Governor touts plan for venture capital fund to attract startups

Gov. Phil Murphy was in North Brunswick Wednesday pitching his proposed Innovation Evergreen Fund. The tax incentive-based venture capital contribution system auctions off tax incentives to larger companies as a way to help create a venture capital fund for startups and tech-based small companies. Augmented by a $60 million state investment, the fund would be a cornerstone of the state’s revamped incentive program.

“In 2007, New Jersey ranked fifth in the country in terms of total venture capital investments, roughly $1.3 billion, and that’s a lot of money, period, but also when you whack up the amount of investments that would have yielded, because venture investments are by definition, smaller in size. That was 2007. Over the ensuing years, we not only dropped 10 spots, but the amount of venture capital finding its way annually into New Jersey startups has been cut in half,” Murphy said.

The governor hopes the Innovation Evergreen Fund, along with other tax incentive reforms, will get legislative approval. The existing incentive programs end June 30.