All Media Mastermind South Jersey (AMMSJ) breakfast series

Join me in welcoming our newest member Rae-Ann Ruszkowski and her All Media Mastermind South Jersey (AMMSJ) group to their new home at the Camden CoLab!  Rae-Ann is kicking off an AMMSJ breakfast series, “with coffee and lite breakfast faire on the 1st Friday of every month” beginning with Friday, March 6th from 7:30-9:30am.  The breakfast series is a collaborative, facilitated discussion about everything digital and social media marketing where you bring questions and topics, best practices and workarounds, and discuss/collaborate/brainstorm new levels of usage, expertise, and engagement.  This is perfect for startups, experienced strategist and newbies!
For more details about AMMSJ and to RSVP go to:
Join in and help Rae-Ann grow the social media and platform expertise in the region!

UCEDC Spring Trainings

Spring 2015

UCEDC provides loans, training, and government contracting services for small businesses throughout the state of New Jersey.

Starting in March, on the third Tuesday of each month, UCEDC will be on-site at the CoLab to provide free workshops and 1:1 business advising to CoLab clients.

Sign up to talk with an experienced business advisor about the resources you need to succeed. We can review business and marketing plans – or help you with the component parts; review financials and financing options; brainstorm creative solutions; and more.

March 17, 2015: Marketing Made Real

Marketing is essential for small business success, yet many owners don’t understand how to effectively market their business or even what “Marketing” really means. This workshop will use a small case study – and your business model - to focus on identifying your target customers, understanding your competition, and creating effective marketing messages.

Time:  11:00am – 1:00pm

Location:  Camden CoLab, 200 Federal Street, Room 119, Camden, NJ

April 21, 2015: The Bottom Line:  Understanding Your Financial Statements

Time:  11:00am – 1:00pm

Location:  Camden CoLab, 200 Federal Street, Room 119, Camden, NJ

May 19, 2015: Planning Ahead:  Creating Realistic Financial Projections

Time:  11:00am – 1:00pm

Location:  Camden CoLab, 200 Federal Street, Room 119, Camden, NJ

1:1 Sessions

One on one mentoring sessions available from 1:00-3:00pm following each workshop listed above.  Please sign up for one hour, on the hour, by emailing Denise Keller at with the following information:

·      Your name, and the type and name of your business, if established

·      Your email, cellphone number, and website address

·      Specific issue(s) you’d like assistance with – feel free to attach documents for review

Angel Venture Fair Information for Entrepreneurs

Angel Venture Fair Information for Entrepreneurs
If you are looking to raise capital the 17th Annual Angel Venture Fair, which is the largest gathering of Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs, is accepting applications for its Tuesday, April 28th event at the Union League.  Please click here:  AVF2015
Angel Venture Fair Education Day

If you want to know what Angel investors are looking to invest in you should attend the annual AVF Education Day, which takes place Friday, February 20th from 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.  Each attendee will receive a copy of Lonnie Sciambi’s book “The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success”.  Click here for tickets:  AVF Education Day
Angel Venture Fair Tickets
If you want to meet 34 of the best entrepreneurs in the country, 300 plus investors/conduits to investors and David Rose, author of “Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money & Having Fun Investing in Startups” you should attend the 2015 Angel Venture Fair on Tuesday, April 28th at the Union League in Philadelphia, Pa from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m..  The first 200 attendees will receive a copy of the book.  There will be continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be served.  Click here for tickets: Angel Venture Fair 2015 Tickets

Co-working spaces come to South Jersey

A writer, a coffee shop barista and the vice president of a start-up walk into a Haddonfield building.

It's not a joke. It's a real work day at Kings Hall.

They sit down at desks in a long row and flip open their laptops in the "co-working" space where more than a dozen small businesses are side-by-side, sharing desk areas, water cooler banter and entrepreneurial ideas.

"Some people have mobility in their corporate structure. For others, working from home may not be as productive," said Devon Perry, owner of the three-building campus on Kings Highway with her husband, Sean.

Perry, a mother of three kids under the age of 4, runs her public relations and crisis management firm from the first floor of 2 Kings Highway West, a modern building compared to the two historic homes the Perrys purchased to convert to co-working hubs.

