Please enjoy this complimentary 12 – month calendar!
Cyber Intelligence Briefing: Understanding Blockchain and its Impact | NJSBDC @ Ramapo College of New Jersey
Thu, April 26, 2018
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT
Ramapo College of New Jersey/ Small Business Development Center
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430
Regardless of the price of Bitcoin, Blockchain technology is here to stay.Which businesses are left standing will likely come down to how well companies are able to adapt. The total market capitalization for the world’s crypto-currencies, led by Bitcoin on Blockchain, is more than $100 Billion. Soon to be disrupted industries will include Financial Services, Healthcare, Aviation, Global Logistics and Shipping, Transportation, Music, Manufacturing, Security, Media, Identity, Automotive, Land Use and Government, and more.
Intelligence Briefing Includes:
- What exactly is Blockchain technology
- How this new era in technology has the potential to change the business world
- Why is this technology powering crypto-currencies like Bitcoin
- Top industries impacted by Blockchain
- What you should be considering before Blockchain disrupts your industry
Who Should Attend?
- Business Owners, Operations & System Administrators
- Entrepreneurs, Educators and Elected Officials
- Anyone interested in learning about the future of Blockchain technology
Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.
More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
As part of National Small Business Week, America’s SBDC New Jersey (NJSBDC) will be holding a series of programs all across the state between April 29 – May, 5, 2018.
Take a look and see what’s going on near you!
191 Pennsylvania Avenue
Paterson, NJ 07055
Ann Marie Belasco and son Anthony are the owners of Dingman’s Dairy in Paterson, NJ. The company currently employs 50 men and women in sales, office, customer service, warehouse, and delivery positions. The Dingman family opened the business in 1955, and sold it to the current owners in 2007. Since the purchase, Dingman’s Dairy has grown from 4 delivery trucks to 17, and sales have increased five-fold.
As its name might imply, Dingman’s Dairy is a distributor of ice cream, ice cream mix, frozen yogurt, frozen desserts, cones, toppings, syrups, inclusions, sprinkles, paper goods and other related products. Customers include ice cream parlors, yogurt shops, restaurants, catering facilities, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and convenience stores. Major and more notable customers include Bodegas, Dairy Queen, Met Life Stadium, Sesame Place, Miami Seaquarium, Great Adventure, Jones Beach (NY), Santa Cruz Boardwalk (CA), local carnivals, the New Jersey State Fair, and many special events in the tri-state area.
In 2016, the Belascos contacted the NJSBDC at William Paterson University for counseling on a variety of important business matters. Since 70 percent of Dingman’s business is generated from April through September, discussions revolved around ideas to generate more business during the October to March time frame. Brainstorming topics included: Company acquisitions; new product categories; expansion of business to the Long Island, NYC metropolitan and Manhattan areas; sales process improvement; social media advertising; online ordering; enhanced distribution strategies; and other ideas on the Belasco’s agenda. “The SBDC,” according to the owners, “has been a sounding board, strategy advisor and business counselor to us over the past year on a variety of matters important to our growth and stability of the business.”
With the Center’s help and advice, Dingman’s expects to grow the business 15 percent in 2018 by adding new product categories, expanding sales areas, new sales personnel, and better marketing strategies. They are also adding a marketing specialist and hiring other personnel. Of great importance is the fact that the Belascos recently purch-ased land adjacent to company headquarters. The company will be building a state-of-the art distribution center to further enhance customer services and bolster product and sales growth opportunities.
20 Irven Street
Ewing, NJ 08638
Founded in 1982 by Harry Stout III, two generations of family management and an exceptional employee base at Stout’s Transportation are driving the future of motor coach travel in the Northeast. Company President, Tim Stout, along with brothers, Shawn, who heads business development for the medical transportation division, and Harry, Stout’s safety director, manage the 100-plus employee, family-owned business. This ground transportation and tour operation business has been built on talents, skills, and a team of a well-seasoned staff, augmented by a cutting-edge fleet and a customer-focused culture that positions their brand ahead of their competition.
The 60-year Trenton-based Stout’s has locations throughout the state of New Jersey and serves key markets within the tri-state New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area. Their predominantly Van Hool fleet consists of 76 vehicles: 38- to 56-passenger motor coaches for tour and charter excursions; 29-passenger shuttle transport vehicles; 16- to 20-passenger para-transit specialty vehicles for private contract service, and DOT-approved, school and transit buses.
