With 2018 in the rearview mirror, our team at Newark Venture Partners wanted to share some reflections from our best year yet, as well as some predictions for what’s on the horizon. First and foremost, a thanks is in order: To all of our corporate Limited Partners and our network of hundreds of mentors who have supported our work and that of our startups, and to all of our founders who gave Newark a chance. The NVP community is thriving alongside and within the City of Newark – and it’s all thanks to you.
NVP continues to offer unprecedented mentorship opportunities with over nearly 500 different individual, engaged, expert mentors across our corporate investors. In 2018, our weekly roundables series was opened to the public, and brought in experts such as Anne Erni, Head of People at Audible (an Amazon company), Fritz Desir, Design & Strategy Director with Fuel by McKinsey, and Allison Fass, VP of Digital Growth for Inc and Fast Company among many others. We’ve covered topics from building corporate partners to fundraising to hiring and PR. We also were proud to host Governor Phil Murphy on two occasions to talk about the future of venture capital and how we can accelerate the growth of New Jersey’s startup economy.
The Newark community continues to be the backbone of our network. We were proud to have participated in the All Stars Project of New Jersey, supporting high school students with corporate internships, and we enjoyed sponsoring the The Voice Summitt at NJIT. We also rolled out a new fellows program and look forward to engaging Rutgers, NJIT and local Newark high school students in new ways in 2019.
In 2019, we plan to expand our local partnerships as well as corporate engagement. We hope to work closely with our elected officials at every level to ensure that Newark and the whole of New Jersey continue on its path to becoming a beacon for innovation and a hot spot for founders. Most importantly, we hope to continue to see more and more of our portfolio companies, like 1Huddle, Industrial Organic, AeroFarms, ModelShop, LendingFront, Upsider and many more put down roots and create jobs here in Newark. Stay tuned for job and office openings on our twitter and linkedin pages!
Over the last 12 months under the leadership of our NVP Labs Director Allison Williams, we invested in 14 startups thru NVP Labs across the Spring and Fall programs. Fall 2018 was our fifth accelerator class since our launch in 2016 and the program and its participants have since been acknowledged in Inc. Magazine, TechCrunch, GlobeSt, NJ Business Magazine, NJBIZ, ROI-NJ and more.
We are proud at how well the NVP Labs companies have performed in the market, including a 67% follow-on funding rate, and a number of exciting new funding announcements including LendingFront’s $4 Series A financing and CircleLink’s $5M Series A Round in Q4.
Our NVP Labs application is currently open for the Spring 2019 cohort. Our areas of focus remain FinTech, HealthTech, Future Of Work, Voice, and AI-powered applications. If you fit into one of these verticals, and you have $10k – $50k in monthly recurring revenue, apply here today!
In 2018 NVP made 12 significant seed investments including into existing NVP Labs companies as well as direct investments outside of the Labs program. We welcomed companies like Orbita, LendingFront, ClassTag, Veritonic, CircleLink into our seed portfolio.
Our investment focus is on business technology companies that can benefit from locating in Newark or access to our corporate partners and as such we’ve invested in companies in our backyard here in Newark all the way to SF, Tel Aviv, Raleigh and New Orleans.
NVP got a shout out in INC. Magazines “50 Best Places in America For Starting a Business” under the New York City section, where writer Burt Helm mentions that Newark is “carving out its own startup identity.” Meanwhile, NVP companies participated in top competitions such as Startup DreamPitch at Salesforce Dreamforce (Radius8), and BMO Harris/1871 Innovation Program (RankMiner), and our founders were spotlighted at high level events like the Bloomberg Sooner Than You Think technology summit (MoCaFi), and Morgan Stanley’s multicultural day (Floss Bar and Upsider). 1Huddle received the Franchising Innovation and Impact Award on behalf of their work to upskill residents in the City of Newark; Claim It! was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 10 Apps for “Scoring Free Food, Gift Cards and Money”; Galactic Fog was named as Top Enterprise Seed Start-up to Watch in 2019 by Work-Bench; and Vydia has been recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, distinguished as the #12 in Top Media Companies and #15 in Top NJ Companies.
As we enter 2019 we continue to focus on finding great entrepreneurs that are building business technology companies. Our team is continuing to mine areas where we see long-term valuation creation potential over the next 5 years. Some of these themes include Healthtech, Future of Work, Voicetech and Insurtech. A great example of our corporate partner model in action is our partnership with RWJ Barnabas Health. RWJ’s senior engagement with our NVP Team has opened up a unique opportunity to translate real-world health system feedback into areas of investment opportunity in areas such as consumerization of healthcare, remote patient monitoring and clinician productivity.
As 2019 progresses we’re excited to support our existing companies, find some great new Founders and add to the tech ecosystem in Newark.