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Member News — New Jersey Innovation Institute and HealRWorld® Launch Public/Private Accelerator to Develop Sustainably Committed Start-Ups
November 2nd, 2018

The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) an NJIT Corporation, and HealRWorld (HRW), a social impact company dedicated to spurring the growth of sustainable small and mid-sized (SMEs) businesses in New Jersey and globally, have partnered to launch an accelerator focused on supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.  The vision was announced by Dr. Joel Bloom, president of NJIT, at the United Nations in May, and is now being launched at the same time Governor Phil Murphy has unveiled an economic development strategic plan – “The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey.” The plan is designed to place New Jersey on a path to a stronger future where innovation, diversity and fairness stand at the forefront of the State’s economy.

Don Sebastian, president of NJII stated, “We are excited to partner with HealRWorld on this new sustainability-themed accelerator to support companies helping to achieve the SDGs of the United Nations. Our model will accelerate the development of startup, early-stage, and scale-up companies through cohorts organized by the sustainable business priorities of the participating companies.  We will also partner with large companies and granting organizations to scout, vet, and curate smaller technology-based companies that provide a source of corporate innovation.”

Governor Murphy, in a recorded video message stated, “To HealRWorld and the New Jersey Innovation Institute–congratulations on this tremendous new collaboration.  As you know, I want to see New Jersey once again dominate the global innovation economy.  To do so we will need to make New Jersey a magnet for companies working at the leading edge of discovery and sustainability.   But I don’t want us to just do well…I want us to do good in the process.”  To view the entire statement from Governor Murphy, click here.

The SDG Accelerator Launch brought together leaders from major New Jersey corporations along with NGOs, social impact investors, academic institutions, representatives from the United Nations and cutting-edge start-ups eager to collaborate and partner on this new venture.

“I am delighted to see our vision go from inception to fruition today with such enthusiasm and interest from the marketplace, the United Nations and our Governor!  This is a proud moment for all of us…and for New Jersey,” commented Michele Bongiovanni, CEO and founder of HealRWorld.  “Being a woman-owned, social impact start-up, I know just how very hard it is for companies like ours to secure funding and corporate partnerships.  Now we can help jump-start similar firms within the state and across the world, and truly make an impact.”

HealRWorld® is at the forefront of the integration of business and social/environmental values-driven enterprise with the world’s largest database of privately held sustainable companies across all areas of environment, social, and governance factors (ES&G) and has a strategic partnership with global business data and analytics leader Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).

Bongiovanni, founder of HealRWorld, is not only leading the charge for sustainable SMEs, but is a champion for women-led businesses. Her vision of a global digital community platform that levels the playing field and unites socially minded consumers with businesses committed to their values is becoming a reality. With over one million businesses in the HealRWorld network, the initiative is important and timely. “We have aggregated certification data globally on SMEs across all areas of sustainability and proven through partnering with Dun & Bradstreet that sustainably-committed SMEs are on average three times more creditworthy than their peers (Source:  Dun & Bradstreet/HealRWorld Global Business Ranking (GBR) Analysis, 2016). Our goal is to leverage these insights to drive greater access to capital and more reasonable financing rates to these sustainable SMEs in New Jersey and globally and further prove that sustainable business is good business

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