Exploring Business Ecosystems in New Jersey

New Jersey is a global gateway to greatness and offers businesses a competitive advantage. While we welcome all companies in New Jersey, our key industries have the strongest presence here: technology, financial services, life sciences, logistics, food & beverage and clean energy. These key industries are propelled by New Jersey’s talent, strategic location and robust infrastructure. Several innovation epicenters and industry clusters have emerged in the Northern, Central and Southern areas of the state that are attracting major investment. Below, Choose New Jersey provides an overview of thriving business ecosystems found throughout the State.

North Jersey: Tech, Financial Services

Tech

Companies you’ll find include:

  • Audible
  • HAX
  • Panasonic
  • WebMD
  • Cognizant 

Trending area: Newark, NJ

Success Story: Cognizant

Cognizant has been a global leader in tech outsourcing and IT consulting for 25 years. Originally a software arm of Dun & Bradstreet, the company has grown to become a go-to choice for some of the world’s largest businesses, such as Google, 3M, and Prudential Financial. Cognizant first set up shop in Chennai, India and is now headquartered in Teaneck, NJ. After finding an initial niche in Y2k-related projects and web development, the company has experienced several periods of growth from both internal expansion and acquisitions. From 2003 to 2012, Cognizant appeared on Fortune magazine’s “100 Fastest-Growing companies” list and now sits on the Forbes 500.

Financial Services/Fintech

Companies you’ll find include:

  • BNY Mellon
  • JP Morgan
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Prudential Financial
  • Cross River

Trending area: Jersey City

Success Story: Cross River

Cross River is a fast-growing financial services company and a state-chartered FDIC insured bank founded in 2008. Cross River provides a highly secure, API-based banking platform and comprehensive suite of products encompassing lending, payments, risk management and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings.  Cross River has won several awards over the past decade, including “Most Innovative Bank” at the 2018 LendIT Fintech Industry Awards and is named one of the “Best Fintechs to Work for” from American Banker. In 2021, the company celebrated the opening of its new Fort Lee, NJ headquarters situated across the George Washington Bridge from New York City. Cross River currently employs 500 with plans to hire 100 more employees. 

WHY SO POPULAR?

Tech companies can tap into many valuable assets and accessibility within northern New Jersey. The region is home to many of the state’s leading universities, including NJIT, NJCU, Rutgers-Newark and Stevens Institute of Technology that produce a steady pipeline of specialized tech talent. The infrastructure is strong for cloud and internet connectivity: New Jersey is the #1 state for broadband connectivity in the U.S. and 64% of residents have access to fiber optic service. New Jersey also has over 2 million square feet of data center space. Many tech and finance companies have been choosing northern New Jersey over New York City due to reduced real estate costs, while still maintaining access to the New York City market.

Central Jersey: Life Sciences, Logistics

Life Sciences

Companies you’ll find include:

  • Merck & Co
  • Genmab 
  • Visikol Inc.
  • Novartis
  • J&J

Trending area: Route 1 Research Corridor: Princeton to New Brunswick

Success Story: Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is one of the largest biopharma companies in the world, and one of the 50 largest companies in the U.S., according to Forbes. It stands as one of the original innovators to come out of New Jersey, most recently receiving FDA approval for the first one-shot COVID-19 vaccine. The company was established in New Brunswick in 1886 when the city was experiencing entrepreneurial and industrial growth. Since then, the company has experienced incredible success and expanded globally while maintaining its world headquarters in New Brunswick.

LOGISTICS

Companies you’ll find include:

  • Amazon
  • Home Depot
  • Arizona Iced Tea
  • SwagUp 
  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

Trending area: Middlesex County along the New Jersey Turnpike

Success Story: Amazon

Amazon has made significant investments into the State since 2014. Taking advantage of Central New Jersey’s highway access that can reach 38 million people within a 2 hour drive, Amazon’s growth since opening its first warehouse has been rapid. The company is now one of the largest private employers in New Jersey, with over 50,000 employees operating at its 15+ fulfillment and sortation centers and more than a dozen delivery stations (smaller facilities that help with last-mile delivery.)  

Why So Popular?

Central Jersey’s innovation ecosystem includes a high density of life sciences companies, leading healthcare networks like RWJBarnabas and Princeton University and Rutgers University. Businesses can hire top talent, including the highest concentration of scientists and engineers in the U.S., and access clinical research organizations (CROs) and clinical manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to bring their product to market. The HUB in New Brunswick, a new 1.7 million sq. ft. mixed-use redevelopment site, will build upon this research and innovation and nurture the growth of startups. 

Logistics companies and retailers with distribution centers find Central Jersey to be a strategic location to reach consumer markets. The region’s excellent transportation channels including proximity to the NJ Turnpike, Newark Liberty International Airport and the Port of New York and New Jersey. 

South Jersey: Food & Beverage, Clean Energy

Food & Beverage

Companies you’ll find include:

  • Oatly
  • Innovation Foods
  • Campbell’s 
  • Rovagnati
  • Cento 

Trending area: Cumberland County

Success Story: Oatly

Oatly, the Swedish leader of non-dairy offerings like oatmilk, frozen desserts and “oatgurt,” chose a South Jersey location to meet explosive North American demand for oat milk in 2018. Oatly opened a $15 million, 25,000 square-foot U.S. processing plant in Millville—the first outside Europe. Oatly was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2019. In 2021, South Jersey-based Innovation Foods announced a new $45 million packaging and processing facility next door to Oatly to produce the company’s aseptic and extended shelf life (ESL) beverages.

Clean Energy

Companies you’ll find include:

  • Orsted
  • PSEG
  • Mersen
  • US Wind 
  • Impact Solar LLC

Trending area: Salem County and Atlantic City

Success Story: PSEG

As New Jersey’s largest public utility company, PSEG has been serving New Jersey since 1903. PSEG has made significant investment in clean energy development  to include newer, more sustainable sources for its service areas. This has included efforts such as adding solar panels to 200,000 utility poles in 2009 (the world’s largest pole-attached solar installation project at the time) and partnering with the State of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and Danish renewable energy leader Ørsted on the largest offshore wind project in the U.S. currently under development off the coast of Atlantic City.

Why So Popular?

South Jersey is leading the way in food innovation and is home to the Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC), the only designated “soft-landings” incubator in the U.S. for food and beverage. The region is an agricultural and cold storage stronghold and offers all the market and supply chain accessibility with more affordable real estate.

New Jersey has made major investments in offshore wind with several projects currently under development in southern New Jersey. The Ocean Wind project will be supplemented by construction of the New Jersey Wind Port, located in Salem County’s Lower Alloways Creek Township. The port will be the first of its kind dedicated to the development of offshore wind assembly and manufacturing in the U.S.

Locate Your Business in New Jersey

The State of New Jersey is rich with talent, resources, and perfectly located for a business to succeed. If your company is exploring a potential expansion or relocation, Choose New Jersey can serve as a key resource for you in the State of Innovation. Our nonprofit economic development organization is dedicated to providing businesses like yours with state resource information, economic development connections, and much more. All services through Choose New Jersey are complimentary for businesses to utilize. If you would like to know more about a potential future in New Jersey for your business, contact us today.

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Catherine Scangarella
Chief Business Development Officer
Bill Noonan
Business Development Director