VANJ Articles & Testimonials

"VANJ provides an exciting forum for young companies to show their potential to prospective investors.  In particular, the Elevator Pitch Olympics is an opportunity for a company to hone their presentation to the razor sharp precision needed to attract the attention of investors.  My presentation in the Elevator Pitch Olympics brought significant attention to identiMetrics and provided an investor community endorsement that has catapulted us to the next level of financing."  Raymond Jay Fry, President & CEO, identiMetrics, Inc.

“I’ve raised over $50M over the last 5 years and my best success by far has been through effective networking. VANJ has been a great forum for me to do that for my latest venture. During the introductions of all the attendees at a VANJ luncheon, I targeted those people I should meet, and introduced myself after the meeting.  6 months later that resulted in financing my Series A round, as well as more than half of my current Series B financing round.” -  Dave Dingott, President, Sword Diagnostics

“I and other angel friends have invested over a total of $3 million in three companies that I met through VANJ.   The Elevator Pitch Olympics and all the VANJ events give entrepreneurs a chance to be seen by angel investors and venture capitalists. …If people don’t know you exist you can’t get funding.” - John Ason, Angel Investor 

"I don't have any reluctance in saying that a deal referral came from a VANJ meeting at which we made a brief presentation, and that we ultimately invested in that deal and it has been our best investment to date." -  Wayne Clevenger, Managing Director, Midmark Capital
“We have found VANJ to be a fruitful source for networking and discovering investment prospects and investors. One or two of our portfolio companies (several million dollars invested) stem from contacts made at VANJ. -  Jim Gunton, Partner, NJTC Venture Fund 
“Thank you for the invitation to today's event. As usual, it was very well organized and well attended.  I really liked Jay's questioning of the panelists when large scoring discrepancies appeared.  I thought that this was a fabulous change from previous years.   I hope that the audience enjoyed the event.”  Charles Crockett, Partner, Ascend Venture Group, Investor Panelist May 2007 Expo

"As a venture firm headquartered in NEW YORK CITY we find that year- in-year-out the richest source of attractive opportunities in the Tri State  region are to be found in New Jersey. We think this is because a variety of groups - most notably the Venture Association New  Jersey do an excellent job of sponsoring events that bring entrepreneurs, investors and an array of financial service providers together." Ed Goodman, Managing Partner, Milestone Ventures

“It was at a VANJ meeting in Morristown that Goldman met Ason, and it was only six or eight weeks later that John wrote the first check,” Goldman recalled.  From the NJ Star Ledger August 25th Article, “The Miracle Workers”.

"In early 2007 we had decided that we wanted to explore the option of getting venture funding to allow us to grow our business.  We were already generating revenue by reselling enterprise software and providing consulting services to our clients.  We were about to launch our own software product and were excited about growing that piece of our business.  To 'dip our toes' in the VC water, we had seen the info on the Elevator Pitch Olympics and thought it would be a great place to get some feedback on our product and ideas.  We signed up, worked on our 2 page executive summary and the pitch itself (BTW, Randy was extremely helpful with feedback during this process, my understanding is we were one of the few companies that signed up that took advantage of his free services).  We were fortunate enough to win the event based on the scoring of the judges.  Based on the PR and feedback from the event, we were able to quickly network with about a dozen VC's and wound up partnering with NewSpring Ventures in Radnor, PA in a Series A funding in January 2008.  The exposure and validation of our idea at the EPO aided in our confidence moving forward that we could indeed secure funding relatively quickly.   We are big fans of VANJ and the Elevator Pitch Olympics!" - Scott Barnett, Bluenog

"This letter is long overdue.  I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to make a presentation at a VANJ meeting.  At that time, my business was in desperate need of financing and I had exhausted every other possible option.  My presentation attracted the attention of an angel investor.  Within approximately 30 days I had the funding I needed to sustain and grow the company.  I'm happy to say that we have surpassed the 'start-up' phase and continue to enjoy substantial growth each year.  We are now an established International business with twelve employees and offices in the U.S. and Hong Kong as well as distributors throughout the world.  Looking back, I can honestly say that we wouldn't be enjoying this same success if it wasn't for the Venture Association New Jersey. Thank you!" - Mike Goldman, President, Tucker Toys, Inc.