Entrepreneur Jessica Gonzalez has sold her two New Jersey-based tech companies, InCharged and Vendex, to IBrands Global, a leading international supply chain platform and brand collective.
InCharged, an immersive technology pioneer, and Vendx, the interactive, touchscreen vending machine provider, have been folded into the newly created company Blulabs to act as the innovation arm of IBrands Global. Gonzalez, the founder and CEO of InCharged and Vendx, has been named chief innovation officer of both BluLabs and IBrands Global.
Creating a chief innovation officer role, as well as acquiring the two tech companies, marks a shift toward first-to-market product innovation, experiential marketing, and a tech-driven approach for IBrands. It also demonstrates a focus on solutions-based product innovation, expanding beyond IBrands’ portfolio of health, wellness, food service and fashion brands.
IBrands’ portfolio companies, including BluZen, bebe, EBY, Alloy Apparel, and Pam & Gela, will also be able to expand into a new form of retail via Vendx’s fleet of touchless vending machines, which will open in thousands of locations in 2022.
“To be a market leader, you can’t just create products to fill white space,” IBrands CEO Remy Garson stated. “We’re developing products that solve problems and create efficiencies in the lives of our customers.”
InCharged, founded in 2009, is the nation’s leading cell phone charging station manufacturer and distributor with an extensive outdoor advertising platform. The company has also developed a line of UVC disinfection and air purification technology deployed in schools, hospitals and live events. Vendx is an interactive, touchscreen vending machine that uses sampling, social media engagement and gamification to incentivize consumer interaction, while gathering data for brands and marketers.
InCharged and Vendx, both woman and minority business enterprise certified brands, have worked with major companies such as Google, Toyota, AT&T, Estee Lauder and DKNY.
Both companies share synergies with IBrands. InCharge’s line of disinfection and air purification technology pairs well with IBrands’ food service division. Throughout the pandemic, IBrands became the country’s largest importer of safety equipment to the food services industry, tallying more than $200 million in disposable gloves, masks and other necessary supplies.
Vendx’s touchless vending machine line is a natural fit with IBrands fashion and health & wellness divisions that penetrate the retail market with distribution in over 6,000 retail doors.
“The IBrands platform with its existing distribution gives me the opportunity to bring my most creative ideas to life with the full support of an execution-focused team, so my creations will reach the masses,” said Gonzalez, who is also a member of NJBIA’s board of trustees.
Gonzalez will join the leadership ranks with Marc Garson, IBrands founder & chairman; Remy Garson, chief executive officer; Cole Garson, chief operating officer, and Darryn Garson, chief growth officer.