NJ Innovation Fund dedicated to women-led startups. How awesome is that?
25% of the $500M NJ Innovation Evergreen Fund (NJIEF) will go to women-owned businesses. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has set this extraordinary goal.
This Fund, created out of the Economic Recovery Act, aims to reclaim New Jersey’s innovation leadership role.
Tim Sullivan, CEO of NJEDA, shared this information during a conversation with Aaron Price, President & CEO of TechUnited:NJ. At the end of the webinar, I asked the question I’m sure every female entrepreneur was thinking of:
‘In 2019, only 2.8% of venture capital went to women-owned businesses. How do you plan to correct for that?’
The answer was more than I’d expected. NJEDA’s goal is to give one-forth of the money to female-owned businesses. Indeed, a ten-fold increase over the current average and quite a whopping sum of $125M!
How does it work?
The New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund was created as a partnership with the private sector. It will raise and invest money in companies based in New Jersey. The problem it solves is the shortage of venture capital funding in the state. Therefore, its mission is to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem and to facilitate innovation and success for the NJ business.
Qualified venture firms will purchase tax credits to invest in innovation programs. Then, qualified businesses in innovative industries will receive funding. Also, the NJEDA will give dividends and returns on investments back to the Fund. As explained by Mr. Sullivan, that is how the Fund will become self-sustaining or ‘evergreen.’
In the meantime, there are some policy and regulations changes still being worked out. But once out of the way, the program will start rolling out and, hopefully getting traction.
What businesses would qualify?
Companies operating in New Jersey.
Entities with less than 250 employees.
Businesses from targeted industries. Targeted industries are, for example, autonomous and zero-emission vehicles, clean energy, information and high-tech, etc. In addition, ‘other innovative industries that disrupt current technologies or business models’ could also make the list.
Indeed, it is super exciting to know that female-owned companies can apply and get $125M of the NJIEF. Women-entrepreneurs, watch out for the program’s rollout in the fall of 2021!
Gartner identified Hyperautomation as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for two consecutive years – 2020 and 2021. According to them, hyperautomation is an extension of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or an evolution, rather, adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities on top of the existing task and process automation.
What is Hyperautomation?
In short, it is when RPA met AI. Fun fact, some think ‘AI’ should stand for Automated, not Artificial Intelligence.
It is a relatively new concept, comprising the application of technologies like RPA, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Process Mining, and AI to augment knowledge workers and automate processes in ways that are significantly more impactful than traditional automation. Therefore, Hyperautomation will be how next-generation companies streamline business processes and save valuable resources like time and energy.
The role of AI
More and more organizations employ automation. It already provides consistent and significant savings. Also, automation is responsible for eliminating human errors, thus improving data quality and integrity. And last but not least, it positively effects employees’ job satisfaction and motivation.
Organizations’ next step in their digital transformation journey will be to holistically assess, optimize, and streamline their processes. Then they can augment the simple process automation with Machine Learning, NLP, and Process Mining. AI brings in more sophisticated capabilities to enhance the existing task automation, like discovery and analysis of business processes based on event logs, visualizing and measuring of impact, monitoring of performance, and providing real-time intelligence along the way.
Augmenting humans with automation is here to stay. It is clear that organizations need to focus on efficiency and agility to obtain or retain their competitive edge.
To summarize, I’ll quote Gartner’s research: “Hyperautomation is the idea that anything that can be automated in an organization should be automated.”
Visit Gartner’s website to see all trends for 2020 & 2021.
The very first demo of Simply Flows took place on 11/11/2020. Devin Walsh and Reverb organized and hosted our presentation. It was a great opportunity to talk about the process automation space and to show our platform for the very first time.
What is RPA? When should I consider it?
Process automation has been around for some time now. However, it’s getting more and more accessible with the low- and no-code automation platforms, that make it possible for anyone to automate their workflows.
Consider employing RPA (Robotic Process Automation) whenever:
Well-defined, uniform tasks are performed frequently
Timing is critical
Data integrity is crucial
Why should we even consider process automation? Indeed, let’s find out. Below are the key benefits:
Save time and energy. Do high-value work, instead of busy-work.
