The Angel Match Program (AMP) is an initiative launched by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to support early-stage businesses in New Jersey. This program is specifically designed to provide funding and support to startups and emerging companies in the state, with the goal of helping them grow and succeed.
The AMP is a unique program that aims to provide funding to early-stage companies in the form of equity investments. This means that the NJEDA will invest in these companies in exchange for ownership shares. The program has been designed to help address a funding gap that many startups face in their early stages. Many entrepreneurs struggle to find funding to get their businesses off the ground, and the AMP aims to bridge that gap by providing much-needed capital to these businesses. This program also helps attract and retain angel investors, which are crucial to the success of early-stage companies.
In order to be eligible for the AMP, a company must comply with the following:
- Company Type: The AMP is open to New Jersey-based startups that are formed as either C-corporations or limited liability companies. Companies must be early stage and not have received more than $2 million in outside funding.
- Location: Eligible companies must have a physical commercial office, co-working or incubator space in New Jersey. The company must agree to remain located in New Jersey with at least 50% of full-time employees in the state for the duration of the loan.
- Size and Employees: The company cannot have more than 100 total employees; at least 50% must be full-time employees working in New Jersey, and a minimum of two full-time founders or C-level executives must work in New Jersey.
- Business Model: The company must have a primary business model in commercializing and marketing a product and have minimum revenues of $100,000 within the trailing 12 months. Service-based companies are not eligible.
- Industry: The AMP is open to startups and early-stage companies operating in the following industries: advanced transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing, aviation, autonomous vehicle and zero-emissions, clean energy, clean technology, life sciences, hemp processing, information and high technology, and finance and insurance. The program is designed to provide funding to companies that are working on innovative products or services that have the potential to disrupt their respective industries. Please be aware that because the AMP receives federal funding, any business that derives revenue from marijuana-related activities or that supports the end-use of marijuana is not eligible for participation in the AMP.
- Investment Size: The AMP provides funding to companies through a matching program that matches investments made by accredited angel investors. The minimum investment size is $25,000, and the maximum investment size is $500,000. NJEDA investments are in the form of convertible promissory notes, which reach maturity in 10 years, with no payments for the first seven years. The NJEDA will match investments on a 1:1 basis, up to a maximum of $500,000 per company. The funding may be used for product development, marketing, research and development and other working capital needs.
- Outside Investment: At least two investors must commit to an investment in the form of preferred equity with a defined price per share. Investor funds to be matched by the AMP note must be closed within 60 days from receipt of the NJEDA commitment letter.
- Application Process: To apply for the AMP, companies must submit an application that includes a business plan, financial projections and a pitch deck. Potential applicants may schedule an initial consultation with an innovation officer by sending an email to AngelMatch@njeda.com. The NJEDA will review the application and notify the company if it has been accepted into the program. The application fee is $1,000.
- Additional Requirements: Companies that receive funding through the AMP must agree to a number of additional requirements, including providing regular updates to the NJEDA on their progress and participating in NJEDA events.
For information on similar programs in other jurisdictions, please visit our previous article, New York State’s Pre-Seed and Seed Matching Fund Program.
Meet the Author, Megan Stamm
Megan Stamm focuses her practice on corporate law, representing clients on a broad range of matters, including complex acquisitions, regulatory compliance, entity formations and governance issues. Megan also has experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating agreements, including purchase and manufacturing, master service, subcontracts, commercial leases and employee and operating agreements.