Resources and Partnerships

Helpful Resources for Starting Out

If you are thinking about starting your own business and/or growing an existing business, we are here to help you on the path to entrepreneurship. Please visit the links below, where we’ve curated some helpful resources for starting out:

Starting a Business in New Jersey:

As a first step, visit the State of New Jersey Business Portal. Here  you will find helpful information on:

  • How to PLAN your business
  • How to START your business
  • How to OPERATE your business
  • How to GROW your business

Not in New Jersey? Find Your State Business Resources.

Starting a Non-Profit in New Jersey? Check out the State of NJ’s 501(c)3 Step-by-Step Process.

How to Fund Your Business:

Whether you’re planning to online fundraise or considering a loan, there are many options for how to finance your new business. The following organizations have the ability to offer loans, lines of credit or other funding options for small businesses who many not have access to traditional financing:

  • CBAC : Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation (CBAC) is a non-profit, community lending organization. This Microlender was created in 1987 to encourage the growth and stability of small businesses in Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia.
  • Pursuit: This company is focused on providing small businesses in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania with affordable loans. Explore their 15+ small business loan programs.
  • New Jersey Community Capital: A nonprofit community development financial institution that provides innovative financing and technical assistance in underserved communities of New Jersey.
  • RBAC: Regional Business Assistance Corporation is a not for profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CDC, and SBA lender servicing all of New Jersey and most areas in NY and Pennsylvania. RBAC is committed to helping underserved populations and communities when small businesses cannot get funding through conventional lending sources.
  • UCEDC: A private non-profit Community Development Financial Institution that fosters economic growth by providing financial and technical assistance to new and existing businesses in New Jersey, with emphasis on benefiting under-served people and communities.
  • IFundWomen: The go-to marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to fund them. They offer immediate access to capital through a premium online fundraising experience, access to small business grants from corporate partners, expert business coaching on all the topics entrepreneurs need to know about, and a network of women business owners that sparks confidence, accelerates knowledge and ignites action.
  • Rising Tide Capital: Rising Tide Capital provides business development services designed to transform lives by helping individuals start and grow successful businesses; build communities through collaborations with other non-profits, higher education institutions, corporations, and public agencies; and create a scalable program model with measurable impact which can be replicated in communities of need across the U.S.
  • Dorm Room Fund: A student-run venture fund backed by First Round. Dorm Room Fund invests in startups where at least one person on the founding team is a student (undergraduate or graduate). Also check out their rolling application for student startups.
  • Y Combinator: Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups. Their goal is to get entrepreneurs through the first phase of funding, when entrepreneurs have built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Apply here.
  • Oceans Ventures: A new kind of venture capital firm: a team of early-stage investors and mentors focused on giving NYC-based tech startups the hands-on support they need to succeed.
  • Kickstarter: Since launching in 2009, 19 million people have backed a project, $5.3 billion has been pledged, and 188,320 projects have been successfully funded through Kickstarter.

Where to Find Mentorship:

Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that mentorship is key to success. Starting a business alone is an uphill battle, so we’ve provided some resources where you’ll find the motivation and guidance to begin your journey.

  • SCORE: The nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. SCORE provides a wide range of services to established and budding business owners alike, including: mentorship, webinars and on-demand courses, online resources and local events.
  • New Jersey Small Business Development Centers: NJSBDC has 12 centers and more than 20 higher education affiliated offices and satellite locations throughout New Jersey. Local consultants provide small businesses with cost-free counseling services to maximize opportunities for growth.

Where to Find Community:

When entrepreneurs inevitably hit a roadblock, it is important to connect with community for help. Here are some resources for small business owners who identify as Women, LGBT and POC:

  • Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship NJ: The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship is an organization specifically designed to provide women entrepreneurs and small business owners with the multi-levels of business education to enable them to build successful businesses to support their family, community and passion.
  • LAEDA Women’s Business Center:The WBC recognizes that women entrepreneurs face unique barriers to starting and operating small businesses and accessing capital. The WBC opens doors of opportunity by providing aspiring and existing women business owners who are interested in starting, strengthening or expanding a business with access to necessary resources including quality financial and business education.
  • African American Chamber of Commerce NJ: The AACCNJ is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities and businesses through entrepreneurship and capitalistic initiatives throughout the state of New Jersey.
  • Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce NJ: SHCCNJ promotes the continued growth and development of New Jersey business by helping members (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic) find expanded business opportunities – through networking and mutual support.
  • Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce: The AICC has evolved to meet the need for entrepreneurial leadership in the Asian Indian business community. It organizes and supports business expos, nonprofit cultural events, business and educational symposiums and humanitarian causes.
  • New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce: NJCACC is a not-for-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting business between members, primarily assisting Chinese and other Asian American businesses to integrate into the American economy and facilitating US-China trade.
  • New Jersey LGBT Chamber: The NJ LGBT Chamber is the bridge to connect with New Jersey’s LGBT, friendly, and allied business community. They are New Jersey’s premier LGBT business organization dedicated to strengthening LGBT businesses in the New Jersey tri-state area.

Where to Find Inspiration:

Visit Montclair Entrepreneurs MeetUp to join on-going conversations and virtual events with real entrepreneurs and learn more about the stories behind their successful (or not so successful) start-ups and what they’ve learned along the way!

How to Find an Internship:

Before starting your own business, a good step could be to intern with another company first. The following resources will help you explore your options and find the internship that fits your career goals:

COVID Resources:

Entrepreneurs and small businesses struggling with COVID-19 issues can find helpful resources here. The NJSBDC has also created the #NJThrives initiative where small business owners can share their success stories around how they’ve pivoted during the pandemic.

 

Our Partnerships Are Vital

The Feliciano Center fosters a real-world entrepreneurial experience where students generate creative ideas, develop them and ultimately pitch them to a panel of professionals. We have cultivated an inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial community of founders, investors, professional service providers, faculty, mentors, as well as, former and current students. Whether our students need assistance protecting IP or programming their app, we have the ability to engage our external partners, mentors, guest lecturers, entrepreneurs-in-residence and pitch judges to help guide our entrepreneurial students toward realizing their dreams.

Are you interested in becoming a partner? There are many ways to become involved:

  • Become a mentor: Do you have a specific business expertise to share? Are you interested in mentoring a team of students for a semester? Contact us about all the ways to mentor our students.
  • Attend an event: In addition to our major events throughout the year – Weekly Women Entrepreneurship and Startup Montclair – we also feature a wide variety of virtual events throughout the year. Learn about upcoming events by joining our Meetup group, Montclair Entrepreneurs.
  • Sponsor an event: If you’d like information about how to be a sponsor for one of our events, please contact us.
  • Support the Center: Your gift helps us develop resources and programs that enrich the lives of students, as well as members of our larger community of entrepreneurs. Make a gift.

For information, contact entrepreneurs@montclair.edu