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Game over: Cyber-breaches aren’t matter of if, but when, experts say — so companies need to prepare for worst case

As security breach events clog news cycles, businesses can only hope to find silver bullets in protective cybersecurity services.

Rob Kleeger hates to break the news to them: They will fail, he says.

And, without a hint of optimism, he adds, “And there’s nothing you can do to avoid that.”

Kleeger is the founder and managing director of Digital4nx Group Ltd., a Sherlock Holmes of the cybersecurity world. His firm does digital forensics work to investigate what data was compromised and how it can be recovered after a security breach.

In his view, preparing for hacker assaults doesn’t involve just going out to purchase the most advanced suite of cybersecurity products on the market. The biggest companies have tried that, he said.

“And, yet, those companies, with all their resources, are still getting breached and are in the front-page headlines all the time,” he said. “All the money in the world doesn’t solve the problem.”

Kleeger was a first responder during the 2011 Sony breach, during which the “hacktivist” group Anonymous announced its intent to go after the business in response to a lawsuit against George Hotz, a New Jersey native who gained notoriety for reverse-engineering the PlayStation 3 gaming system.

“That’s a perfect example, Sony banged their chest and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got 600 security engineers,’” he said. “When they got a letter from the Anonymous organization standing behind this person’s cause and threatening to bring Sony’s websites down. … Sony gave them the bird, and (Sony was) shut down two days later.”

The bottom line is this: Those that deal with these threats on a daily basis want business leaders to think about what to do when — not if — they’re the next victims on the hacker hit list.

“Most business leaders are thinking about this as a technical issue,” he said. “It’s not simply technical. At the end of the day, you have to understand what it is you want to protect and legal obligations you’ll have when you’re breached.”

No doubt influenced by his detective-like business approach, Kleeger is a fan of companies doing an investigation of their own systems and the kind of data they have before attacks happen.

And, even if hackers are hard to stop, having some level of cybersecurity protection is better than the alternative. But these are most effective when you know what specifically needs protecting, Kleeger said.

“Because, if an attacker finds themselves on your network but can’t get to the crown jewels, they’re going to leave empty-handed or just go after a lesser target,” he said.

Experts say part of why there’s no perfect failsafe to be found is the amount of security breaches caused by exploiting human behavior, not secured computer systems.

Mike Mullin, president of Integrated Business Systems, said it often comes down to what people choose as a password.

Integrated Business Systems
Mike Mullin, president of Integrated Business Systems.

Turns out the name of your favorite sports team doesn’t cut it anymore.

“If you’re trying to protect yourself from evils of the cyberworld, people need to understand that passwords need to be more than a name and a birthday or anniversary,” he said. “That’s all too easy to figure out. It has to be something truly random and only they know.”

Passwords in peoples’ personal lives and business lives tend to cross wires. That isn’t safe, Mullin said.

Mullin, who runs a Totowa company that offers a number of information technology services, described a recent situation in which a client suffered devastating downtime from a virus that spread just by someone clicking on an email attachment.

“Once it was on a computer in the organization, it only took minutes before each computer was affected, and the only way to get rid of it was reformatting all the hard drives,” Mullin said. “And it’s tough, because many businesses cannot survive being down five days without revenue.”

Mullin added that the unfortunate fact is, about half of businesses targeted by cybercriminals aren’t still in business six months later.

It might sound like cybersecurity experts are all doom and gloom, but in a hack-happy digital age, it’s hard for them not to be.

“The truth is, someone is waking up tomorrow morning wanting to steal what you’ve got,” Mullin said. 

Conversation Starters

Reach Digital4nx Group at: digital4nxgroup.com or 732-786-4062.

Reach Integrated Business Systems at: ibsre.com or 973-575-4950.

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Stopping power: Ramsey firm hopes tech, training make difference in 1st moments of potential mass shooting

Fewer and fewer people doubt that cybercriminals can devastate their computer systems, so … investing in the right technology protections? Why not?

The same sentiment, however, isn’t extended to a much more tangible threat, and one much more dangerous: active shooter situations.

Entrepreneur Erik Endress said it’s not just that organizations haven’t prepared adequately enough — many haven’t considered it at all.

Erik Endress of OnScene Technologies.

“They can’t even imagine the idea they’ll ever be in this situation,” he said. “But we’re seeing a shift in the mindset after something like (the) Sandy Hook or Parkland (school shootings), because people started to realize it can happen in any community in America.”