Renovations at 8 Kings Highway were completed earlier this year while construction to update 14 Kings Highway is ongoing.

"We lower that invisible barrier you'd find at a coffee shop," Perry said as writer Matt Skoufalos, barista Krista Sassani and Gridless Power's VP Andrew Leonard sat in a row next to her.

The environment — a study hall for start-ups — fosters creativity, according to Skoufalos, a Haddon Township blogger who started Co-working space conversation often spurs an idea for a story, he explained.

"For the type of work we do, having a place that isn't a coffee shop is useful," Skoufalos said.

"This is for people who don't need their own office. These are the new office parks."

Co-working isn't new or unique to South Jersey. Several spaces in Philadelphia, including Benjamin's Desk in Center City and Indy Hall in Old City, draw hundreds of independent co-workers.

In South Jersey, the workspace model is a few months old, according to Jake Gordon, vice president of Cooper's Ferry, which runs Camden Colab.

Six months ago, the co-lab opened a co-working area in connection with Drexel and Rutgers universities' business incubators, also housed in the city's Waterfront Technology Center.

"Co-working is really related to technology," Gordon said.

The Camden facility has 29 co-working clients, including a cardiovascular health equipment company and the nonprofit group Girl Develop It, which encourages and teaches women to write software code and build websites.

Inside the Kings Hall complex, entrepreneurs build tech ventures like, TechStarters, and Tassl, a smartphone app connecting alumni to their colleges.

"The value is not just in the physical space of the desks ... it's being around people in similar fields to foster intellectual vitality," Gordon explained.

Perry said Kings Hall has become a clubhouse for area commerce.

Members — paying about $299 a month to work from the Kings Highway offices — started regular think tank meetings to help boost each others' businesses. In the first meeting last month, members met to brainstorm ideas for a growing law firm working on the premises.

"You meet people you wouldn't go out and meet otherwise," Leonard explained.

Reach Carly Q. Romalino at (856) 486-2476 and Follow @CarlyQRomalino on Twitter. Philly reports: Can an incubator/coworking space give life to a Camden tech scene?

A merger between business incubators run by Drexel and Rutgers, and a little forward thinking, gave birth to the Camden CoLab. The space is about one-third full, but a forthcoming renovation aims to attract more startups

The Camden CoLab is becoming itself.

Those working to reimagine Camden, like the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, envision the 25,000-square-foot space on the third floor of the state’s sleek Waterfront Technology Center as a vibrant coworking and incubator space — an anchor of the tech community they believe can rise in the city.

It’s a partnership between Drexel and Rutgers, which used to run separate business incubators on different floors of the center, located a short walk from City Hall.

For now, the CoLab still holds relics of its past life as the Drexel-run incubator for companies that contract with the Department of Defense. In the last two years, Washington scaled down its military budget and companies moved out, leaving behind empty offices, endless rows of taupe cubicles, a nondescript kitchen and the photocopying and printing nook, where a laminated sign with two bulldogs destroying papers offers a friendly reminder to “Always shred your sensitive unclassified!”

In other words, it doesn’t look like any incubator we’ve ever seen. But that’s going to change, said executive director Suzanne Zammit.

They’re knocking down some of the cubicles to make the open coworking space bigger. They’re repainting, getting new furniture and forgoing the Department of Defense wall decals for new artwork.

They’re even installing a ping pong table.

Even before the redesign, the CoLab has attracted members, like pre-launch startup Tassl, health IT startup and Pamela Bey, the Camden native who runs her own web dev and tech curriculum firm and recently launched Girl Develop It South Jersey (the CoLab hosted the opening party).

The space is about one-third full, Zammit said. Other tenants include companies that remain from the Drexel incubator days, like Channel Logistics and Health OnVector, and some from the Rutgers Camden Business Incubator, which until recently operated in the same building. (Fun fact: RJMetrics got its start at the Rutgers Camden Business Incubator. Here’s why it moved.)

The Drexel and Rutgers incubators merged a few years after Gov. Chris Christie shut down the state’s Commission on Science and Technology, Zammit said, because it was hard to get funding for those types of initiatives. The CoLab is the result. The Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a leading economic development outfit behind a number of Camden beautification and economic development programs, helped facilitate the merger and also oversees the vision for the CoLab.