Since 2015, Stout has worked with the NJSBDC at TCNJ consultants, receiving assistance and training in a wide range of areas and services, including: Financial recordkeeping design and reports; financial report analysis using QuickBooks; digital media/website design and marketing; catalog design and marketing; company branding; and extensive industry/ geographic/demographic/psychographic market research. The NJSBDC at TCNJ is proud to have served as a “go to” feedback resource for Stout’s Transportation on operational issues from marketing to financial operational issues.
As the business evolves, Stout’s leadership continues to focus on best business practices and technology improvements that will enhance operational efficiencies. Their latest implementation of the Zonar fleet management mobile platform is critical in helping the company remotely monitor fleet and driver performance, and enhance fleet maintenance. Additionally, the system supports automated processes, effectively reducing paperwork and record storage, which are also key priorities within Stout’s “green culture.” Their state-of-the-art 8,000-square-foot office building features energy-efficient utilities and an environmentally friendly heating system utilizing waste oil as fuel.
With a strong and growing infrastructure, healthy market share, and sales and marketing efforts focused on new and emerging markets, the company is actively seeking growth, and the timing is perfect for acquisition. Stout’s Transportation has positioned itself as a leader in the transportation industry, well prepared for the next 60 years of growth and expansion.
Thomas & Michael Brennan
6525 Ventnor Avenue
Ventnor, NJ 08406
As food critics have already pointed out, when you combine a father with thirty-plus years of experience in the hospitality industry with an award winning chef for a son, the result is Cardinal Bistro in Ventnor, “a promising new BYOB from a young talent that Shore goers are going to love.”
Thomas Brennan started his career as a busboy in Smithville. After earning his bachelor’s in Business Administration from what was then Stockton State College, he began a successful career that included managing restaurants, working in casino accounting departments, and working as the Director of Food and Beverage services. These positions allowed Tom to hone his skills in designing, planning and opening new restaurants, an endeavor he and son, Mike, decided to undertake together in 2015.
While at college in Philadelphia, Michael Brennan walked into Le Bec Fin and applied for a job, never imagining his need for employment would lead to a bourgeoning career as a chef. Determination and dedication enabled Mike to go from bussing tables to hosting at another legendary restaurant in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, where Mike gained his food prep skills and knowledge. In 2012, Mike entered The Culinary Institute of America, where he trained alongside the best chef instructors in the country. Upon graduation, Michael helped open one, before moving on to another, of this booming food town’s busiest restaurants.
Meanwhile, Tom, after a short stint in retirement, decided to open one more restaurant. A phone call later, Mike was back in Philadelphia to help create the concept. Carla, Tom’s wife, found a little corner spot with great windows in Ventnor, NJ. With a location, chef and concept, they needed a name for the restaurant and found one honoring Tom’s late mother, who was a great lover of cardinal birds.
After meeting with Carol Waties, regional director of the NJSBDC at Stockton University, Tom and Mike emerged with a business plan that they submitted to M&T Bank. Working with Carol and M&T lender, Shannon Murphy, they obtained a loan and opened in the middle of the season to rave reviews and large crowds.
Not content to rest on good reviews, or his winning entry on Food Network’s “Cooks vs. Cons” show, Michael founded For Atlantic City By Atlantic City (4ACxAC), a group of hospitality professionals who want to see Atlantic City thrive. Part of Tom’s and Mike’s plans to grow the Cardinal Bistro brand include expanding its footprint, and enhancing the dining experience by incorporating food and spirits.
Greycell Labs, Inc.
Dharmesh & Shweta Vachhani
190 Lincoln Highway, Suite 201
Edison, NJ 08820
Greycell Labs, Inc. was established in 2004. They are a leading IT firm that provides a variety of technology-based services and solutions including IT consulting, business and technology services, custom software design, development, testing, deployment, and integration support to fulfill the needs of local, regional and global corporations of any size. Greycell offers a suite of software services to help their clients increase process efficiency; enhance workforce productivity; reduce operating costs; boost employee and customer satisfaction; and enable better and faster decisions.
