Entrepreneurial Advisory Group Provides Essential Feedback for New Jersey Startups

When the Entrepreneurial Advisory Group (EAG) was formed, the group’s members were primarily service providers focusing on business owners. After about 3-4 months since forming, the group decided to pivot and change their focus on entrepreneurial tech startups.

The primary directive of the group aims to promote a vibrant entrepreneurial community in New Jersey and provide some resources that startups may need in order to succeed. Today, EAG members are no longer just service providers, but have since began to include successful serial entrepreneurs and other professionals involved with incubators and accelerators.

The pivot was a response to a growing need. New Jersey is the home of many famous innovations, like those by Thomas Edison and Bell labs, yet is still extremely underrepresented in the national conversation around entrepreneurship and startup communities.

New Jersey is home to amazing companies, a highly educated population, and some of the top universities in the world. Unfortunately, when people are looking for resources to start a company many people still feel like they need to travel out of state.

Carlos Abad, the founder of EAG would “love to see entrepreneurship flourish everywhere” but feels “NJ has an opportunity to become its own entrepreneurial hub with its own ecosystem.” Having New York City and Philadelphia, two rapidly growing startup hubs, as neighbors creates great opportunities to expand the potential resources available to New Jersey startups.

Abad also commented on the increasing demand for resources in New Jersey’s startup ecosystem signaled by the rapid growth of various tech meetups and flourishing coworking spaces. Universities are either starting or expanding programs for entrepreneurs as some large corporations have also expressed interest in engaging with the New Jersey community.

startup support nj

Brent Blythe of urjelly.com pitching to the EAG

EAG is positioning itself as a forum where startups can have an opportunity to present their ideas to a curated group of professionals from diverse backgrounds who bring many years of experience of working with entrepreneurs.

This is valuable to most companies starting off, but moreso to those initiating the fund raising process.

The group typically meets monthly and selects anywhere from 1-2 companies to present for 10 minutes followed up by Q&A from the group.

Afterwards, the group collects all the feedback from the attendees, organizes the comments, and eventually gets it back to the founders so they are aware of anything that was not brought up in the open discussion.

I have personally been to two EAG meetings so far and witnessed the value of the experience provided to the startups participating.

The meetings are meant to offer a comfortable setting where the founders can field questions from the group, many of which they were actually unable to answer. The diversity in the group introduces perspectives from many disciplines, giving founders feedback on the working business model, growth strategies, suggestions for how to improve the overall pitch, and more.

Of course, many of these questions are ones the founders can expect from potential investors so exposing weaknesses in the pitch or certain aspects of the company is extremely beneficial.
If you are interested in presenting or would like to observe a meeting, just checkout the Entrepreneurial Advisory Group’s page, currently on www.meetup.com, and sign up.

Finally, I would highly encourage you to check out some of the other groups supporting the growing startup ecosystem in New Jersey, and help promote the communities to other entrepreneurs within your network. Give before you receive and be a part of the growth so one day it can benefit you.

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