EY 2019 EOTY Philly Finalists

EY Press Release

Meet the 2019 finalists

Congratulations to the finalists in the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 Greater Philadelphia program!

Alkemy X, Inc. | Justin Wineburgh

Aqua America | Christopher Franklin

Broder Bros., Co. | Norman Hullinger

Catalyst Outdoor | Thaddeus Bartkowski

City Center Investment Corporation | J.B. Reilly

Education Management Solutions, LLC | Anurag Singh

Education Management Solutions, LLC | Sharada Singh

ELAP Services | Steve Kelly

Freedom Mortgage Corporation | Stanley Middleman

Gen3 Marketing, LLC | Andy Cantoss

Gen3 Marketing, LLC | Mike Tabasso

GLOBO Language Solutions, LC | Gene Shriver

Good Life Companies | Conor Delaney

Good Life Companies | Courtnie Nein

Guru Technologies, Inc. | Rick Nucci

Houwzer | Mike Maher

Lisi Lerch, Inc. | Lisi Lerch

Medical Guardian | Geoff Gross

Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc. | Chris Pak

Morgan Properties | Jonathan Morgan

Netronix, Inc | Vasileios Nasis

NeuroFlow | Christopher Molaro

NextGen Security LLC | Frank Brewer

OPS Security Group | Daniel Costa

PJP | Thomas Furia Jr.

Positive Physicians Insurance Exchange | Dr. Lewis Sharps

Perfection Snacks™ | Amy Holyk

Revel Nail, LLC | Keeli Malone

Revel Nail, LLC | Phon Malone

Revel Nail, LLC | Monica Sutton

Revel Nail, LLC | Reed Sutton

Revolutionary Security LLC | Richard Mahler

SEAT, LP | Douglas Berry

Sidecar Interactive, Inc. | Andre Golsorkhi

Solvix Solutions LLC | Stacey Rock

STP Investment Services | Patrick Murray

TRIOSE Inc. | C.J. Joyner

TRIOSE Inc. | Ira Tauber

Union Packaging, LLC. | Michael Pearson

USSC | Joseph Mirabile

Velicept Therapeutics | James Walker

VenatoRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Chris Burns

VenatoRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Dan Pevear

VenatoRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Luigi Xerri

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.


Richie Etwaru speaking at McCarter & English recently
Richie Etwaru speaking at McCarter & English in Newark recently | Esther Surden

Home » government or politics » News » NJ Tech Companies » NJ Tech People » Opinion » Can Hu-manity.co Stay in New Jersey? Groundbreaking Startup Ponders Move


Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor, NJTechWeekly.com

 March 29, 2019  Esther Surden1government or politicsNewsNJ Tech CompaniesNJ Tech PeopleOpinion,

Richie Etwaru, cofounder and CEO of Hu-manity.co (Princeton), and Michael DePalma, cofounder, president and COO, have accomplished a lot in the year since the startup began its operations.

The company has raised $5.5 million from angels, been covered by The Washington Post, Forbes and Fox Business; appeared on NPR; and was recently covered by the Financial Times. The cofounders have also been invited to speak at the United Nations, are on the radar of the Aspen Institute and have been invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos next year. They’ve influenced state laws across the country, influenced a federal law and have forged a global agreement with IBM.

Yet, as his company grows, Etwaru struggles with a harsh reality: The state of New Jersey is looking less and less like an innovative place where he can not only grow his company, but create a market, as he says Hu-manity.co is doing.

“What’s interesting here is that you have two guys from New Jersey who have built one of the most valuable data company value propositions right now. Yes, we are a year old, but look at the attention we are getting. Both Michael and I love New Jersey. Believe me, it’s not easy for me to have to convince my wife that we have to leave the state,” he said.

 “This idea that we have to make human data our own isn’t a brand-new pattern. It played out twice before in human history. It played out in the 1600s around our creativity, and that gave us our intellectual property laws. Prior to 1623, there were starving artists. If you wrote a book, it wasn’t yours, if you drew a piece of art, it wasn’t yours.  This also played out in the 1800s around our productivity, which gave us labor laws.  We are simply playing out the pattern for the third time, which would give us ownership and control around our data.” This idea came from two guys from New Jersey, and germinated in New Jersey.