Greycell’s owners, Dharmesh and Shweta Vachhani, have been clients of the NJSBDC at Rutgers New Brunswick since 2014. They were initially counseled regarding government contracting and certification as SBE, MBE, WBE and 8A businesses. They have regularly participated in Center workshops, seminars and other programs to help their business grow and prosper. More recently, the Center helped the firm develop its social media outreach, engaged the Vachhanis in its Managing Growth Ventures and other experiential learning programs.
The firm has grown exponentially in both their domestic sales as well as their expansion into global markets. The Vachhanis now have 50 employees and have doubled their sales over the last two years. In fact, Greycell has been recognized as one of the fastest growing firms in the USA. They were also ranked as #139 among the fastest growing firms out of 500 in New Jersey. Greycell has recently established a development center in India, which will be the headquarters for their Mobile Apps and Cloud/Big Data services. They are working on expanding the company’s presence in other countries as well.
Mr. Vachhani sums up his experience and success in just a few words: “Everyone dreams. Ninety-nine percent do not start due to fear of failure. The rest change the world. It is truly wonderful to have resources like the SBDC to help accomplish your dreams.”
DoveLin Enterprises, Inc
Mary Lindsay & Franklin Dove, Jr.
417 Bloomfield Drive
West Berlin, NJ 08091
DoveLin Enterprises, Inc. is a commercial flooring company established October 7, 2014 by owners Mary Lindsay and Franklin Dove, Jr. The company provides flooring services to general contractors, hospitals, health service building, colleges/universities, public and private schools, retail stores, office buildings and multi-purpose/multi-family dwellings. Gymnasiums and indoor track are the projects that have particularly received high praise from their customers.
DoveLin holds women’s owned business certifications through the NJ WBE and the WBENC. The company is also a standing contractor of Floor Layers Local 251 on the East Coast, whose members make up DoveLin’s workforce, which ranges between 15 and 42 employees, depending upon the size of the project and peak work times.
To honor their success, DoveLin is always seeking ways to give back to the community. Along with their employees, the company has donated services to the PAL Organization in Philadelphia and local Christian Schools in New Jersey.
In March 2016, DoveLin sought the advice of the NJSBDC at Rutgers Camden. The owners had hit a roadblock in pursuit of financing. While the business was growing, it was difficult for a business with less than two years in operation to secure the funds necessary to bid on major projects. The Rutgers Camden SBDC stepped in, and according to Mary, “assisted to secure funding which allowed us to bid on high profile projects for several contractors, commercial businesses and retail centers such as Wal-Mart. SBDC consultants developed cash flow projections to support loan requests, loan package development and advised on operational processes and human resources.”
The business has gained a stellar industry reputation in a very short time. They have grown rapidly since 2015 with sales increasing by 60 percent in 2017. The Rutgers-Camden Center continues to service DoveLin as they expand and enjoy the success that excellent customer service and quality workmanship bring.
Great American Sealcoating
81 Chimney Rock Road
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
After 29 years of commuting into New York City and working long hours as a chef, Tim Smeltz was ready for a change. Inspiration came when he couldn’t find a local company to sealcoat his driveway. After investigating, Smeltz purchased an American Asphalt Sealcoating franchise in 2006.
Although new to self-employment, he knew he needed a business plan and contacted the NJSBDC at RVCC. Counselors Vicki Lynne Morgan and Karen Katcher helped him develop a business plan, and counselor Bob Bilarczyk helped with his certification as a NJ Small Business Enterprise (SBE).
Because sealcoating is a seasonal business, Smeltz quickly encountered a critical challenge: Retaining valued employees during the off-season. His solution? He bought a residential decorating business franchise, Christmas Décor, in 2007, to provide employment year-round. Since then he has successfully expanded his Christmas Décor’s Somerset County territory to include Hunterdon and Morris counties in New Jersey and Bucks County in Pennsylvania.
In 2009, another opportunity presented itself when a prospective sealcoating client who owned a daycare center specified that any sealcoating on his property must not contain coal tar, a suspected carcinogenic. Knowing this was a growing concern, Tim decided to break from his franchise and venture off on his own to find a better, safer product. It was a big decision, so he met with Regional Director Bill Harnden several times to discuss his options. During this period, he discovered a company using an innovative sealcoating mixture; bought exclusive rights to the product; and further developed it to meet his needs. With a new formula, solid infrastructure and seasoned employees, he was ready to create his new business–and the Great American Sealcoating Company was born. In 2017, Smeltz returned to the SBDC at RVCC to learn about financing options for expansion into New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania. As a result, he and Bill Harnden are meeting with several SBA lenders to develop a loan package.