Save money. Resources allotted towards customer acquisition or customer care will help you grow and improve your business.
Manual data entry, copying and pasting information from one app to another introduces endless opportunities for human errors. Undeniably, data integrity is way too important to be left to manual processing.
Boost creativity by reducing the mental overload. Let machines do what they were built for and do best – exactly, repetitive data processing tasks. Of course, computers excel at it. Humans, on the other hand, excel at creativity, innovation, and empathy – traits machines will hardly ever have.
Increase motivation and job satisfaction of knowledge workers, once unburdened.
ROI of RPA
Additionally, the strong Return on Investment (ROI) is another key point. While each company will experience different numbers, the ROI has the potential to reach up to 200 percent in the first year of operation.
Watch the demo below to see how Simply Flows can help automate your processes:
Interested to learn more? Contact us, send us an email or join the conversation on social media. Even better, sign up to see for yourself. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s fun.
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Data from a study by Blissfully shows that small businesses use 40 SaaS apps on average. That number gets to 203 apps for companies with over 1,000 employees. Indeed, businesses use way too many cloud apps nowadays. This is partly due to the IT decentralization. Departments, teams, and even individuals choose separate tools for their needs. The result is a variety of apps. And most of them are not connected with each other.
More apps = more inefficiencies
The bigger the number of apps, the more opportunities for inefficiencies. Each application has its own databases and workflows. Data must ‘move’ through different places to assist with decision-making and other business needs. Therefore employees get more and more trapped into manually and repeatedly transferring data between different applications. The cost is high. A lot of energy is spent on busywork, instead of on high-value work. Not to mention all the mistakes people make while manually processing data.
The more cloud applications a company uses, the more opportunities for silos of data. Since data is stored in each cloud app’s databases, it easily becomes segmented. Even though some integrations between applications do exist, the reality is that apps rarely ‘talk’ with each other. Therefore, often times employees need to manually piece together data from different sources for their analytics, reporting, or business needs. Silos of data hinder business analytics initiatives and may hide valuable insights from being uncovered.
Best of breed
Teams and individuals opt for the ‘best of breed’ approach, rather than the ‘best of suite’. Indeed, this helps with flexibility and independence but it has its drawbacks when it comes to connectivity, integrations, and reporting.
As organizations continue adopting more and more cloud applications, the need of connecting their apps and moving data between them will steadily rise.
Find out how Simply Flows can help. We can make the data flow seamlessly between your cloud apps. That’s right, no more data silos and no more manual transfers of data between your applications.
We all make errors. Most of the time when we manually enter data or copy-paste information between systems, we make mistakes. Actually, such errors are unavoidable because humans are not good at repetitive tasks. On one hand, we easily lose focus or get carried away in thoughts. On another, we hate such mundane work and rarely give it our all. We all have been there and know how easy it is to do a wrong entry, to paste data twice, or to mess up a number. Later on, we need to go back, find, and correct the mistakes we’ve made. We can imagine how big of a time-sucker that is for the business. Indeed, a study found that fixing data errors could take up to thirty percent of the day.
Gartner discovered that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can save 25,000 hours in a year.
The average amount of avoidable rework in accounting departments can take up to thirty percent of the day. This equates to savings of 25,000 hours or $878,000 per year for an organization with 40 full-time accountants.
A Gartner study shared these findings back in 2019. Gartner’s analysts interviewed over 150 chief accountant officers. Also, they gathered data of the RPA adoption at those companies.
Automate to eliminate data errors
Apparently, fixing data errors is a big problem for organizations. The good news is that there is a solution for it – process automation. When the data processes are automated, errors are eliminated. Additionally, organizations save a lot of time and money by not paying employees for such tasks. Knowledge workers are able to focus on high-value work. Once unburdened, people have time to be creative and contribute to the company’s innovation. An added benefit is that job satisfaction goes up and turnover goes down when employees feel that their skills are better utilized. And last but not least, an organization can employ RPA without breaking the bank!
Do you need help with automating any of your processes? Connect with us or have a look at our product page.
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