Small Changes Add Up to Big Savings

Saving money never goes out of style. For the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy, pennywise practices can go a long way toward spending less… "It’s important to save because it gives you a framework. People are looking for steps to take," Barbara O’Neill, a Rutgers University professor and author who specializes in financial resource management, said… Having a financial goal gives direction and provides motivation, O’Neill said. She promotes a "stepping down" program whereby individuals are "not giving something up, but are finding a lower price."… If one is buying pancakes, for example, there are a few options: At the top step is the most expensive choice- buying pancakes at a sit-down restaurant; a cheaper option is purchasing pancakes at a fast-food restaurant; another step down, saving more money, is buying frozen pancakes at the supermarket; and the least costly way to go is making pancakes at home from scratch.

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Rutgers Food Innovation Center and NJ Business Groups to Visit Israel to Build NJ-Israel Innovation Cluster

Rutgers FIC Director Lou Cooperhouse.

Rutgers FIC Director Lou Cooperhouse.

During the week of June 21, Lou Cooperhouse, director of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC) and President of the New Jersey Business Incubation Network (NJ BIN) and Jessica Paolini, Economic Development Manager of Choose New Jersey, Inc., are visiting Israel to meet with academic, government, business incubation, and investment organizations. The purpose of the trip is to create a NJ-Israel Food Innovation Cluster, focused on food and agribusiness collaborations, which will serve as a model for other cluster-based initiatives expected to be formed between the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey during the next few years.

They will be hosted by Olive Grove Ventures (OGV), an international business development consultancy, whose mission is to accelerate the successful entry of Israeli companies into the US market.

“We believe that there is great potential to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between New Jersey and Israel to bring science based innovations to the U.S. market,” stated Laura Herschlag, founder and CEO of Olive Grove Ventures. “Every government, industry, and academic organization we reached out to responded enthusiastically to the invitation to meet or host a gathering with representatives from New Jersey to learn about the market entry resources and platforms to help Israeli companies succeed in the US.”

The NJ-Israel Food Innovation Cluster is a joint initiative between the FIC, OGV, and Tel-Hai Academic College. Cooperhouse will be discussing research and academic collaborations with Tel-Hai and will be the keynote presenter for their “Innovations in Healthy Foods” conference, which strengthens the connection between the university and industry, and introduces the latest innovations in science and technology as relates to healthier food.

“We are extremely excited at this first step in creating a NJ-Israel Food Innovation Cluster. Business clustering and cooperation results in enhanced innovation and accelerated economic growth, due to the opportunities created by linking together academia, industry and government,” said Cooperhouse. [Read more…]

Rutgers EcoComplex Designated International Business Incubator by National Association

NBIA Soft Landings logoRutgers EcoComplex Clean Energy Innovation Center, a business incubator located in Bordentown, New Jersey, was awarded the Soft Landings International Incubator designation by the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). The EcoComplex becomes the third active Soft Landings incubator in New Jersey; the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, which focuses on the food and agribusiness sector, and the Enterprise Development Center at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) also have the designation.

Through its Soft Landings program, NBIA recognizes business incubation programs across the world that offer specialty services to help foreign companies enter into their domestic market. The Rutgers EcoComplex was selected for the program because of its slate of business services for nondomestic firms and its demonstrated success at helping these firms enter the U.S. market. The EcoComplex has successfully worked with international companies in areas of environmental and alternative energy innovation.

With three Soft Landings incubators, New Jersey has the largest cluster of internationally-focused incubators in the U.S. and the second-largest cluster in the world. The resources of each of New Jersey’s three incubators are multiplied by the resources available through their membership in the New Jersey Business Incubation Network, a collaboration of 13 incubators in the state.

The Rutgers EcoComplex incubator is a comprehensive business development program and facility for companies in the clean energy, environmental and controlled environment agriculture industries. [Read more…]

Billions of Dollars in Debt

U.S. millennials have more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. In New Jersey, total student loan debt hovers around $30.8 billion, which is just shy of the amount that’s needed to run the state of New Jersey in 2015… The skyrocketing cost of education and the Great Recession forced many students to finance their education with loans. Officials say as they graduate into the real world with significant debt and, in many cases take low paying jobs they’re overqualified for, economic activity isn’t as significant as it’s been when past generations were coming into adulthood…"There are a whole lot of people out there living postponed lives," said Barbara O’Neill, a personal finance professor at Rutgers University New Brunswick. "It’s got a dampening effect for people of all ages- not just the young people themselves. It ripples."… Debt prevents millennials from forming households, which means they’re not renting apartments or buying homes. With 80 million nationwide, they could be boosting the economy, O’Neill said. But they’re not — and it’s because of their debt.

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Team of Rutgers Graduate Students Named Finalist in International Business Plan Competition

2015 Graduate Student competition logoA team that includes three Rutgers graduate students is one of nine entrepreneurial-minded teams from around the world named finalists in the Licensing Executives Society (LES) Foundation’s 2015 International Graduate Student Business Plan Competition. Winners of this graduate student competition, which “focuses on student business plans that hinge on ground-breaking technologies and that offer sound strategies for commercializing intellectual assets to achieve business objectives,” will be announced on May 11 at the LES Spring Meeting in La Jolla, CA.

Advancing to the final round are Tom Villani, Ph.D. student in medicinal chemistry, Michael Johnson, Ph.D. student in environmental sciences and Ryan Manaskie, an MBA candidate, who lead the biotech startup, Phytosys, LLC, which was named finalist in the LES competition. Phytosys was launched following Villani’s invention of Visikol™, a patent-pending chemical formula that renders animal and plant tissues transparent and allows for 3D biopsies and various other transformative technologies. [Read more…]