With his innovative, problem-solving approach, and willingness to venture into new areas, coupled with the counseling services of the SBDC, Tim Smeltz has grown from a single, local operation with sales of $200,000 to a dual-business, multi-state enterprise with eleven employees and sales of over $1 million. Concerning the support he has received over the years from the SBDC at RVCC, Smeltz says, “It is exceptionally nice to have a resource that can help me grow and act as a sounding board when making important business decisions.” With firm plans in place for improving, growing and innovating, Smeltz is paving the way for continued business success — and the SBDC at RVCC looks forward to assisting him in reaching his goals.
Hafco Foundry and Machine, Inc.
Basil Fornaci & Billy Fornaci
301 Greenwood Avenue
Midland Park, NJ 07432
Hafco Foundry and Machine, Inc. is a distributor of metal castings and machined parts to the rail industry, and manufacturer of industrial pneumatic vacuums and dust equipment for the coal mining industry. Founded in 1969, the company is managed today by co-presidents and brothers, Basil and Billy Fornaci, who are the third generation owners. Over its many years in business, Hafco experienced steady and consistent growth, achieving over $6 million in annual sales.
In September 2015, Basil’s and Billy’s father and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Fornaci, unexpectedly passed away. With no written succession agreement in place, Michael Fornaci’s widow became the default owner, and placed her trust in a law firm which cared only for her personal gain, and not the business or its employees. Having cast the brothers’ uncle and Chief Financial Officer, William Fornaci as an adversarial party, instead of the next rightful president, the company’s future was anything but certain. Suddenly, in March 2016, William passed away before any ownership rights were transferred.
Basil and Billy took control of day-to-day operations, while also reviewing a draft of an agreement, proposed by these same lawyers, written to cover the ownership and define the future operations of the company. It was at this point that Billy reached out to the NJSBDC.
Vince Vicari, regional director of the NJSBDC at Ramapo, assigned the Hafco case to Jim Palumbo, whose experience and knowledge has been a perfect fit for the company’s immediate needs. At the very first meeting, Jim pointed out some significant flaws with the agreement, which was then re-written based on his recommendations. Basil and Billy were quick to realize that you simply cannot only take business advice from lawyers and accountants. The SBDC also later connected Hafco with a law firm that would serve more as a neutral party, drafting the formal agreements and handling the transfer of ownership.
Advice from Jim, an experienced and skilled businessperson, turned out to be invaluable for Hafco. In fact, he truly saved the company from what could have been a disastrous agreement. Over the past year and a half, Jim Palumbo has helped to transform Basil and Billy from family business employees to confident and knowledgeable business owners. Beyond day-to-day operations, they’ve learned to create a business plan, generate yearly and quarterly budgets, and forecast the company’s sales. More importantly, they’ve realized the value of implementing all of these business tools and strategies.
Today, Jim and the SBDC at Ramapo continue to advise Hafco in areas such as human resources, distribution agreements, marketing plans, customer relations, inventory management, etc. Going forward, Basil and Billy will continue to implement these new skills and knowledge, and carry on Hafco’s legacy of success.
Massage Heights of Morristown
David Shawger & Dale Carmody
40 West Park Place, Suite 7
Morristown, NJ 07960
Dale Carmody and David Shawger contacted Northwest NJSBDC with an idea to start a business by combining their resources (dollars and know-how). The search began by identifying several franchise opportunities that would interest them and fit their business approach. They soon settled upon a day spa, and explored several franchise possibilities in detail before settling on Massage Heights as the optimal fit.
From the beginning, the business venture was unique in that it was entirely self-funded through personal and
“sweat” equity. The owners exude a lot of attention to details as is evidenced in every corner and crevice of their
facility. Their staff radiates a sense of professionalism and warmth rarely found in today’s business franchise model.
Northwest NJSBDC worked with the partners in the evaluation process (including site selection), reviewing documents, franchise agreements, property leases, and “partners’ agreement.” While most day spas are located in strip malls, Dave and Dale decided that an upscale downtown environment was more in harmony with their vision. It would attract the young professionals employed by Morristown firms and is consistent with the prestigious Massage Heights image. “We relied heavily on [Regional Director] Dolores Stammer’s expertise to guide us through the selection, launch and initial operations,” said Dale Carmody.
