New Jersey Expands Business Accelerator for Green Entrepreneurs

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 6:17 PM EDT
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New Jersey Expands Business Accelerator for Green Entrepreneurs

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LYNDHURST, New Jersey, August 19, 2008 (ENS) - The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission has decided to invest $1.5 million over three years to fund a new program that mentors and guides early-stage environmentally friendly companies.

The NJMC Business Accelerator is intended to provide entrepreneurs with affordable office space and the guidance needed to turn an idea or technology into a thriving business.

Now a part of the New Jersey Business Incubation Network, the Accelerator opens a new office in September at 160 Chubb Avenue in Lyndhurst. The 12,000 square foot space includes conference rooms, shared business equipment, a digital phone system and high-speed and wireless Internet connections.

One-on-one mentoring, coaching, and other resources and services that may out of the reach of young businesses will be available to Accelerator clients.

"Our goal is to attract these companies to the Meadowlands District, helping them to set up shop and to remain in this region," said Joseph Doria, NJMC chairman and commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

"These local businesses are the seeds that will ultimately help grow the economies of our Meadowlands municipalities," he said.

The commission is now accepting applications from people interested in becoming clients of the Accelerator. The NJMC is interested in clients "who have a vision for sustainable, renewable, alternative energy and other green technologies and service businesses."

Doria says the NJMC Business Accelerator advances Governor Jon Corzine's energy master plan and his economic growth strategy for New Jersey.

The project also is a component of the NJMC's energy master plan to promote energy efficiency and sustainability throughout the Meadowlands District, a vast wetland that stretches along the terminus of the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers as they flow into Newark Bay.

This plan includes installing up to 20 megawatts of renewable energy in the Meadowlands District by 2020 and encouraging green building principles through reduced permit costs in the 14 municipalities in Bergen and Hudson counties that lie within the district.

To expand the services and support the Accelerator provides, the commission has established collaborations with universities, colleges and community groups.

The Accelerator's director is Michel Bitritto, a former president of the New Jersey Business Incubation Network and a director of the Meadowlands Commission.

She is an executive with 27 years' of experience in New Jersey's chemical industry working for Celanese, among others. A prominent Democrat, in 2001, Bitritto won a Council seat in Summit, New Jersey.

As of August 20, she and the Accelerator are featured on the Comcast Newsmakers program on the Headline News.

The commission also is going green in other ways. Its new Center for Environmental and Scientific Education was built to LEED standards with roof-top solar panels, solar light tubes in classroom ceilings, recycled building materials, and low-flow toilets as well as energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems.

Applications and more information are available on the NJMC website at: www.njmeadowlands.gov. Contact Bitritto at: michel.bitritto@njmeadowlands.gov.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.

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