Innovation + Business + Incubation = Success

Why must innovation really be the answer to almost everything? The answer to that my friends, is, there will always be a time where some things have to change. Innovation can be viewed as the key for business incubators.

You might ask, “ why must things change in the business industry?”. Honestly, the answers can vary. It can be the business’s choice due to a desire for a new look or the business isn’t working out the way it’s founders planned so.

In these moments, our light bulb turns on and we push to innovate. This is where all the potential game changers are shared around the room and productivity fills the air. From there is only two outcomes; either the “game changing innovation” is a success or it’s just not enough and the cycle of change continues until one “hits the sweet spot”.

Incubator help guide entrepreneurs during these tough moments. At times, the battle are too strong for one opponent. You have to call in back-up and fix the problem by putting multiple minds to use. As the old saying goes, “Three heads are better than one.”

Take your space with =SPACE, here.

Art Credit: Deviant Art user: Iris Ko (Vggal)

The Potential A Workspace Can Hold for You

Have you ever had trouble doing a specific task or just didn’t have the room for it? If the answer to that is “yes”, you should join a workspace. Workspaces are is self explanatory and are your best bet, if you are finding yourself needing a place to work on client projects. These spaces offer help that you can’t find anywhere else.

In a nutshell, a workspace helps you grow, progress, and complete your tasks. Just think, without a workspace as a haven to complete what needs to be done, you would be producing more sweat and tears than necessary. Entrepreneurs already produced enough blood, sweat, and tears for a whole organization. Overall, a workspace is a great solution for your needs.

Book a tour with =Space, here.

Pitch Now Lead Sponsor: GNEC

Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation is a community development corporation, and Certified CDFI, established in 2005. The Organization is exempt from income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and similar provisions of the State code.

GNEC provides financial assistance and training to small businesses in a variety of topical areas, including financial literacy for entrepreneurs, business planning and business management across a myriad of industries.

GNEC has provided structured entrepreneurial training and technical assistance since 2007 under the Urban Entrepreneurs Development Institute (UEDI), reaching more than 500 individuals each year. Services are provided to low- and moderate-income individuals in general as well as to target populations such as young entrepreneurs (aged 18-30), women entrepreneurs, small contractors, and previously incarcerated individuals. In the past three years, GNEC has graduated more than 150 individuals from its entrepreneurial training curriculum.

GNEC has roots in the Central Ward of Newark, NJ and has become a major urban business resource due to its history of providing microloans and delivering effective training and technical assistance resources. The organization is adept at identifying challenges of entrepreneurs, bringing expertise that helps the entrepreneurs address their challenges, and when possible, providing capital to help entrepreneurs start and expand their business.

Is it a Bird, a Plane? It’s a Drone?

Drones have been one of today’s trends and it looks like nothing is going to put a stop to it (not that it’s necessarily a bad thing). If you are a lover of drones, then here’s some good news for you. A new type of drone has been confirmed, but not something you’d expect. I’m talking about the new DJI Mavic Pro, a new compact drone that is small enough to fit in your backpack.

 This drone is fitted with 4 split rotors, it’s bendable and portable, with a slick design and compatibility with your iPhone or Samsung device. The drone comes with a small remote so a phone isn’t required. Now, getting into the inner details about the drone, yes it is bendable but what else? Well this gadget has a built in 4k camera and is said to climb over 1000 feet with a maximum speed of 27 mph.

 It must be noted that this isn’t much of a toy. Drones must be dealt with carefully and with care. Make sure that your area will allow you to fly drones. and it is also important to watch your surroundings when flying. So any drone lover out there, make sure you get your hands on one of these small yet powerful gadgets for the price of $999 and remember to fly safely


Pitch Now Judge: Rakia Reynolds

Rakia Reynolds is the founder of Skai Blue Media, a multimedia communications relations agency focused on the business, branding, and bragging for an all-star roster of lifestyle, technology and nonprofit clients including Ashley Graham, Dell, Visit Philadelphia, Marley Dias, Grace Mahary and more.

As a leader in the public relations industry, Skai Blue Media provides business development, marketing, and message strategy to nonprofits, tech start-ups, and designers, among other businesses. Rakia’s path to entrepreneurship was led by many creative ventures including a role producing shows for MTV, TLC and Discovery Health networks, but ultimately she wanted to create a company that represented the future of public relations in the digital age.

