More than 200 students and recent graduates packed into the Campus Center Atrium recently for the chance to meet and interview the founders of start-up companies from NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center (EDC) and perhaps land a career-expanding internship or job.The EDC showcase, now slated to become an annual event, was designed to give students, alumni, faculty, and the administration the chance to learn about jobs, internships, and co-op opportunities, as well as potential research collaborations with companies at the incubator. The nearly two dozen companies that set up informational booths at the event represented the range of technologies being developed at the incubator, from companies working on voice and facial recognition technologies, software security, telecommunications, and post-disaster mobile apps that locate resources such as food and fuel, among others.
“Students come to Career Services seeking the tools to find internships, co-ops, and jobs. The EDC offers opportunities for employment, real-world experiences, and learning, right on campus. Most students don’t necessarily know that the EDC exists,” said Jane Gaertner, associate director of Career Development Services (CDS). “EDC companies add great value to the entire university community, and we're thrilled this event had such terrific student and alumni attendance.”
New Jersey’s oldest and largest technology and life sciences start-up incubator, the EDC houses an average of 90 companies at a time with well over $50 million in third-party investment. The Center employs between 100 and 300 students at different points in the year.
“There’s no need to trek into New York City as right here on the NJIT campus, we are fostering our own ‘tech scene’ at the EDC,” said Jerry Creighton, the Center’s executive director. “We are hopeful, through capstone projects, faculty collaborations, and company exhibitions like yesterday’s showcase, that students and faculty members will continue to collaborate with the companies residing at the EDC. They should think of it as a laboratory of learning with the focus being on innovation and entrepreneurship.”
4.0 Analytics, a software and data analytics company that has developed a wireless vehicle health management system that continuously evaluates vehicle engine and emission components, is looking for a computer science student to work on a web and mobile app the company has developed.
“The student would be responsible for coordinating the product development process and also play an active working role as a project team leader,” said Gloria Cowart, senior vice president and co-founder of the company, who chatted with students at the event.
Ashas Pathan, a sophomore from Jersey City, was circulating yesterday in the hopes of finding an internship that would give him experience in either telecommunications or embedded systems.
“This is a good way to see what’s going on at the EDC, but also to get a better sense of what happens in the real world,” Pathan said.
Students seeking jobs should check postings on the CDS website as well as on NJIT’s Human Resources website. They also have access to the EDC through class projects, noted Judith Sheft, NJIT's associate vice president of technology development.
Indeed, some professors already consider the EDC a real-world extension of their courses and programs, incorporating work with incubator companies into their classes and helping students find positions that allow them to conduct research and to enhance their knowledge of business development, financing and marketing.
NJIT’s annual Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge, for example, a contest in which students pitch novel concepts for start-up companies to business executives and investors, offers winners both seed funding from the event sponsor, Capital One Bank, and participation in a 10-week accelerator program at the EDC.
Melodi Guilbault, senior university lecturer of sales management and marketing, brought two groups of students to yesterday’s event, requiring some to write company summaries and others to meet with companies to develop a marketing plan.
“The EDC offers opportunities for students to be a part of the excitement and challenges of being an entrepreneur,” Guilbault said.
For EDC job listings, students can check these two sites: