2017

MORRIS COUNTY PARK POLICE  BLOTTER 7-2 through 7-3, 2017

7/2: ARRESTS FOR NARCOTICS: Officers executed a motor-vehicle stop for a moving violation in Hanover Township. An investigation led to Elias V. Baldeon, age 20, of Hingham, MA. to be charged with Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances (suspected Xanax and Marijuana), and Possession and/or Consumption of an Alcoholic Beverage ...

Atlantic Health System Named a Best Workplace in New York Region by Great Place to Work® and Fortune

July 20, 2017

MORRISTOWN, NJ – JULY 18, 2017 – Atlantic Health System, a leading provider of health care in New Jersey, today announced it was named to the Great Place to Work® and Fortune’s inaugural list of Best Workplaces in New York.

Atlantic Health System ranked 6th on the list, and was the only New Jersey-based health care system to be highlighted in the New York Metropolitan ...