Endress is founder and CEO of OnScene Technologies Inc., which ties together different aspects of active shooter preparedness in both corporate environments and schools. 

The unique business guides organizations through what to do in the all-important first few minutes of an incident all the way through to crisis counseling and reunification of people with their families.

“And as you can imagine, even that’s a very, very stressful situation, in particular for the families, because they know their loved one has gone through this incident,” he said. 

Endress comes from a background that’s a blend of technology and emergency services. He was a longtime volunteer first responder with the Ramsey Rescue Squad, serving the borough his company is based in today.

Raymond Bailey, chief operating officer of OnScene Technologies, spent more than 25 years in law enforcement with the Ramsey Police Department. Endress and Raymond came up with the idea for a company that could better relay on-scene information in active shooter situations after identifying some of the problems first responders would encounter.

“What we saw as first responders was at a school, for example, the people in that facility during some type of emergency — in order to reach first responders — all had to call 911,” he said. “That’s not a system that scales well. In Ramsey, for example, there’s one dispatcher and three phone lines and, yet, in buildings, they have hundreds or thousands of occupants needing to communicate.”

Activate shooter situations tend to start, and end, quickly. But Endress said the time between someone first seeing a shooter approaching a building and first responders being notified through the typical channels — calling 911 — hasn’t been so quick.

“Meanwhile, there are people right there, very close to the gunman, who have no idea they’re in danger,” he said. “We believe that’s why there’s such high casualty counts often. People on the scene don’t know the shooter is there. They’re in close proximity. And then we see the tragic results in Sandy Hook and Parkland and what seems to be countless other such incidents.”

The company was launched at the behest of school district administrators several weeks after 2012’s Sandy Hook shooting, in which a gunman killed 26 teachers and children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, Endress said. In 2013, the startup started to work with 10 school districts in New Jersey and had law enforcement partners throughout the state.

“By the end of that year, we knew we were on to something,” he said. “Six years later, our platform has been adopted by thousands of schools and workplaces across the country.”

The app operates similar to the navigation app Waze, Erik Endress, founder and CEO of OnScene Technologies, said. ­

The company’s largest density of customers is around Northern California, in school districts such as the one in Stockton, California — where, coincidentally or not, the country’s first mass school shooting happened when five schoolchildren were killed and 32 others wounded on a playground in 1989.

Regardless of its nationwide presence, its base remains in New Jersey, a fact Endress is proud of.

“This sort of company is only supposed to happen in Silicon Valley or New York City,” he said. “I thought it was important to show that you can do amazing things with software wherever you live. In Ramsey, we’re probably one of the few tech startups here.”

Share911, the company’s tech-driven emergency management platform, operates in a browser or desktop application as well as on mobile devices. What’s useful about it, Endress explained, is that as employees report where the danger is and that information updates in real time.

“That means you’re not hitting refresh on your browser … as people change their status, you’re seeing that information live,” he added. “It operates similar to the navigation app Waze, in that you’re driving along and it pops up and says there’s an accident ahead and you can make decision based on that. That technology is relatively new, and we were one of the first to use it.”

The tech side of what the company does is getting even more interesting with the advent of artificial intelligence and smart camera equipment that can identify danger before anyone would otherwise see it coming.

“An example of that would be license plate reader systems,” he said. “School districts and employers are doing this. They have these systems at their entrances, so that, if they fired an employee Thursday and that employee comes back next Tuesday to seek revenge, they’ve got that employee’s license plate in the system that can be flagged and then can notify everybody.”

All these tools are still new, and there isn’t widespread awareness among companies and school districts about it.

“But, once they learn about our software, either because a neighboring district or business uses it, generally the adoption rate is quite high,” Endress said. “They realize we’re solving what we call white space of the first five to six minutes of the most serious incident. It’s important to prepare for that.”

Conversation Starter

Reach Erik Endress of OnScene Technologies at: erik@share911.com or visit share911.com.

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Canadian company pays $40M for Hackensack video software firm

A Canadian enterprise software company has paid $40 million for Vidyo Inc., a Hackensack-based provider of video software solutions, it announced Wednesday.

Enghouse Systems Ltd. said Vidyo has annual revenue of about $60 million and more than 1,700 customers worldwide. Vidyo offers an infrastructure software platform that supports visual communications across a variety of networks and locations, according to a news release on the deal.

