Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Trenton-Ewing, NJ

Trenton, New Jersey

As the capital of the state, Trenton and Ewing NJ have a history as the social and economic center of the region.

Trenton and Ewing, NJ are a pair of cities in the central part of the state. As the capital of the state (and, for a brief time in 1784, the country), Trenton has a history as the social and economic center of the region. The robust manufacturing economy that earned Trenton the slogan “Trenton Makes, The World Takes” has seen better days. However, the city’s economy has grown in new ways that allow entrepreneurship to thrive. Technically a part of the New York Combined Statistical Area and bordering Philadelphia, both Trenton and Ewing have access to many resources in the highly-ranked major cities.

On its own merits, however, Trenton also ranks well in terms of entrepreneurship. Though it was all the way down at 704th in WalletHub’s 2019 rankings of the best small cities to start a business, it was 18th in a 2018 study performed by CompTIA that ranked the best “Tech Towns” for IT professionals. Additionally, the Trenton-Ewing area ranked as the 15th-most innovative metropolitan area in the country, according to a study by Verizon.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that makeup Trenton and Ewing’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

The Princeton Entrepreneur Networking Meetup is designed to allow area business owners to make connections in their industry.

The goal of the meetup is to allow technology entrepreneurs and innovators to share knowledge and advance their startups.

The Simply Referrals networking group allows entrepreneurs and business professionals to meet one another and grow their businesses.

 

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

Located in Trenton, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce hosts many events. Examples include an annual golf competition, networking event, a networking and business trip to Washington DC and much more.

The New Jersey Tech Council holds regular technology-related events throughout the state. This includes an annual awards ceremony, leadership summit, networking opportunities and more.

The Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber’s signature events include several awards ceremonies, business summits, networking events, a startup competition and more.

Princeton is home to one branch of Startup Grind, an organization in cities around the country that hosts regular business and entrepreneurship events.

 

Startup Competitions:

2019 marked the first PitchStop. A pitch competition held by the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber with cash and in-kind prizes worth over $20,000.

Organized by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club, TigerLaunch is open to entrepreneurs around the world enrolled in college, graduate school or doctoral programs.

In 2016, the New Jersey Collegiate Entrepreneurship Consortium created UPitchNJ, a competition open to student teams at any of New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities.

 

Co-working Spaces:

Base Camp Trenton is a co-working space that offers flexible membership plans for shared co-working space, private offices, a recording studio, and single-use meeting rooms.

Trenton is home to one location of The Hive, a co-working network with four spaces across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

TigerLabs, an entrepreneurial co-working space located near Princeton University, offers a wide variety of membership plans to meet its members’ specific needs.

 

Makerspaces:

The College of New Jersey in Ewing offers its students access to the AIMM Makerspace. The workshop includes laser cutters, 3D printers, a CNC machine, power tools and more.

Students at the University of Princeton have access to the CST StudioLab. The school’s makerspace provides a variety of tools and hosts regular workshops and other events.

Located just down the road in New Brunswick, Fair Use Building and Research Labs is a hackerspace that offers members 24/7 access to its workshop, meeting space and lounge areas.

 

Incubators:

Actually located on Trenton’s Pennsylvania Avenue just off Cherry Street, the Cherry Street Kitchen is a commercial kitchen space that supports blossoming food-based businesses.

The New Jersey Business Incubation Network is a network of incubators from across the state that helps make business support services available to everyone.

The University of Princeton organizes several incubators and support services for both students of the university and the public at large.

The College of New Jersey is home to one branch of the Small Business Development Center. They host regular workshops and organize other services to support area businesses.

 

Accelerators:

One of a number of programs offered by Princeton University, the eLab Summer Accelerator is a 10-week educational accelerator program for student startups.

The Sixers Innovation Lab is an accelerator program run in part by the Philadelphia 76ers that invests in promising startups across a variety of industries.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority runs the New Jersey Bioscience Center. This incubator and lab space is just outside of Trenton in New Brunswick.

TechLaunch holds quarterly events throughout the state to find the best early-stage technology startups to work with.

 

Colleges/Universities:

Students majoring in Business Studies at Mercer County Community College can choose the entrepreneurship concentration.

Princeton University’s Princeton Entrepreneurial Hub provides a wide variety of support and resources to entrepreneurial students, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Located just outside of Trenton in Lawrenceville, Rider University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies offers an undergraduate major and minor in entrepreneurship.

Students at Thomas Edison State University can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specific major in entrepreneurship.

 

Angel Groups/VCs:

A program run by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Edison Innovation Fund invests in technology and life science startups throughout the state.

Based in New Brunswick, the Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network is a group of accredited angel investors that work with technology companies from around the state.

In addition to providing co-working space, Princeton’s TigerLabs runs a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage software companies.

 

Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

New Jersey Business Magazine offers New Jersey Business Today, a daily e-newsletter covering important business headlines around the state.

NJBIZ, a weekly business magazine for the state of New Jersey, offers a variety of newsletters covering different topics in the healthcare field.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority offers a newsletter containing news about the state’s economic growth and business development.

 

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Trenton-Ewing, NJ not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

New York, NY, Norwich-New London, CT, Worcester, MA


Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.