The Next Generation — At NJEN

It’s gotten to be an annual event, for Princeton University’s Friend Center to co-host NJEN’s poster session.

Here is an account of last year’s and yet another post on it Notice that last year much was made of how the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology could help tech businesses. Now the NJCST is no more and some of its portfolio has been taken over by the NJEDA, as explained this year by the NJEDA’s Mike Wiley, a former Marine who is using his skills and determination to foster business in New Jersey.

Wiley announced today’s launch of Choose NJ, a $7 million public private partnership headed by PSE&G;’s Dennis Bone, It sets up meetings of current NJ CEOs with CEOs of companies that might move to the state. Wiley pointed to the availability of Lt. Gov. Kim Gaudagno, who gives out her cell phone number to business groups, and he gave out his own phone numbers and email ( Two state funds provide investment capital. The Edison Innovation fund has $25 million in investment capital and partners with 8 venture capital funds. The Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund has $11 million in four companies, including Princeton Power systems. Wiley also said that the tax loss program, expansion incentives, and retention incentives are are still in place. The NJEDA funded three companies founded by Princeton undergraduates and recent graduates: Princeton Power Systems, StairClimb, and Terracycle.

Sensor technology was prominent last year, as it is again this year. Richard B. Miles has a new kind of detector which could replace explosive-sniffing dogs. Two from Princeton University (post doc Stephen So and master’s candidate Jon Bruno) are working along with David Thomas on a promising new firm, Sentinel Photonics. It has a cheaper, more effective, lower maintenance way to sense air particles. Pictured: Mike Wiley of EDA, David Thomazy, Stephen So, and Jon Bruno, all of Sentinel Photonics.

Last year Ekua Bentil represented a solar firm that is testing its product in Ghana, and this year Eden Full of Roseicollis Technologies offers a solution for rotating solar panels that could work. She says she has been tinkering with her idea since she was nine, and she is all over YouTube with her animated account of hoping to found a nonprofit to help those in third world countries.

Steven Gifis represented another solar company, Amelio Solar founded by renowned solar tech pioneer Zoltan Kiss.

I also met Marc Bazin of HepatoChem, which has labs at Princeton and in Boston, William Pfister of Aexelon Therapeutics, which is based in Exton, PA but has an office in Robbinsville, and Mark T. Flocco, who came to represent Joannes Dapprich of Generation Biotech. I was intrigued by Peter Gordon’s answer to a tough problem — how to keep hands clean in a hospital. Gordon’s Dover, NJ-based firm is Germgard Lighting.

Some of these photos are on my Picasa web album.

In addition to Einstein Alley’s Katherine Kish, I encountered four more intriguing women. Pam Kent, the real estate rep for Princeton Corporate Plaza and the daughter-in-law of architect/owner Harold Kent. The Kents are real friends to the technology community because they have dedicated themselves to providing affordable office space for small and growing companies. And they are expanding the park, even in this environment. I never realized that Kent owned the Wyeth lab on Raymond Road. Wyeth was sold to Pfizer, Pfizer vacated it, and now that space will be converted to serve smaller tech businesses. Even better, Pam’s daughter Jessica, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado, is working in the family business. (Pictured, daughter, mother, and Richard Miles)

The third intriguing woman was Maria Klawe, present in a portrait on the paneled wall of the Friend Center. Klawe was the first women engineering dean here and made a few waves, changing the culture of the EQuad and being visibly artistic. I think I remember her saying she brought her sketch pad — or was it her needlework? — to staff meetings.The male deans are pictured in their academic robes, in oil, surrounded by gilt frames. Klawe is dressed informally, in pants and clogs, sitting on a bench in the E-quad, as students pass by. It certainly makes a different statement; and I’m going to find out if it is a self portrait.

Perhaps the most useful take-away came from Lynne Wildenboer of Red Wolf Design. As we were leaving, I mentioned that I was walking home and, no thanks, I didn’t want a ride because I needed the exercise. She told me of a fabulous Android app, Cardio Trainer. It acts as both a GPS, a pedometer, and a workout recorder, and it’s free. I can’t wait to try it.

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