“We’re excited to join Enghouse because of the great product fit and our shared vision,” Vidyo Chairman and CEO Michael Patsalos-Fox said in a prepared statement. “Enghouse gives us the opportunity to amplify our product innovation, service and support, making this a great transaction for Vidyo’s customers and partners.”

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Setting the (dial) tone: LinkNWK off to strong start, company says

Link, which launched its free phone and Wi-Fi kiosks in Newark in October, is seeing strong usage already, it told ROI-NJ, with the first four locations averaging 2,400 calls per month.

Link hopes to eventually place 45 kiosks in the city under its LinkNWK partnership between parent company Intersection, the city, Newark Community Economic Development Corp. and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

The first four kiosks, which provide services including telephony, Wi-Fi and device charging, are located along Broad Street at prominent downtown intersections, taking advantage of the Newark Fiber internet initiative.

“Since LinkNWK launched last October, it has been incredible to see Newark residents and visitors using the many services that Link provides,” a spokesperson told ROI-NJ. “The free Wi-Fi sees more than 3,200 sessions per month across just four Links along Broad Street, with strong usage across the other services, including charging, phone calls and more. Additionally, we’ve been able to collaborate with Newark residents and institutions to showcase great local content and promote small businesses. For example, we worked with local artist Kern Bruce on a ‘Women of Newark’ series during Women’s History Month, and, right now, LinkNWK is partnering with Equal Space to promote the coworking space and incubator dedicated to supporting diverse entrepreneurs.”

The kiosks are located at:

  • Broad and Green streets, near the Prudential Center;
  • Broad Street and Raymond Boulevard;
  • Broad Street and Prudential Drive;
  • Broad and Rector streets, near the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Link noted that the four kiosks see roughly the same usage.

The service debuted in the U.S. in New York City and also has kiosks in Philadelphia, as well as the U.K.

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N.J.’s Noveck explains how Murphy administration aims to bolster economy through innovation

The crowd was a testament to the revitalization of the state’s innovation economy, said Beth Simone Noveck.

Noveck, who serves as the state’s first chief innovation officer, was speaking at the New Jersey Tech Council’s 22nd Venture Conference, held Thursday at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

“If what’s going on in these halls isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is,” she said.

Noveck highlighted the economic plan Gov. Phil Murphy released last October and the four strategic priorities of said plan.

File photo
Beth Simone Noveck, New Jersey’s chief innovation officer.

“Invest in the people, invest in the communities, harness the power of innovation to create more jobs and work to make government better to improve New Jersey’s business climate,” she said.

The people she refers to is all New Jersey residents that, she said, can help to prepare for, work for and create a more sustainable future. And she said investing in the communities allows for the creation of world-class towns, cities and infrastructure.

Noveck said it’s the investors and entrepreneurs like the ones she was speaking to at the conference that help to achieve those goals, the ones that have an important role to play.

“We recognize that capital and venture capital is essential to the success of any business,” she said.

Noveck said she and the Murphy administration are working to restructure their financing and incentive programs to achieve the outcomes they were intended to in the first place.

“Among those initiatives includes a proposal to create the first ever $500 million New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund that will connect New Jersey startups with the funding that they need to grow,” she said.

James Barrood of the New Jersey Tech Council introduces speakers on the main stage.

The fund will foster a vibrant and innovative ecosystem, she said.

Noveck also discussed the proposal, as a part of this year’s budget, to restructure the angel investor tax credit program so, she said, it will further encourage use by small, early stage investors.

She continued to highlight other initiatives, such as NJ Ignite and the HUB project in New Brunswick, but also referred to connections between the state’s higher education research institutes and the private sector.

“The state’s actively working to develop stronger connections between our research institutions and the private sector to enable more faculties and students to commercialize their ideas and inventions and to work with those companies that are trying to do so,” Noveck said.

Noveck said that, in addition to the individual school programs, the state’s creation of its first research asset database, Research with NJ, will help companies recruit the talent they need — a problem that’s been monumental for the tech and manufacturing industries.

She said companies require talent to grow, so investing in modernizing workforce development programs to reflect the demands of a skills-based, high-tech economy has become a priority.

“We’re working to ensure government is supporting your work and not standing in the way of it,” Noveck said.

NJIT President Joel Bloom also spoke at the conference and emphasized the importance of venture capital, and how New Jersey is falling behind as a state in this regard.

