The state Economic Development Authority wants to invest $450,000 in a technology accelerator program and is looking for technology-focused entrepreneurs to help it along.

The EDA initiative is intended to stimulate competition among tech entrepreneurs and provide them a forum through which to showcase their products, ideas, and business acumen in order to receive funding.

Caren Franzini, CEO of the EDA, said the agency intends to build the accelerator program based on feedback from the technology community itself. The agency wants to know “how to best craft a program that will invest financial and technical assistance resources in order to advance novel ideas and business models, promote early stage business ventures, and accelerate the growth of technology businesses in the state,” she said.

Interested parties can submit an overview of how the program could be developed until Thursday, September 15. E-mail ideas to or call 609-858-6713.

Submissions should be based on the following criteria:

* Overall structure of the initiative, including overview of all partners and their roles. The overview should include partners’ experience and success in investing in early-stage business models.

* Advocacy role of the EDA as a state partner in advancing the initiative.

* How this initiative will leverage private matching dollars.

* Ability of the partners to support businesses formed in New Jersey as well as attracting business ventures from other states.

* Ability of the partners to engage the technology service industry in providing mentorship opportunities.

The EDA will fund the program over three years. Through its Edison Innovation Fund, the EDA has invested $27.7 million in 45 technology and life sciences companies and contributed more than $118 million toward New Jersey’s economy.

The agency recently enhanced its Edison Innovation Fund portfolio to benefit early stage, emerging technology and life sciences companies that have attracted capital through angel and venture capital investors.

The Edison program is the only state program dedicated to science and technology companies in the absence of the Commission On Science & Technology, which closed a year ago.

However, the state has doubled (to $60 million) the amount of money available through the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program.

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