Home أخبار HAX opening marks major milestone for NJ’s innovation economy

HAX opening marks major milestone for NJ’s innovation economy

17
0

Listen to this article

The basics:

The HAX program, overseen by Princeton-based SOSV, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Newark.
SOSV aims to take 100 hard tech startups through its the program over the next five years, providing substantial support and investment.
Company officials said they chose the Brick City because they “wanted world-class talent close to some of the largest industries in the world.”

The HAX program, overseen by Princeton-based venture capital firm SOSV, marked the opening of its U.S. headquarters with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Newark last week. HAX is a startup accelerator that provides pre-seed hard tech companies and entrepreneurs with investment capital, mentorship collaboration and a home base at the 35,000-square-foot space on Broad Street, which boasts tools and workspaces such as chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering labs; 3D printing; manual metal fabrication; Computer Numerical Control machining; laser cutting; and more.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who spoke at the ceremony and participated alongside other leaders, officials and stakeholders, stressed the importance of this project and this moment for the state – as it seeks to reclaim its innovation legacy.

“Even in the dark days of irresponsible fiscal management and other challenges, we held our own with big companies – the Johnson & Johnsons, Prudentials, Mercks, etc. – for the most part, hung on, thank God, to their heritage in New Jersey. And thank God they did,” Murphy explained. “They continue to be big powerhouses. But we lost our way in the startup community.”

The governor noted that the state did not have the same rhythm in the startup sector as it did back in its heyday – pointing to Bell Labs. “We committed from moment one. The mayor (Ras Baraka) committed from his moment one that we were going to turn that narrative around,” Murphy continued. “And there is no better example of that becoming a reality than HAX. This hard tech hub is going to be transformative. It already is. I had counted, Duncan (Turner), at least 40 companies that you are nurturing so far,” he said, referring to the SOSV general partner and HAX managing director.

Murphy spoke about some of those companies, such as Silana, which moved here from Austria and is aiming to transform the way industrial sewing is done; PureLi, which is developing a pioneering approach to lithium extraction as the world shifts towards electrification and EV’s and the demand for lithium surges.

“There’s a lot to be excited about today,” said Murphy. “This is a play that we have run, and we will continue to run.”

On that point, he spoke of how this ties into the broader efforts with examples such as the HELIX, the Princeton AI Hub, and more. He described HAX’s potential impact as transformative.

“We can’t thank you enough,” Murphy said to the SOSV/HAX officials during the ceremony. “We wear your presence here as a badge of honor. The good news is – this is tangible. You can touch it. You’ve got your operation here. But without question, the best big booming days are still in the future. We are not putting a bow around something that’s taken place. This is a start. And it’s the start of something really, really big.”
Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for SOSV’s new HAX headquarters in Newark on April 30, 2024. – PROVIDED BY RICH HUNDLEY III/NJ GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

The road to Newark

Turner reflected on the journey of getting to this point, since announcing plans to move the HAX U.S. headquarters to the Brick City. HAX also has offices in Shenzhen, San Francisco, Pune and Tokyo.

“HAX’s vision from the start has been to help founders make the impossible – inevitable,” said Turner. “We’ve always invested in founders that are addressing problems or opportunities in the U.S. market. In 2018, we saw that our industrial investments were starting to change from productivity to addressing one of the biggest problems in the world, which is climate change. As we start to invest more in these companies, they start to expand in size and scale – from what we used to be able to fit into a shoebox to something we could no longer fit into a container. At that time, we realized we needed a presence in the U.S. to serve the founders that we were investing.”

Then, the pandemic hit, demonstrating the fragility of supply chains and how the country needed to re-industrialize. “We are investing in new technologies that are going to completely rewire – both figuratively and literally – the U.S. industrial landscape,” Turner said. “From electrification to reshoring manufacturing.”
“HAX’s vision from the start has been to help founders make the impossible – inevitable,” said Duncan Turner, general partner at SOSV and the global managing director of HAX. – PROVIDED BY RICH HUNDLEY III/NJ GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

Turner added that when HAX set out to find a new headquarters, executives were looking for an ecosystem that could be the birthplace of this re-industrialization. “We wanted world-class talent close to some of the largest industries in the world where we would have an industrial heritage and infrastructure ready to support our companies’ expansions,” he explained.

“Newark really has it all. New Jersey is committed to renewable power generation that will feed the grid for decades. We have some truly exceptional universities in the surrounding areas with academic departments that are developing IP and talent that will shape the world for generations to come. And we are a train ride away from two of the best sources of venture capital in the world. This really is a truly unique place.”

SOSV and HAX leaders lauded the state’s foresight, support and collaboration – as reflected in the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s $25 million investment, to go along with its own $25 million investment. SOSV has committed to taking 100 companies through the HAX program over the next five years – providing support with a $250,000 initial investment, 180 days of hands-on collaboration, and access to its global community of early-stage founders building hard tech startups.

“It is the perfect location, not the least because SOSV with NJEDA’s backing, has been able to build an incredibly well equipped and staffed facility that is attracting exactly the type of founder we want to back,” said Sean O’Sullivan, managing general partner at SOSV. “They hail from all over the country and the world, and from their perch here in Newark they have a great opportunity to take in all the immense possibilities and resources New Jersey has to offer.”