“We are not doing enough to create ventures and venture capital in the state of New Jersey, particularly in the STEM fields, and we’re not moving fast enough,” Bloom said. “We’ve now fallen behind Pennsylvania and Maryland and (have) under a billion dollars of venture capital in the state.”

The Tech Council’s 22nd Venture Conference aimed to showcase the region’s most promising companies and attempts to offer insights from many of the nation’s top investors.

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Opening of Per Scholas’ tech training campus is latest tech win for Newark

Newark has taken another big step toward transforming into the tech hub many city officials have promised it will become.

“Today, we contribute to the beauty of this building and we begin, through tech training and partnership, to meet the requirements of Newark and its outstanding future,” said Per Scholas Managing Director for Newark and New York Kelly Richardson.

Richardson was speaking Tuesday at the grand opening of Per Scholas’ Newark tech training campus in the former New Jersey Bell Building.

“Newark has a special air about it, there’s something that just can’t quite be described,” said Tony Gaston, Newark site director for the national tech training nonprofit. “Some might call it serendipity and some others might call it a bit of magic.”

Gov. Phil Murphy spoke about the importance of producing a diverse talent pool, particularly in tech and in the city of Newark.

“You recognize the tremendous promise of Newark,” Murphy said. “You recognize the deep and diverse level of talent that exists here. A talent pool that has been overlooked and written off for far too long.”

Until now.

“We are anticipating the intersection of the future of work and the future of Newark,” Prudential Financial Vice Chairman Robert Falzon said. “By helping to create a technology ecosystem and hub for emerging entrepreneurs and providing funding for local venture capitalists.”

Falzon said Prudential is invested in the Firebolt Wi-Fi network in Newark — which could become the world’s fastest free public Wi-Fi network.

The opening of the campus was supported by business and community partners Prudential Financial, Guardian Life Insurance, Public Service Enterprise Group and Barclays.

The first class of 19 students, most of whom are Newark residents, began in March, while the campus will look to place 200 individuals into technology careers over the next three years through tech training and professional development.

The students gain hands-on skills training in hardware, software and network technology. The expansion was first announced in October by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

The new campus features three state-of-the-art technical classrooms and will enroll about 100 students per year, tuition-free. Per Scholas attempts to provide opportunities for diverse and low-income communities to succeed in a career in tech.

Murphy, prior to the grand opening, spoke about the importance of breaking down employment barriers.

“For too long, New Jersey’s best and brightest have not been able to reach their full potential because of systematic roadblocks,” he said. “My administration is fully committed to making sure that every New Jersey student has the opportunities they need to get ahead by partnering with organizations like Per Scholas to help close the achievement gap.”

Speakers at the opening also included Jes Staley, group CEO at Barclays; Nicolio Sambrano, IAM Data Services support analyst at Barclays; and Natasha Rogers, interim deputy mayor and chief operating officer for Newark.

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Technology will change every job, tech exec says at Women Designing the Future event — and soon

No matter what, technology will change the job everyone is currently in, Jane Oates said.

Oates, who is currently CEO of Los Angeles-based nonprofit WorkingNation and has served as both executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education under former Gov. John Corzine and as assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor under President Barack Obama, was speaking at the fifth annual Women Designing the Future Conference on Friday at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

“Let’s be clear,” she said to the room of around 200, filled with students, faculty and technology professionals. “Whatever job you are in now or whatever job you are aspiring to is going to be changed by technology.”

And Oates said there is no exception. You can be a custodian or working in a restaurant, she said, because everyone’s job is being turned on its head by technology.

“Thirty-six million jobs, 25 percent of all U.S. jobs, will face high exposure of automation in the next three years,” she said. “That means that up to 75 percent of the tasks and competencies involved in that job will be eliminated.”

The jobs at high risk of total elimination, according to Oates, are not necessarily the entry- or low-level jobs that most would think, but the highly-routinized jobs where the worker does the same thing repeatedly.

One of these professions, Oates said, involves adding columns of numbers — an accountant. She said marketing is another at-risk sector.

“It is estimated that, today, a marketing department of 10 will become a marketing department of two by 2025, and I would say 2025 is a conservative estimate,” she said.

Oates used past societal shifts in the country’s workforce to further emphasize the rate at which technology is taking industry sectors by storm.