“Our mission is to support the growth of local businesses and foster the expansion of entrepreneurship in Camden,” said Jake Gordon, vice president of Cooper’s Ferry, in an email. The CoLab, he said, “is designed for innovators and entrepreneurs that want flexible office space and a collaborative community.”

Which begs the question: will they come?


That question grew louder on our deserted walk from the CoLab to the PATCO stop outside City Hall.

But Zammit is hopeful.

“The startup community will go where the resources are,” she said, ticking off free parking (the CoLab overlooks the Delaware River and also a large parking lot), connections to investors (the CoLab hosted a recent Angel Venture Fair event) and tax incentives, like the Grow NJ Assistance Program. The CoLab is also hosting this weekend’s Startup Weekend for Women. Search firm Webimax got $12 million in tax incentives to relocate to Camden from Mt. Laurel, Lockheed Martin got an even bigger deal to open labs in the area and even the Sixers are getting in on some of the action.

“Camden is on a comeback mission,” she said, “and the incubator is a very big part of that.”

Prices start at $100/month for a desk in the coworking space and $250/month for a dedicated desk. Get in touch here.


Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

Profile   /   @juliana_f_reyes   /   Send an email

Snake Pit III: A great success!

Event moderator Marc Kramer, Executive Director of the Private Investors Forum & the Angel Venture Fair, coached presenters Vance Sounders of and Chris Owens of LincSphere presented to the following Judges:

  • Mike Krupit, President/CEO, Trajectify LLC-Mike is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.
  • Vince Leusner, Area Vice President, Keiretsu Forum-MidAtlantic, a national angel group.
  • Katherine O’Neill, Executive Director, Jumpstart NJ Angel Network, part of a national angel group.
  • Joe Cafarchio, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer, Meridian Bank, which has a major focus on small and early stage businesses.

RFP for Photography Exhibits: First Round Submissions due November 14, 2014

The Camden CoLab is soliciting proposals for photography exhibitions within our coworking space.

We are seeking photo-based projects that address subjects of interest to the Camden CoLab community. Examples include social justice, architecture/urban planning, urban issues, local knowledge or history, and/or small business development and activity.

The Camden CoLab is currently under renovation and seeks to activate some large spaces with engaging and inspiring exhibits. The CoLab hopes to highlight emerging and established artists from our local and regional community. The CoLab will become a spot along Camden's Third Thursday Art Crawl and temporary and long-term photographic displays will be highlighted at these events.

Display opportunities include along common corridors, within private and shared office space and conference rooms, and within an open format coworking space.

Eligibility Criteria: Any emerging or veteran photographer who has photographic work of interest to the Camden CoLab community.

We welcome all applicants, and especially encourage those from underrepresented groups. All submissions will be considered.

We invite photographers and artists to submit documentary-based work that uses new or creative visual strategies, investigative/storytelling approaches, or technologies. We seek applicants who reflect a diversity of global perspectives, especially those that are under-represented in mainstream narratives and media. Five to six projects will be selected. Production costs will be negotiated on a project by project basis.

Please submit questions, ideas, and proposals to Victoria Gilbert at Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. First round submissions are due November 14, 2014.

Snake Pit III: What are Investors Looking for?

The third annual Snake Pit, co-sponsored by the Private Investors Forum and New Jersey Business Incubation Network, takes place Wednesday, November 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Camden CoLab. Learn what financiers look for and want when making an investment.
The Judges:
·         Mike Krupit, President/CEO, Trajectify LLC-Mike is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.
·         Vince Leusner, Area Vice President, Keiretsu Forum-MidAtlantic, a national angel group.
·         Katherine O’Neill, Executive Director, Jumpstart NJ Angel Network, part of a national angel group.
·         Joe Cafarchio, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer, Meridian Bank, which has a major focus on small and early stage businesses.