“I think it’s fair to say that there are no particular benefits to being in New Jersey that would keep us here. ”Richie Etwaru

“I think it’s fair to say that there are no particular benefits to being in New Jersey that would keep us here. We are starting up an entirely new category, and there is going to be an ecosystem in this category. This is a market that is going to be made, not necessarily one company. I wholeheartedly anticipate that we will have a dozen companies like ours in the next year or so that will pop up.”

The problem with New Jersey is three-fold, he continued. “One is that there isn’t a really good center of gravity for tech activity in this state. Is it Princeton? Is it Newark? Is it Morristown? Is it Hoboken? And that is difficult because when you have to hire teams, and bring them together into a centralized location, people often have a two-hour commute, as there aren’t local folks that you can hire.”

Number two has to do with the idea that the state government doesn’t understand true innovation, especially the fact that innovation is a long-run play.  “As you look at the teams that are being built around particular tech by the state administration, for example, the teams that are figuring out cryptocurrency and blockchain, these are not people who understand these matters. These are political appointees. And as a result, you don’t have the movement you are looking for,” said Etwaru.

“Some of the comments I’m seeing from state politicians on their twitter feeds are laughable,” he added. “When they are celebrating innovation in New Jersey, it’s a story about a cookie store in Princeton, or it’s a story about someone who is selling neon laser signs in a town somewhere. This is not innovation, this is not an innovation economy. An innovation economy goes back to the roots of AT&T and Bell Labs. It’s a long-run play.”  So, New Jersey doesn’t feel like the place where you’d want to build your innovative company, he said.

“The New Jersey regulatory framework is very difficult to navigate, and to the extent that there is a regulatory adjustment needed to create an industry, it’s hard to do.” Richie Etwaru

And the third reason is the most important, he noted. “The New Jersey regulatory framework is very difficult to navigate, and to the extent that there is a regulatory adjustment needed to create an industry, it’s hard to do.” 

New Jersey doesn’t have a track record of enacting progressive policies for inviting commerce, and it doesn’t have a track record of supporting efforts to correct human wrongs, he said. “There are other states that have more progressive track records, and are easier to navigate. It is easier to get a meeting with the legislative body in other states in the country than in New Jersey. It’s just a very difficult landscape.”

Branding is also an issue. “To be honest, I think that New Jersey should become the Silicon Valley of data. I shared with someone close to the administration the notion of calling New Jersey the ‘Silicon Garden,’ as we are the Garden State. I said, ‘Why don’t we start branding ourselves, even if we can’t get people trained in time, or a central location or a regulatory framework? Could we at least start to do some destination branding around the state?’ The person I spoke to didn’t understand marketing or branding, and thought it was a terrible idea.”

Etwaru also thinks it’s important that the legislative bodies and governor’s office work with people who have expertise, and that they “take out these people in the middle that don’t understand this stuff. If you work with the smaller states, the legislative bodies work directly with the experts, and there isn’t a layer of appointees in between. We are a market-making business. A couple million dollars of destination branding with some ads to brand the state as ‘Silicon Garden’ would make people feel good about being here, and make talented people have a sense of belonging here.”

Also, he noted, passing regulations is not the way to brand a state. “That just gets you in the conversation. I’m talking about really, really making an effort to become an innovation economy in a digital world, and I just don’t see that here. For us to be able to attract the best talent, and for us to be able to invest in real estate and localized assets, we have to be in a geography where the branding will attract the talent.”

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Update 4/30: Hu-manity.co Acquires Betterpath Health Empowering Patients with Access to Healthcare’s Dark Data | Business Wire https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190430005283/en/Hu-manity.co-Acquires-Betterpath-Health-Empowering-Patients-Access#.XMk9vANN7Wg.twitter

Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of NJTechWeekly, and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article originally appeared in NJTechWeekly , and is republished here with her permission.