From the beginning of their relationship with Northwest NJSBDC, Dave and Dale have viewed Dolores Stammer as their strategic partner-advisor. “Whether the issue is related to marketing, human resources, finance or operations, we’ve come to rely on Northwest NJSBDC as a key resource,” said Dave. During the Grand Opening, the partners introduced Northwest NJSBDC as the single consistent resource that guided them through multiple issues inherent in a major launch of this type.
While opening just this year, Massage Heights, Morristown already employs 15 individuals. The facility is a real showpiece for the Morristown Green properties and has adapted its marketing consistent with its upscale downtown image. The partners continue to view Northwest NJSBDC as their go-to partner in the continued success of their business. “Our sales are growing consistently month-by-month and we value the role that the SBDC has played in our success.” The owners are living testimony to the Massage Heights motto of being “simply better.”
Maria Mentiras Bar & Grill, LLC
328 32nd Street
Union City, NJ 07087
Maria Gutierrez arrived in New Jersey as a teen from Medelin, Colombia. She and her family were in search of opportunity and the American Dream. Her ambition and desire for success formed at age 17, when she opened her first clothing store. Sixteen-hour workdays and two-hour bus rides became a normal routine. Long days and expensive business lessons were met with even more drive and the discipline to continue moving forward.
In 2011, Ms. Gutierrez wanted to grow her clothing business and sought the assistance of the NJSBDC at New Jersey City University. Business consultant Ryan Silvestre advised Maria on her business structure, organizational skills, time management and financial arrangements. This extra insight into her entrepreneurial efforts led to conversations about expanding and possibly purchasing a new business. With help from the NJSBDC on valuation modeling and due diligence, a decision on building a new business was made. With proper planning, and a creative debt structure, Ms. Gutierrez was able to secure the capital needed to open Maria Mentiras Bar and Grill, LLC.
Now one of Hudson County’s premier restaurants, Maria Mentiras, as the regulars endearingly call it, provides Latin fusion dishes, along with unique specialty cocktails and live music. A staple of Union City, New Jersey, Mentiras Bar & Grill draws a local crowd as well as patrons from many of the neighboring cities.
Since opening, Ms. Gutierrez has been able to create over 20 restaurant jobs, in addition to internship opportunities. Most recently, Ms. Gutierrez and the NJSBDC at NJCU have worked on a marketing and social media plan utilizing another SBDC client to assist her in its execution. NJSBDC at NJCU also assisted Maria Mentiras, LLC in upgrading from its paper method of bookkeeping to QuickBooks online. The results were greater efficiencies in time and cash flow management, which allowed her to capitalize on new business opportunities. Traditional approaches of bankability made it impossible for her to secure a commercial mortgage; however, with these interim financials, she was able to structure a private mortgage for the acquisition of two buildings for $1.2 million, and the purchase of the buildings housing her restaurant.
In addition to the success of Maria Mentiras Bar & Grill, Ms. Gutierrez continues to grow her clothing store and multiple other businesses. Her newest venture is a gourmet fast food business with franchise potential. Salsa Arepa is scheduled to open later this year at the very exclusive Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, following completion of a $250,000 construction project. This truly long-term client has collectively created over 40-plus jobs and facilitated over $2 million in capital infusion invested in her businesses. The NJSBDC at NJCU will continue to provide support and guidance as the Center assists her in developing strategic plans concerning business sustainability and expansion.
unzun House, Inc.
Integrated Learning Center, Inc.
Union, NJ 07083
Dulce Ramos is a serial entrepreneur, educator and immigrant currently residing in Union, New Jersey. Dulce’s experience emigrating from the Dominican Republic, combined with her passion for education, motivated her to open Integrated Learning Center (ILC), a company focused on providing language instruction for corporate clients since 1994.
Over the years, Dulce grew the ILC business to be very profitable, employing over a dozen people. However, as times change, the marketplace requires entrepreneurs to adapt, recreate, and often reinvent themselves. The SBDC at Kean University has been working with Dulce for several years to help her with an array of business issues in order to keep up with the dynamics of the marketplace. Since Dulce’s businesses are service-based, word of mouth and referrals proved to be a good source for generating new clients. Here again, Regional Director Dave Margulies worked with Dulce to perfect her “ask” and suggest places and events to attend for the most effective networking.
