By Conrad Malinowski
Watch out New York City — New Jersey is quickly becoming the new hotbed for ground-breaking and cutting-edge ideas. The newly-founded Innovation & Entrepreneurship Council of the Mercer Princeton Chamber of Commerce is bringing together startups, entrepreneurs, educational institutions and funding organizations to drive and support economic growth right here in the greater Princeton Area.
As part of the council’s initiative, it hosted “Princeton Pitchstop: How to convince people to invest with you” on Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Grounds for Sculpture in Princeton.
At the event, two New Jersey-based startups pitched their new business ideas to a panel of three successful investors that included Mark Mitchell, managing director of the Delaware Crossing Investor Group, Kelly Ford, partner at Edison Partners and Ari Fuchs, managing director of the DAK group. After hearing each pitch, the panel analyzed its overall strength, gave feedback and offered advice on how to improve it. Afterwards, the audience was allowed to ask questions and input their opinions.
The first to pitch was a group of Rutgers University students with their New Brunswick based startup, Nutrivide, and their idea for The Nutrifier. The Nutrifier is a pacifier that stores and dispenses micronutrients that are vital for infant survival and growth. It administers vitamins and minerals through a solution, which is stored in a disposable cartridge attached to the front of the pacifier, and dispenses them out of two offset exit holes on the nipple of the pacifier.
Nutrivide believes the product will help combat infant malnutrition and lower the infant mortality rate, particularly in developing countries where some mothers are unable to safely breastfeed their babies.
In the future, the team at Nutrivide is looking to build Nutrifiers that tackle specific infant health problems, such as Nutrifiers for infants born prematurely, infants that suffer from down syndrome and infants who experience recurring seizures.
The company also plans to incentivize customer participation in ecological awareness through an initiative where customers send their used cartridges back to Nutrivide and receive a 20 percent discount on their next purchase.
“The customers will benefit economically, and the globe will benefit ecologically allowing us to maintain sustainability as one of our core company values,” said Clair Wang, head of medical affairs for Nutrivide.
Next to pitch was Clearedin, a software company who believes their services will put an end to phishing, a cyberattack in which cybercriminals attempt to steal personal or commercial information through fraudulent websites or emails.
The company aims to protect customers from spear phishing, Business Email Compromise and account takeover attacks by using an AI-powered Cloud Communications Security platform with patented Trust Graph technology that protects all digital communications and collaboration.
In order to do so, the platform analyzes users’ email metadata to create a map of an organization’s social connections, deeming what activity is acceptable and what may be suspicious. Their machine learning algorithms can determine who are good and bad senders. Clearedin’s multi-layered defense system then flags and locks suspicious emails, preventing the user from clicking on malicious links or downloads.