Expanding on the Future of Innovation Across New Jersey
As part of our “Future of Innovation” series, Steve Adubato speaks with Aaron Price, President & CEO, NJ Tech Council, about innovation and technology today and the opportunities to expand innovation across New Jersey.
"We're pleased to welcome Mr. Aaron Price, President and CEO of the New Jersey Tech Council, and the founder of Propelify. Yes. Good to see you. Nice to see you. As we do this program, it's only been a couple months since you've been the head of this organization? Yeah. In six weeks or so. What do these folks do? So the New Jersey Tech Council is the largest representation of innovators in the state of New Jersey, both small and large, and has recently acquired my startup, Propelify, which represents one of the largest communities of entrepreneurs in the country. We're best known for this 8,000 person event that we have called the Propelify Innovation Festival. Is that the event in Hoboken? That's the event on Pier A in Hoboken outside. Two talk stages, drones, VCs, VR, music, food, drinks, people not dressed in ties. It's a good time. See I knew I was gonna take a hit. [laughter] So if I were gonna do a tech startup, this is not the appropriate dress? Well, most likely you would be way overdressed. [laughter] Yeah. Okay. Let's be serious for a second. Sure. Here's what's fascinating to me. This is part of an ongoing conversation where we're doing a series of programs called the Future of Innovation. Yeah. New Jersey and innovation. We live in Montclair, next to West Orange. I see the... Yeah. ...the Edison... everything going on there, the factory, the... excuse me, where the work was going on there, the museum. Where are we today when it comes to innovation in terms of how much innovation is going on? A. And b, what needs to take place to create even more innovation? I think we're at a really exciting time for New Jersey. I've run this large event, now we're going on our fourth year. Right. And the first year this happened, people thought I was crazy. Who's ever gonna come to Hoboken for this thing? I hoped we'd get 3,000 attendees. We had eight, and we've been growing each year. And so I see that the state's really matured in how we can help startups and innovators grow. I think the future is very bright and we're at a time now where there's a lot of opportunity for how we define the, sort of the next generation of the economy. So having the governor on our side, so to speak, vocally supportive... What does that mean? What has the governor done? Yeah. Governor Murphy? In terms of promoting innovation? I mean, it should... one is that just showing up and speaking about it is actually a significant step. Other governors have not always been so supportive and paid attention. So that's sort of an easy win. But it's really important that..."