“Our country has been through transformation before in the world of work,” she said. “We went from an agricultural society to a manufacturing society, and we did that over 140 years. But this technological change that’s coming is happening by the minute. You go home on Friday for the weekend to come back Monday needing to learn a new software package.”

That is the norm right now, she said.

From June 2016 to June 2018, the number of jobs on the career search site Indeed that included the words “AI” or “Machine Learning” increased 100 percent, Oates said.

The amount of data that has accumulated since the beginning of the technological transformation that Oates refers to is unprecedented. Oates said it speaks to the rate of growth in the technology sector.

“This statistic is real, and I’ve tested it. In 2018, 87 percent of all the data that exists was created in the last two years,” she said. “And we’ve been collecting data for decades, since before I was born. There’s been data for over 60 years.”

But this reality doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. Oates said technology has made certain sectors safer, particularly manufacturing, where the operation of heavy machinery has become much less dangerous, with fewer accidents in the workplace, because of it.

Oates also made a point to emphasize the lack of gender diversity and female representation in STEM-related fields.

She said that, while women occupy 20 percent of the total tech workforce, they represent 5 percent of all tech startup owners, 5 percent of tech leadership, 12 percent of computer network architects, 13 percent of computer hardware engineers and only 19 percent of all computer research scientists.

The fifth annual Women Designing the Future conference, titled “Game Changers! Technological Innovations That Will Transform Our Lives,” attempted to explore how game-changing technological innovations will both disrupt and improve our lives over the next 10 years while focusing on the role of leading women.

Oates was speaking on the Robotics, E-Commerce and The Future of Work panel. Also on the panel were Rochelle Hendricks, former secretary of higher education under Gov. Chris Christie; Sally Nadley, assistant dean and director of the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in STEM; and Aisha Glover, CEO and president of the Newark Alliance.

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William Paterson student develops employment app, wins pitch competition

William Paterson University‘s Cotsakos College of Business recently held its 2019 Pitch Tank Competition and announced the winner, who will go on to compete at UPitchNJ, a statewide collegiate business model competition.

The winner of this year’s $3,000 first prize was Mojahed “Moe” Hamdeh of Wayne, a senior majoring in financing and professional sales and founder of “Employ Me!” an app that connects entry-level potential employees to employers.

Hamden said his employment platform targets students from ages 16 to 25 who are seeking employment or internships, and matches them with employers who are seeking entry-level roles.

Four other students also won prizes for their ideas in the final round of the competition, a six-month process that includes writing a detailed business plan and seeking advice from mentors and professors. Presentations were judged on innovation, the school said, as well as need and market, revenue and sustainability, investment requirements, marketing and launch, and preserverance and competence.

“We are grateful to the faculty, staff and judges who continuously promote a spirit of entrepreneurship among our students,” Siamack Shojai, dean of the Cotsakos College of Business, said. “I congratulate the William Paterson students who participated in the competition for making us proud.”

The other student winners were:

  • Adrian Rodriguez of Paterson, a senior majoring in financial planning and economics, won the second place award of $2,000 for developing Pocket Advisor, a web platform for users to aggregate financial data to help manage their financial lives.
  • Kacper Boguszewski of West Milford, a sophomore majoring in sales, won the third place award of $1,000 for Wheel Hub, a web platform for car enthusiasts to locate and purchase aftermarket wheels that will fit their car.
  •  Sherif Gharib of Little Falls, a junior majoring in accounting, won $500 for Sheakon, an inflatable bed rail for toddlers.

Hamdeh will compete with his app at UPitchNJ on April 26 at Seton Hall University.

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Hit the accelerator: SOSV’s O’Sullivan shares history, and future, of tech-centric Princeton VC firm

One of the largest decentralized accelerator programs in the world, SOSV, is headquartered in Princeton, a fact that many don’t know. 

Its founder and managing general partner, Sean O’Sullivan, identifies as a Princeton resident, engineer, inventor and “now, a venture capitalist.” O’Sullivan spoke recently at Startup Grind Princeton about his entrepreneurship journey and his investment philosophy. The conversation was moderated by Startup Grind organizer David Stengle.

O’Sullivan is a well-known name in the tech community. For example, he is credited with inventing the term “cloud computing” with George Favoloro from Compaq. In 1985, he founded MapInfo, which delivered the first version of street mapping to personal computers. 