HAX will serve as the state’s flagship Strategic Innovation Center, an example of facilities that support research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship through mentorship, networking opportunities, hands-on training, business support services and education opportunities.
Gov. Phil Murphy joined other officials – including Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Duncan Turner, general partner at SOSV and the global managing director of HAX – for the ribbon cutting of SOSV’s new HAX U.S. headquarters in Newark on April 30, 2024. – PROVIDED BY RICH HUNDLEY III/NJ GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

In 2022, HAX was also approved for the NJEDA’s NJ Accelerator program. Under that initiative, the agency matches investments made by approved startup programs into startups that locate in New Jersey within six months after graduating from the participating accelerator program.

NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said that the HAX ribbon cutting has been a long time coming. He cited the critical role of his NJEDA colleague, Chief Economic Transformation Officer Kathleen Coviello, and the support and funding by the governor and Legislature. Sullivan noted that HAX picks up on all of the themes the Murphy administration has focused on.

Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, noted that HAX picks up on all of the themes the Murphy administration has focused on: “(i)nnovation, clean energy, reshoring manufacturing.” – PROVIDED BY RICH HUNDLEY III/NJ GOVERNOR’S OFFICE“Innovation, clean energy, reshoring manufacturing. I think it also represents a real strategy not to just compete – but win,” said Sullivan, recounting the process of competing to land this landmark project in Newark. “We knew this was the big one. This was a huge opportunity for New Jersey and Newark.”

And Sullivan said the marching orders from Murphy – from day one – were to not just be number one in innovation and reclaim New Jersey’s legacy of innovation and entrepreneurship. “We want to be the most diverse and inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in America,” Sullivan said. “And that’s a lot easier said than done. But how do you do it? You invest in programs like the Black and Latino Seed Fund. You do it with things like the Innovation Fellows Program, which is funding 30 founders – primarily women of color. And you do it by making a big bet like HAX in Newark – one of America’s and New Jersey’s great cities – that is home to people from all over the world and represents diversity in all its many forms.”

Sullivan also emphasized that – in addition to the potential job creation and economic impact in Newark and beyond – this is a long-term bet. “What happens here is going to reverberate around the world,” said Sullivan, nodding to the comments made by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “We’re going to have lots of success stories – not just today, tomorrow and this year and next year – but five, 10, 25 years into the future. And so, when the governor talks about building our innovative capacity and our capacity to spawn the next generation of great companies – it’s our higher ed, it’s talent, but it’s engines of innovation like HAX that are going to drive the outsized growth that we want to see, need to see from our innovation economy.”

“So, this is really big deal,” Sullivan added.

Creating opportunity

“I’m glad you chose New Jersey. But I’m even more happy that you chose Newark,” Baraka said. “We are happy that EDA decided to invest a significant amount of money in this venture. But more importantly, I think the things that we offer are a lot more material and tangible.”

Baraka pointed to the higher ed talent, location, the port, the city’s industrial legacy, transportation and more. “I think HAX choosing this area creates all kinds of opportunities for us up and down this corridor – in tech, hard tech, and soft tech at the same time,” he said. “So, I’m excited about it.”
“I’m glad you chose New Jersey. But I’m even more happy that you chose Newark,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said. “We are happy that EDA decided to invest a significant amount of money in this venture. But more importantly, I think the things that we offer are a lot more material and tangible.” – PROVIDED BY RICH HUNDLEY III/NJ GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

The mayor added that HAX opening accelerates the city’s momentum as an emergent global hub for manufacturing and technological breakthroughs. “Thank you for choosing Newark and for being a partner with us,” said Baraka. “And we consider you family. All you need now is a key and one of the ZIP codes right here in the City of Newark.”

And the integration into Newark and New Jersey is well underway. HAX has been operating out of a temporary space in the same building since 2022 – establishing relationships with universities, such as the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology. SOSV has become invested in the local community – hosting groups like the Newark Youth Career Pathways; participating in speaking engagements like The Newark Summit; and organizing events including its first HAX-A-THON during Newark Tech Week for local high school students.

“It is with great pride for me to witness Newark become the epicenter of this transformative endeavor, signaling the emergence of a new dawn in domestic re-industrialization,” said Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, D-29th District, a Newark native, who was on hand for the ribbon cutting. “With this world-class facility, we cultivate new burgeoning economic prosperity and transformative growth.”

Assembly Budget Chairwoman Eliana Pintor-Marin, D-29th District, said the opening of the facility in her district signifies not just the growth of a company, but the vitality of her community and the opportunities it offers for businesses seeking to thrive here.

“I am proud of the creativity and thoughtfulness of the Legislature in creating tax incentive programs that attract these innovative enterprises,” said Pintor-Marin. “By providing initial capital, mentorship, and collaborative opportunities, HAX will serve as a pivotal catalyst for further propelling Newark to the forefront of tech innovation and economic prosperity.”

The governor also stressed that that SOSV/HAX could have chosen anywhere for this headquarters.

“The most important thing I want to say – Sean and Duncan and colleagues could have planted the HAX flag literally anywhere in the world – and they chose Newark, New Jersey,” said Murphy. “I think it is, among – if not, the most significant win that we have had in my time in office.”

مصدر

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here