Building Innovation & Technology Throughout Newark

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the VOICE Summit at NJIT to speak with Simon Nynens, VP & Chief Commercial Officer, NJIT about Newark being a pivotal location for innovation and technology in the state of New Jersey, and how VentureLink provides technology companies workspace and mentorship.

10/26/19 #119






"You can hear... you... I can feel the energy as well, here on the campus of NJIT, New Jersey Institute of Technology. This is the second annual Voice Summit that is sponsored by Amazon Alexa. So much going on here. So much in the voice... area of voice technology. And one guy who's gonna help break this down is Simon Nynens, who is Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer here at NJIT. How you doing Simon? Oh good. Thank you for having me. This is a big deal? Absolutely, yes. Why? A lot of people now are exposed to Newark and NJIT. We've grown tremendously from just being a public university and also help companies start and really grow as a company and build that partnership with the university. Simon, there's something called VentureLink? Yes. What is it? That is NJIT's business incubation center. So we have about 110,000 square feet, 65 companies, that are being incubated right here, as well as larger... Define incubated. So what that means is you have an idea, and not only students of NJIT or faculty, there's a young lady here, who has... had an idea for hair products for women of color. She comes into the center and says, "How do I start a company?" Yeah. "What do I do with an LLC? What is an LLC? What is a PnL? How should I price my product?" Those kinds of issues. Real life issues. That's what we help them with. It's interesting. So many of the folks here at the Voice Summit Two, they're smart about technology, they're innovators, they're creative, but the... I hate to call it the "nuts and bolts" of business... Yeah. Sometimes, they may not know those skills? Correct. Yeah, and it's a little bit like, you're good in golf, and you're there... but you still need a business manager. You're not good in tennis. Or you're not... if everybody has a certain skill, and together is better than alone. And what we want to do is get these entrepreneurs together and say, "I've got a question about what lawyer to use? Who's good? Who's not good?" Learn from each other. That's what we're trying to do, by building a community. And you can have the best idea in the world, but if you don't manage the business side of that well? Absolutely. And we know that in public broadcasting. You can have the greatest producers. Which we do. The greatest technology team. Which we do. You don't run the business well? Correct. You're out of business? Absolutely. And then there's the part of managing. Now you're a very good technical manager, but then you start to manage people, and we have..."