Now, O’Sullivan devotes his time to SOSV, which, according to the company’s website, “provides intellectual and financial capital to accelerate founders’ big ideas for positive change. SOSV has funded over 700 startups to date. We currently fund over 150 startups per year through our programs: HAX (hardware and connected devices), IndieBio & RebelBio (life sciences), Chinaccelerator (cross-border internet and mobile in Asia) and Food-X (food innovation).” 

O’Sullivan says the company is taking applications for a new blockchain accelerator that will be headquartered in New York City.

O’Sullivan grew up on welfare, in a family with nine kids and a “deadbeat dad” who left for good when Sean was 3. He made it to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a technological research university in upstate New York, and eventually began his career as a serial entrepreneur. 

“What enabled me to get ahead was education,” he said, which prompted him to combine his passion for learning and giving back by underwriting Kahn Academy in Mountain View, California, a free educational resource, in its first stages of development.

After selling his first company, O’Sullivan tried a variety of career paths, even taking a stab at being a musician and a filmmaker, before realizing that his best opportunity to have a true impact on the world “was to create lots of companies.” He invested as a “super angel” for many years, but he formalized his investments into a real venture capital firm. And, now, he said, “We have about 110 staff, which for a VC firm is huge.”

“Our focus is different from most venture firms. We do something unique.” While SOSV started by backing companies O’Sullivan liked and thought had a good chance of success, it now goes much deeper into tech. By starting accelerators, O’Sullivan’s team found that they could place “a lot of shots on goal and build ecosystems and work with founders at a stage that I find is most enjoyable,” which is very, very early on. 

More than 5,000 companies apply each year to get into the SOSV accelerators, and the 150 who get accepted receive between $100,000 and $250,000 (depending on the accelerator) for the first commitment; in return, they give up about 7 percent of their equity. 

“We take those companies; get them market validation; work with them to get the proper market fit working; and, depending on which accelerator, we work with them deeply on the technologies.” At the HAX location in Shenzhen, China (there’s another one in San Francisco), SOSV has a 50,000-square-foot space with various types of manufacturing equipment and 28 engineers on staff, O’Sullivan said. The engineers know radio-frequency engineering, industrial design, mechanical design, design for manufacturing and so on. “We can take a team of two, four or five people and make them look like a 50-person organization.”

The team is paramount, O’Sullivan explained. “You can’t just be a single person and get much done. You have to be able to work with a team. We won’t back a single founder. Not because a single founder can never make it, because they can, but it’s a slower way to try and make it. You also end up with a lot of psychopaths. If you’ve got a couple of people who are working together and trust each other, that’s a pretty good indicator.” There will be hard times, there may be times when founders need to go without paychecks; and the company won’t get through these lows unless the team has a high level of commitment. O’Sullivan said it’s even better when the team members love each other.

As a founder, you must build a team and recognize that you don’t want carbon copies of yourself on it, Sullivan said. You want a highly balanced team. “When we look at teams these days, we actually give all of our startups personality testing.” 

There are multiple types of people: Some are more focused on relationships, some focus on innovation, some focus on synthesis and society, while others are more analytical. SOSV administers this testing before it makes a major investment, although not before it takes a company into the accelerator, because the team will change and get rounded out as the startup grows.

SOSV applicants apply for the vertical they are interested in and fill out a form. From eight to 15 teams are accepted into a cohort, funded by SOSV. Those companies physically take up residence in the SOSV space, generally for about four months; in a larger space like HAX, they can stay for a year. At the end of that period, they host a demo day. If all criteria are met, SOSV helps them find the best financing for the next stage of their development. 

Then there are specialized services for the companies. At the IndiBio accelerator, for example, there are wet lab facilities and all the equipment needed for genetic engineering and synthetic biology.

“I think that community, that sense of community, is the most phenomenal benefit,” O’Sullivan told Stengle. “Actually, being able to go to others and share really bad deep problems and the dark moments of the soul that everyone has as a founder” is one of the major pluses of being in this environment.

Closer Look

Name: SOSV
Headquarters: 174 Nassau St., Suite 300, Princeton (offices in U.S., Ireland, China)
Public/private: Private, founded by Sean O’Sullivan in 1995
Employees: More than 110
Specialty: Funded more than 700 startups to date; presently funding more than 150 per year through HAX (hardware and connected devices), IndieBio & RebelBio (life sciences), Chinaccelerator (cross-border internet and mobile in Asia) and Food-X (food innovation).
Follow: sosv.com and @sosvvc 

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