Innovation Corps Launches in Newark, NJ: Press Release

September 17, 2013

Innovation Corps Launches in Newark, NJ


Program will provide five inventors with mentoring, financial, administrative and legal support to make their ideas commercially viable

NEWARK, N.J. — The City of Newark is proud to join MIT-trained Systems Scientist and Inventor Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Director of High Performance Computing at UMDNJ, Dr. Leslie P. Michelson and Senior Technology Policy Advisor for the Office of the Mayor, Seth Weiner, in announcing the launch of the “Innovation Corps,” a grant program that supports youth innovation. This grant program will provide young inventors and technology creators with mentoring, financial, administrative, and legal support services. The program will be launched at a press conference on Thursday, September 19, at 10 a.m. at Rutgers University Medical School, Building C631, located at 185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07103 in Newark’s Central Ward.

The Innovation Corps will provide grants from a $50,000 fund to enable five Innovation Fellows to convert their ideas into fully functional businesses. Individuals may submit applications on the website. If an applicant is accepted as an Innovation Fellow, they will be provided with a mentor who will work with them to ensure their particular product or service idea is tested with a real customer; legal support to patent and legally protect their idea; and administrative support to incorporate their company and provide ongoing business advice.

Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai hopes to enable young people in Newark to have the same chance at success as he did in 1978, when at the age of 14, Dr. Ayyadurai worked at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. It was at Rutgers that he developed the first electronic version of the interoffice mail system, which he called “email,” later receiving the first U.S. Copyright, at a time when Copyright was the only vehicle to protect software inventions.

“The success I found in Newark was made possible because of an ecosystem composed of some seemingly humble ingredients: a supportive family, a great mentor, and, most importantly, freedom, respect and equality, which Rutgers and its staff provided that 14-year-old immigrant boy,” said Dr. Ayyadurai.

“The moral for our city is: innovation can happen anytime, anywhere. How many students do we have with similar ideas, but not the means to see them through? This Innovation Corps will help reward ideas like Shiva’s and raise the next round of Newark inventors,” said Office of the Mayor Senior Technology Policy Advisor Seth Wainer.

“Shiva’s journey reveals a much larger story, one that should be evident by now: innovation can happen anytime, anyplace by anyone. We hope to provide courage and inspiration to the thousands of other ‘Shivas’ that do not have the luxury of working in the established bastions of innovation, but nevertheless have the intellect and the drive to make big contributions,” said Rutgers Medical School Director of High Performance Computing Dr. Leslie P. Michelson.

With this new initiative the City of Newark and Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai hope to inspire a new generation of young inventors.

For more information on any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.


Contact: Press Information Office: (973) 733-8004

For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at

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