A community of entrepreneurs, investors, designers and computer scientists from around the Tri-State area converged on Stevens Institute of Technology on Tuesday for the second annual New Jersey Spark Summit, a day-long networking event meant to bring awareness to the Garden State’s growing tech community.
The event, run by Hoboken entrepreneur Aaron Price, was inspired by the NJ Tech Meetup, a monthly gathering of techies and business people that Price started in 2012. In conjunction with Amit Baria and Bret Morgan, Price's counterparts who curate other tech communities around the state, Price reached out to Stevens to hold the event. The goal, Price said, is a simple one.
“New Jersey is increasingly one of the best places in the country to start a company, but the awareness just isn’t there right now,” he said. “The idea of the summit is to inspire people to start those companies and give them the resources and networking connections that they need todo so.”
“New Jersey is increasingly one of the best places in the country to start a company.” – Aaron Price
“When you bring these people together, inspire them, and build their connections, the chances that they will take that leap and start something are much higher,” he said. “It’s a way to know that you’re not out on a limb alone here, which is a real concern.”
Price said all too often good ideas never materialize because the people that come up with those ideas are worried they won’t have the resources or support system necessary to succeed. He expressed hope that the summit would change that.
“The idea is that if you can get these random collisions to occur among the right types of people, things might then work out,” he said. “For instance, if you’ve got an investor and a designer, they might be able to help each other out, but they might not have known each other before. So over time the chances that they will succeed increase. It helps perpetuate a cycle where people hopefully will take a leap.”
Stevens President Nariman Farvardin welcomed the conference’s attendees at the beginning of the program, and pledged his and the school’s support to the growing Hoboken startup community.
“We are determined to work closely with entities around the area to create an environment that is good for entrepreneurs,” he said. “Stevens and Hoboken are both historically an incubator of innovation.”
For more information on the Summit, visit www.njsparksummit.com. For information on Price’s monthly meetup events, check out www.meetup.com/njtech.
Dean DeChiaro may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org