Rakia has also been recognized as an implementer of great strategy by the Young Entrepreneur Council and was presented the Power to the Community award by PECO for being a community trailblazer. Rakia was also named one of the 25 tastemakers on Dell’s “Inspire 100” list, a list of the most socially influential people in the country.

 Rakia has appeared in Lucky, Essence, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Ebony, and Uptown Magazines. She has been a guest editor for Marie Claire and regularly pens pieces for, Small Business Trends,, and Business Journals across the country.  She also the on-air expert for HSN for Serena Williams’ Signature Statement clothing line.

Pitch Now Lead Sponsor: NJIT EDC

The Enterprise Development Center – EDC – is a high-tech and life science business development center on the campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). It is their mission to help startups and growth companies become profitable businesses and dynamic participants in the economic life of New Jersey and the nation. Through a broad range of knowledge and resources — from finding the right working space and attracting investment capital to building staff and developing effective business plans and marketing strategies —NJIT’s EDC gives startups a critical edge on their path to commercialization. If you have any inquires, click here.

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Pitch Now Lead Sponsor: Casabona Ventures

Casabona Ventures is a micro-VC firm, whose Managing Director and Founder is Mario Casabona. They invest in post-seed stage companies located within the mid-Atlantic region. Casabona investment strategy focuses on ventures whose valuations are less than $5 Million, and which support the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. They assist their startups by providing strategic business advice, preparation for investor due-diligence and access to Angel Investors.

They have many programs for startups to help them progress, one of which is called Tech Launch.  This program prepares startups for the investor due diligence process, improves the quality of the deal flow, and supports the regional startup eco-system. For more information, click here.



Pitch Now Judge: Steve Gomez

Steven Gomez is currently the Executive Director at Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) a 501(c)(3) non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides financing, small business counseling, and training services to entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout northern NJ. This includes the Urban Entrepreneurs Development Institute (UEDI) and the Technology Business Support Initiative (TBSI) which assists entrepreneurs in developing effective plans for financial success and improving their decision making skills. GNEC delivers programming in both English and Spanish.
Steven holds an MBA from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business, an MA from Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and undergraduate degrees in both International Business and Computer Science from Caldwell University. He is also a graduate of the Prudential Foundation Nonprofit Executive Fellows Program and the Ethical Leadership Certificate program from the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers University Business School. Steven is the Advisory Board Chair for the Seton Hall University Stillman School of Business Market Research Center, a Board Member for the Business Outreach Center Network/BOC Capital in New York City, and an advisory board member for PHAS INC in Paterson, the Collaborative Action Newark Advisory Board at Rutgers Business School, and the Black and Latino Tech Initiative at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.  Prior to his work with GNEC, Steven held a career in information technology focusing on support services, training, and project management. He has also started, owned, an operated several successful small business ventures and has taught at the secondary and post-secondary education levels.

Pitch Now Judge: Christina Bright (Chris Miss)

Christina Bright, also known in the social media community as “Chris Miss”, is a multifaceted creative who was born and raised in Newark, NJ.

Using platforms such as Instagram and Youtube, she openly shares her love for her son, inner beauty, fashion, cooking, and people to inspire others to unapologetically do the things they love. She believes that everyone has a purpose, and only by doing the work within themselves will they be able to find and fulfill that purpose.

Wanting to spread the message of self-love in her community , Chris has organized and executed a number of charitable events. Everyday is Chris Miss is a platform for her to share her journey in hopes that others will find inspiration to pursue the life they deserve to live.


Pitch Now Judge: Stephanie Macias-Arlington

Stephanie Macias-Arlington joined New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Development Center in 2013. She leads events and marketing efforts for the center and supports 75+ startups on their quest for commercialization. Prior to joining NJIT, Stephanie was responsible for raising funds for several nonprofits, most recently at Dress for Success Worldwide.

An alum of NJIT and MPA graduate of Rutgers School of Public Affairs & Administration, Stephanie is passionate about economic development and supporting the entrepreneurial community of New Jersey. In her free time, Stephanie sits on the Advisory Board of Sacred Heart School in Jersey City and works on her food startup Cauli Grains, a vegetable alternative to carbs.