Opportunities in Crowdfunding: Sept. 16

Mark Roderick, Flaster/Greenberg’s nationally recognized Crowdfunding lawyer, will host an informative seminar on developments in Crowdfunding under the JOBS Act, how this monumental change in securities law will alter the way small companies and entrepreneurs raise money, and new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

 Some of the major topics that will be covered in this discussion include:

  • Donation-based vs. Equity Crowdfunding
  • Types of Equity Crowdfunding – Jobs Act Title II,  III, and IV, Rule 504, Old and New Regulations
  • Background and Significance of JOBS Act Crowdfunding
  • The Role of Portals in Crowdfunding
  • Current state of the Crowdfunding marketplace
  • New Opportunities

For more information on Crowdfunding, including news, updates and links to important information pertaining to the JOBS Act and how Crowdfunding may affect your business, follow Roderick’s blog, or twitter handle: @CrowdfundAttny.


Mark Roderick, Shareholder and Crowdfunding Attorney, Flaster/Greenberg P

NJTech Weekly Reports: Why New Jersey Needs More Tech Coworking Spaces

By Carlos Abad, Aug. 5, 2014, 10 p.m.

[ is on vacation. We have asked thought leaders from the New Jersey tech community to write about topics that are important to them. Carlos Abad, our second contributor, is a wealth adviser at Tomorrow’s Financial Services and founder of the meetup LaunchNJ Entrepreneurial Hub. Along with partner Jason Frasca, he is about to open Summit Cowork, a space in Summit.]

Coworking spaces are vital to New Jersey developing a vibrant tech ecosystem primarily because they help increase the number of quality startups in our state.

There are many pieces to the ecosystem puzzle. They include the educational institutions that create targeted entrepreneurial programs, receptive politicians who promote the tech community, specialized service providers, interested corporations, investors and a steady flow of quality startups.

Politicians and corporations will only become interested when they see the steady flow of quality startups. A well-run coworking space provides a great environment for entrepreneurs to launch these companies.

Coworking is fertile ground for great ideas to grow into great businesses. This does not mean a successful startup can’t be launched without them. Many legendary companies have been started in garages, basements and sheds.

The problem with launching a company from home is that you can easily develop tunnel vision and start thinking that all your ideas are great. That often leads to wasted time, money or both, which startups can ill afford.

You can try to work around this by developing a system through which you periodically reach out to others. For a few highly disciplined people this may work, but most of us end up making excuses (for example, “I need to get this done, then I’ll do it.”). At a coworking space, all you have to do is talk to the person next to you to receive feedback, or wait until a person takes a coffee break to solicit input.

Coworking spaces conserve personal energy while providing networking opportunities. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of work and has many ups and downs. Working alongside others who are experiencing many of the same issues you are can go a long way to helping you get past the tough times.

The value of networking is often overlooked by startup founders. Some figure they’ll just find the resources when they need them. Others never consider networking’s value or become so busy that they never engage in it. When you work in a coworking space, networking is built in. Unless you are extremely antisocial, you will talk to your neighbors, who will in turn know people whom you may need at some point.

Incubators and accelerators are an important part of the ecosystem, but each has its shortcomings with regard to building an ecosystem. There aren’t enough incubators, and accelerators are great, but what happens when a company graduates from the program? Coworking spaces are a low-cost alternative that fills this need.

Finally, just being in a coworking space may help motivate some potential entrepreneurs to take the leap. I know a few people who saw a coworking sign, walked in, signed up for a free trial and ended up launching a company.

Coworking spaces are not a magic bullet, but they are a great resource for helping to launch quality startups. That is why they are vital to a vibrant tech ecosystem in New Jersey.

Meet Your Neighbor: Swisco

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I feel good about our future along the River. Camden is more organized, cleaner, has less crime, and we’re gaining more neighbors and there are less vacant buildings. The City has definitely changed.
— Paul Pallas II

Meet Paul Pallas II, Operations Manager at Swisco. Swisco, a family-owned company that began as a small repair shop in the 1970’s, has now grown into its third generation and turned into, the ultimate source for current and hard-to-find replacement parts. has an online catalog filled with replacement hardware for windows, doors, closets, lavatories, drawers, cabinets and more; online orders are filled and shipped from Swisco’s offices in downtown Camden.

Paul lives in Girard Estates in South Philly and bikes or drives over to Camden for work. His car commute is only 12 minutes, bicycling is 40 minutes, and he loves how easy the commute is. He is proud of his family-owned business’ continued presence in Camden, and he works with his dad, uncle, aunt, cousin, and two sisters. They take advantage of Camden’s low taxes, potential hires from both sides of the river, and lunches at the Victor Pub.