Most recently, Dulce started a new consulting business, Zunzun House, Inc., which assists entrepreneurs, not-for-profits, and growing companies in fulfilling their goals. This business seeks project work where Dulce needs to leverage relationships for introductions to potential clients.
Each of her businesses was built with the cornerstone of corporate and social good, which strengthens the community. Dulce ensures that she exceeds client expectations by providing unparalleled customer service, which leads to future projects, referrals and great references.
At the SBDC in Kean University, Dulce has found a welcoming and helping hand as she works to continue growing her businesses. From the friendly greetings she receives from the Center support staff, to the support and guidance by the center director, Dulce offers nothing but praise and admiration: “David Margulies has been working with me for several years, providing coaching in the areas of management, client acquisition, business relationships, pricing, finance, . . . and even helping me secure a position as an adjunct instructor at Kean University’s Business School. No doubt, the SBDC at Kean University provides a platform to vet my ideas, get answers and direction I wouldn’t have otherwise. I am so grateful!”
Aikido Center of Manasquan
56 Union Avenue
Manasquan, NJ 08736
Tim Vazquez is the owner and chief instructor of the Aikido Center of Manasquan. He is a retired police officer, self-defense instructor, and an NJ State licensed Security Instructor.
Tim became a client of the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College after attending one of the center’s no-cost, high-impact Bootcamps. There was a lack of traffic to his facility (Dojo), and he needed assistance quickly. Tim did some research and found NJSBDC at Brookdale. On June 2, 2016 he took the Center’s “Social Media Bootcamp” course that took him to the next level in social marketing. He subsequently enrolled in two workshops, “Running a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign” and “Intro to Blogging,” increasing his proficiency with social media and website management.
Tim took the knowledge and skills he developed during the workshops and implemented a proactive strategy. Employing a disciplined, innovative, and consistent approach, Tim is reaping the benefits of applying all the techniques that he learned in the courses. He redesigned all his social networks and website to make them mobile compliant, and started an AdWords account with Google. He even started blogging! Did it work? A delighted Tim states “I can tell that all the steps I took resulted in new traffic to the Dojo.” Not to stop there, Tim started and launched an app that is available on Google and the Apple store – “Aikido Manasquan”!
Tim has increased traffic and sales by more than 10 percent, which for his highly competitive industry and market is exceptional. The use of online advancements, social media, and updates to his website have enabled him to continue to grow his business even when the dojo is closed.
“Thank you NJSBDC for all your help and expertise! I HIGHLY recommended anyone to attend the courses, receive guidance and counseling offered by NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College and their affiliated location Ocean County College. Is it a lot of work for anyone to re-design his or her social media? Yes, it is, but you will succeed with the help from NJSBDC!”
Arable Labs, Inc.
Adam Wolf, Ph.D.
40 North Tulane Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
Arable is a data and analytics company reducing risk in the food and agriculture supply chain. Their flagship product, the Mark, is a low-cost, highly connected solar-powered sensor that continuously and precisely measures more than 40 different, relevant data types regarding plant, light and weather conditions. The data enable farmers and agribusinesses to better assess crop status, forecast growth, predict yields and improve decision-making.
Customers are able to better manage resources in real time and make decisions that enable them to increase revenue through better forecasts of harvest timing, yield, and postharvest outcomes. The Mark hardware was designed in collaboration with the designer of the GoPro camera and Nest learning thermostat.
Company Founder Adam Wolf was a Princeton University post doctorate candidate when he participated in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps Teams Program (I-Corps). The purpose of the program is to identify National Science Foundation/NSF-funded researchers who will receive additional support, in the form of mentoring and funding, to accelerate innovation that can attract subsequent third-party funding. Through their participation in I-Corps, Adam and his team decided to pursue SBIR funding. Arable’s I-Corps mentor referred them to NJSBDC’s Technology Commercialization Consultant, Randy Harmon.
Randy reviewed, critiqued and made suggestions for strengthening Adam’s draft NSF SBIR Phase I proposal, which was submitted in June 2015. Adam received word in December 2015 that the $150,000 project had been approved for funding. He then applied for and received $20,000 through NSF’s Phase IB program, which is intended to provide supplemental funding between the completion of Phase I and Phase II.
