Murphy eyes venture capital fund to lure startups to set up shop

David Madden
March 23, 2019 - 4:00 am
Governor Phil Murphy today showcased details of the proposed New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund (NJIEF), a groundbreaking new program to bring more venture capital investment to New Jersey while strengthening the Garden State’s innovation ecosystem in N

Courtesy of Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office via Flickr

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NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (KYW Newsradio) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy continues pushing for priorities in his proposed $38.6 billion budget for the next fiscal year. Spurring innovation is seen as one way to stimulate the state’s economy and business climate.

At an event in North Brunswick, the governor promoted a proposed five year plan, which aides suggest has gotten a lot of buzz in business circles.

“The Innovation Evergreen Fund will pair proceeds from a competitive auction of new state tax credits, typically going to be sold to large companies that have tax exposure in New Jersey. A onetime transaction,” Murphy said. “We’ll pair the proceeds with private venture capital money into a diverse array of New Jersey centric and New Jersey based startups.”

The governor looked at the record of his predecessor, Chris Christie, in suggesting the new approach is needed.

“In 2007, New Jersey ranked 5th in the country in terms of total venture capital investments, roughly $1.3 billion,” he added. “Over the ensuing eleven years, we not only dropped ten spots, but the amount of venture capital finding its way annually into New Jersey startups has been cut in half.”

Murphy has often been critical of the Economic Development Authority under Christie’s watch. Over eight years, $11 billion in tax incentives were doled out, and Murphy says there’s been little to suggest they did much good.

Hopes are to turn trends around but the idea, first introduced in December, hasn’t gotten far in the legislature. Existing tax incentive programs are set to expire at the end of June.

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