Meet the 12-year-old who’s spending his summer vacation doing cancer research at Rutgers University, in this week’s Innovation NJ update.

12-Year-Old Rutgers Summer Scholar Pursues Cancer Research
Most 12-year-old middle school students spend their summers engaged in the pursuit of leisure and ice cream. However, for Edison seventh-grader Atharva Kulkarni, apart from ice cream, water parks and beaches, summer is a time to continue his passion – cancer research – while also attending a three-week Rutgers Summer Scholars Program in New Brunswick, part of Rutgers Summer Session from the Division of Continuing Studies. Of the 145 students in the program, the majority are high school juniors and seniors.

Fort Monmouth a High-Tech Haven?
According to Anthony Birritteri of New Jersey Business magazine, “Spanning a vast 1,200 acres, Fort Monmouth is succeeding with its revitalization plan to attract high-tech companies as well as retail businesses and residents. Commvault, Aaski and Tetherview, which all work within the telecom and tele-defense arena, are operating at the site, and a total of 1,400 jobs have been created at the Fort, which during its operational heyday as the Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) for the U.S. Army, employed some 7,000 civilians. If all goes well, 10,000 jobs will be created at the Fort within a number of years, says David E. Nuse, deputy executive director of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA).”

AWE Started Engineering Alum on Path that Led Her Back to Rowan as a Professor
Dr. Sarah Bauer is a little bit in awe about the path her life has taken, and AWE played a role in that. Bauer, 27, graduated from Rowan University with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering in May 2013. In August 2018, a little more than five years later, she will be returning to her department in the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering as an assistant professor – the first full-time, tenure-track professor to earn a degree there. Her path from student to professor started in part when she attended Rowan Engineering’s Attracting Women into Engineering program as a rising eighth- grader in the Kingsway Regional school district.

Monmouth County-Based LugTrack Expands into New Market with EDA
LugTrack, LLC, which has already helped thousands of travelers track their luggage in real-time, is now setting its sights on providing tools for businesses of all sizes to track, monitor, and maintain assets worldwide. The Red Bank-based company will use the $50,000 it recently received for winning the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA’s) inaugural New Jersey Founders & Funders All-Stars pitch competition to ramp up development of its next-generation tracking devices. “Governor Murphy is committed to reclaiming the Garden State’s place as the capital of invention and innovation,” EDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Sullivan said.

Willoughby, in New Role as Head of Business Action Center, is Changing How It Aids N.J. Businesses
The Business Action Center may have been shaped into its current mold by the previous administration, but it has been in Trenton in some form or another for years. Melanie Willoughby, the new executive director, is also no stranger in the state capital. She has held positions both in government and lobbying government – from the Retail Merchants Association to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association – and sees her new position as an opportunity to affect the outmigration of businesses from the state.

NJBIA Honors Two NJ College Students with Rising Star Awards
Rutgers University marketing student and a recent graduate of Ocean County College who is continuing nursing classes at Stockton University will be the 2018 recipients of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s Rising Star Award. Amanda Maher, an undergraduate at Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick, and Briann Skiba, who graduated from Ocean County College in May and will soon begin studying for her accelerated Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Stockton University, will each receive the award at NJBIA’s 4th Annual Women Business Leaders Forum: “Empowering Together” at the Newark Liberty Marriott on Sept. 14.

Useful Stats: Regional VC Trends, VC Deals & Dollars by State by Quarter
In last week’s Digest, SSTI looked at several macro venture capital (VC) trends. This week’s Useful Stats article focuses on regional trends as well as provides downloadable VC stats by state by quarter from Q1 of 2016 to Q2 of 2018. The data includes median VC deal size, VC deals, and VC dollars invested. While the five West Coast states (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington) continue to dominate the VC landscape with approximately $17 billion invested over 751 deals in Q2 of 2018. The New York City MSA has seen an increase in its share of VC deals (12.8 percent through Q2 of 2018) – up from 11.4 percent for 2017, according to the 2Q 2018 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor.

Access to New Jersey’s Life Sciences Ecosystem and Resources Attracts Health Interactive to EDA’s Incubator
Now that genomic analytics company Health Interactive, Inc. has expanded into New Jersey it is strategically positioned within the state’s vast pharmaceutical and biotechnology research ecosystem. Health Interactive’s research and development (R&D) focuses on developing capabilities in bioinformatic analysis and reporting of genetic sequencing data. The company notes that these analyses and reports can be challenging to clinical labs, hospitals, clinicians, and even to researchers and scientists who are not in the genomics field.

Rowan University Names New Dean of Science & Mathematics
Rowan University has appointed Dr. Cristian Botez as dean of its College of Science & Mathematics and School of Health Professions, effective Aug. 1. Botez, who most recently served as professor in and chairman of the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at El Paso, replaces Dr. Karen Magee-Sauer, who served as dean for four years. Prior to joining the University of Texas, Botez was a postdoctoral fellow in materials physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory and earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in physics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his B.S. in engineering physics from the University of Bucharest in Romania.

Upcoming Events

Life Sciences Southern TIP
When: Thursday, July 26, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Mercer County Community College, Conference Center at Mercer, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor Township

Princeton University eLab Demo Day- NYC
When: Wednesday, August 15, 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: AppNexus, 28 West 23rd St., New York

NJ State Chamber of Commerce’s “Women Leaders in Innovation” Celebration
When: Thursday, September 20, 5 p.m.
Where: National Conference Center, East Windsor

BioNJ’s 3rd Annual Beyond Value Frameworks Workshop
When: Thursday, Oct 11 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Amicus Therapeutics Inc, 1 Cedarbrook Dr., Cranbury

NJEDA Founders & Funders Sessions*
When: Thursday, November 1
Where: North Brunswick

*Hosted twice per year, venture capital investors are invited to meet with a select group of companies for 10-minute, one-on-one sessions to discuss strategy, business models and funding opportunities. Go to NJEDA’s website for more information about Founders & Funders Sessions.