Upon successfully completing the Phase I project, Arable submitted a Phase II SBIR proposal at the end of August 2016 NJSBDC Consultant, Randy Harmon, assisted the team in the preparation of the Phase II technology commercialization plan.
Arable was able to successfully leverage their Phase I and IB awards to raise $2.6 million in venture capital which closed in February 2017. Upon successful completion of a pre-award audit and administrative review, Arable received notice of a $750,000 NSF Phase II award in April. According to Dr. Wolf, the assistance provided by NJSBDC through Randy Harmon helped Arable win SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants and the validation provided by the Phase I award helped raise their equity financing.
An opportunity exists to apply for additional NSF funding after Phase II ends. The Arable Insights platform, supported by the Arable Mark, is already generating revenue. Customers include Driscoll’s, Treasury Wine Estates, and Valley Irrigation. The Arable vision is to help enhance a customer’s sound decisions-making, mitigating risk in food production systems.
Consolidated Packaging Group, LLC
Gary R. Kaufman
30 Bergen Turnpike
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
Founded in 2004, Consolidated Packaging Group, LLC manufactures flexible packaging solutions at its SQF Level 2 certified 117,000 square foot facility in Ridgefield Park. Led by Executive Vice-President Gary Kaufman, CPG offers rollstock products, stand up pouches, quad seal pouches, laser scoring, pre-zippered films, bag tops, zip lock poly bags, and more. The company also provides laminated rollstock of film structures; and high barrier films, puncture resistant films, self-venting microwavable films, and films for frozen food applications. In addition, it offers pre-press, HD color printing, lamination, and slitting services. The company serves customers in industries or markets relating to food, frozen foods and vegetables, processed and fresh meats, consumer products, personal care, tissue overwrap, sanitary products, lawn and garden, household chemicals, mulch and soils, pet foods and treats, cat litter, and medical packaging.
CPG and its 125 employees are committed to creating packaging that minimizes environmental impact. During the manufacturing process, Gary strives for maximum conservation of raw materials and minimization of related waste, production processes, and energy consumption. Wishing to expand his business as well as his distinction as a leader in sustainable practices, Gary has met with NJSBDC at Ramapo College Regional Director Vince Vicari to discuss plans to increase CPG’s marketing and branding.
To minimize waste, CPG performs packaging audits to reduce the amount of materials used without compro-
mising on the package’s durability, performance, and appearance. CPG also resells or reprocesses a majority of the polyethylene trim materials that are a by-product of the manufacturing process. In addition, they recycle many commonly used materials, such as cores, pallets, scrap metal, and all corrugated paper products. Gary estimates the annual number of pounds saved at over 280,000 – in addition to reductions in the cost of packaging, transportation, and energy consumed in the manufacturing process.
Dollar savings can also be found in CPG’s lamination division, where it has replaced all solvent-based adhesives with more environmentally-friendly technologies. Similar efficiencies also extend to re-cycling and reclaiming solvents in their Flexographic printing process, resulting in a savings of $225,000 per year.
To reduce energy usage even further, CPG replaced high intensity discharge lights with more efficient fluorescent and LED lighting; installed controls that turn lights on only when rooms are occupied; adjusted specific compressed air settings to lower the consumption of electric-drive power; installed variable speed drives on oxidizers to reduce the volume of natural gas required for incineration; and, installed a recovery system to capture waste heat.
Eric Kainer & Rasul Damji
865 Ridge Road
Princeton, NJ 08852
For the past year, NJSBDC Procurement Consultant, Andy Bennett, has been working with KDW Partners located in Princeton, New Jersey. The firm, owned by technology-savvy finance and marketing professional, Eric Kainer, and growth and transformation executive Rasul Damji, features Ambedded Technology advanced storage systems and Modulan cabinets and containment systems for large data centers and smaller computer rooms.
Upon Andy’s recommendations, KDW added the technology leading, American-made LED lights from Pennsylvania-based Independence LED Lighting. Independence LED Lighting offers the highest quality, longest-lasting, highest efficiency lights in the world. As a result of adding Independence LED Lighting to their product line, KDW has seen exploding demand, both within its data center target market, and beyond. Demand for LED lighting has emerged from the Federal government, local government, commercial businesses, and even retail environments.
In April, SBDC Procurement Specialist Andy Bennett also introduced the firm to a New Jersey-based steel-manufacturing partner that is currently producing prototypes for KDW. In the same month he introduced another NJSBDC client, The Maximum Group LLC, which is working with KDW in business promotion and marketing.
To date, Andy has assisted the firm with over $1 million in negotiation support with Tier-1 construction companies in both Pennsylvania and Colorado. These negotiations were for KDW’s modular data center cabinets and containment. Andy also worked with the firm on a proposal for LED lighting systems for municipalities in Northern New Jersey with applications spanning libraries, schools, municipal buildings, and public housing.
In August 2017, Andy assisted KDW with negotiating and landing a $900,000 commercial contract with a Colorado-based construction company for LED lighting and CPU metal cabinets. And in November, one of the northern New Jersey municipalities (noted above) awarded KDW a contract for LED lighting that resulted from RFP research and review that Andy provided to the company’s business owner, Eric Kainer.
NJSBDC’s Procurement Specialty Program, through Andy Bennett, also introduced the firm to two contacts at Rutgers University’s purchasing department, and continues to work with KDW in business development, marketing, and contract negotiations support.
NJSBDC’s support of KDW and their perseverance has resulted in great outcomes!
The Malachia Brantley Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Nathaniel Sims, Small Business Management Consultant & Advisor
America’s SBDC New Jersey recognizes Nathaniel Sims for his solid, strong track record in supporting small business ownership and entrepreneurship in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) network lost one of its greatest contributors in assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs with the passing of Senior Business Advisor and Management Consultant Nathaniel (“Nat”) Sims this past May 2017.
Today, on behalf of America’s SBDC New Jersey, we provide this Excellence Award posthumously in remembrance of his strong dedication to assisting small business owners, veterans, and entrepreneurs in pursuit of their small business dreams.
He contributed greatly to our small business assistance program and provided guidance to countless numbers of entrepreneurs and small business owners in his various capacities over the years as Assistant Director and Director of the NJSBDC at Kean University and subsequently as Senior Consultant, specializing in veterans’ assistance, for NJSBDC Headquarters and the entire network. He helped hundreds of veterans either to start a business or expand their existing business.
Nat was a compassionate and caring person and a man of integrity. His business acumen and skills imparted great knowledge for clients of the NJSBDC program. He helped many small business clients along the road to success. He will be forever missed as one of our most giving Team members.
Through a lifetime of selfless service and dedication to the New Jersey small business community, his positive attitude and passion to help others made a difference and contributed greatly to the successful outcomes of many small businesses in our state.
Mr. Sims was posthumously awarded the Veteran Owned Small Business, Mentor of the Year Award for his tireless efforts and dedication for Veteran small business owners by The American Legion on June 8th, 2017.
He sets an example for all of us to further bolster the mission of entrepreneurship and small business ownership.
America’s SBDC New Jersey is celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary in 2018!
Please enjoy this complimentary 12 – month 2018 calendar and join us in celebrating our
40th year of servicing New Jersey’s small business and entrepreneur community.
Marcela Zuchovicki, an entrepreneur and small business owner, who is also a senior business consultant collaborating with SBDC network Headquarters, introduced Mexican Ambassador Diego Gomez Pickering to staff members of the head office of the NJSBDC network on October 2nd. Pickering mentioned that there are 1.5 million Mexican Americans being served in the tri-state region of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York and that new collaborations and relationships to support business needs can further economic development.
The Ambassador also met with the Dean of the Rutgers Business School (RBS), Dr. Lei Lei, amidst his busy schedule while passing through New Jersey. Professor Arturo Osorio, who also collaborates with the NJSBDC program at Headquarters, was also present from the academic team of RBS to engage with Ambassador Diego Gomez Pickering.
“We welcome the dissemination of information concerning the great work of our statewide network and national SBDC network with small businesses in New Jersey and throughout the country,” said Brenda B. Hopper, chief executive officer and state director of the NJSBDC network.
“Our statewide network has special programs for our Latino small business clients and we have special relationships with various countries’ consulate offices in the metropolitan area to further the cause of small business development and growth,” said Deborah Smarth, chief operating officer and associate state director of the statewide NJSBDC program.
America’s SBDC, the national network of SBDCs, has continued to work with the U.S. State Department in promoting small business collaborations and support for the purpose of bolstering entrepreneurship and small business ownership and growth in The Americas.