 Tags: Hu-manity.coinnovationMichael DePalmaNew JerseyPrincetonRichie EtwarustartupsPrevious:Gunton Says Murphy’s Innovation Evergreen Fund is “Terrific Idea”Next:Princeton Startup Hu-manity.co Believes You Should Decide What Happens to Your Data, and is Doing Something about It

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Esther Surden

Esther is the Founder and Editor in Chief of NJ Tech Weekly

One Comment

  • Mark Annett says:April 1, 2019 at 8:08 amI always start with the fact that NJ is the most densely populated state in the nation, As such, there are more potential customers here per square mile than anyplace else. This makes the New Jersey market one of the most sought after markets in the country.If you want a place to grow a market and dominate the world from, New Jersey is actually it. And our diversity makes us the worlds market!Yes, because our diversity and how busy we are, it can be hard to compete for our attention but that is a pathway problem.I get that there are other locations and even countries that are more progressive when it comes to blockchain. For myself, I will admit that I was seriously considering going to Switzerland for my blockchain startup because of how willing the government was to support startup companies. So they might find an easier governmental win someplace else but that win won’t ensure that they can concur the world.If they can convince the New Jersey legislators to support them they will have little difficulty with almost any other state. New Jersey isn’t typically one of the first five states to jump into the fray but it is almost always in the group of the second five. As such, I would argue that we are in fact consistently one of the most innovative states across the board. We just don’t, because of our diversity, tilt with the winds of change. So, winning New Jersey is the long run play!The difficulty that I see is that the have focused on making owning your data a human and by extension a legal right. This is a really complicated issue to unpack and we will eventually get there but being honest, I believe that time is at least 10 years away, at least here in the US. But it will eventually happen!I totally agree that they will have dozens of companies pop up in their space because the idea of owning your own data and being able to monetize it is a part of the blockchain ethos now. There is nothing proprietary to that idea so they are right to expect competition.However, my suggestion is that rather than worrying about it. What they need to do is welcome it and foster it and even fund it! There are a lot of different pathways that they can take but what I would recommend is that they position themselves as the quasi governing body for the companies that want to foster controlling your data as a human right and that is the business they should be in rather than focusing on building the tech.If they want to assume this role then NJ is a great place to be!It is also a good place to be if you want to build the tech too, but I will save that for another time.Reply

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Richie Etwaru speaking at McCarter & English recently


Princeton startup Hu-manity.co is based on a big idea whose time is now, said cofounder…Search for:


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Esther Surden@njtechwkly·

Social entrepreneur? NJAC Business Pitch Contest https://t.co/trpPguUgiMReply on Twitter 1120489974716149760Retweet on Twitter 1120489974716149760Like on Twitter 1120489974716149760Twitter 1120489974716149760


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Thanks @ROINJNews for reposting! These are great entrepreneurial stories. Helping hands: Entrepreneurial lessons shared at Montclair #EntrepreneursMeetup – ROI-NJ https://t.co/cHlvMMfj2xThanks @FelicianoCenterReply on Twitter 1120461028729466886Retweet on Twitter 1120461028729466886Like on Twitter 11204610287294668862Twitter 1120461028729466886Retweet on TwitterEsther Surden Retweeted



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Philly Enterprise Bits 4/20


Video conferencing company Zoom prices IPO at $36 per share, giving it a $9.2 billion valuation — 9 times its last private valuation https://t.co/AgbXm2chRN

That’s alot of $$$
— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 17, 2019

Salesforce says it’s buying MapAnything, which helps companies make location-based workflows on Salesforce’s platform; MapAnything has raised more than $84M (Ron Miller/TechCrunch) https://t.co/mUyd1PO0aZ #mustreadblogs #feedly— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 17, 2019

Mike Ettling takes the CEO reins at Unit4 https://t.co/r6X9Swn5rZ via @diginomica— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 17, 2019

(Was SAP Cloud Exec)

Marlin acquires Skuid – PE Hub: https://t.co/GUCbzQieWl— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 17, 2019

interesting Chattanooga company

Gartner revises its IT spending forecast, warns of slower growth across all segments https://t.co/Dq5FLhibxT #mustreadblogs #feedly— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 18, 2019

Bill McDermott’s outsized SAP valuation ambition – a Rubicon crossed or a bridge too far? https://t.co/KHE0tjeDZk via @diginomica— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 18, 2019

SAP veteran Robert Enslin joins Google Cloud https://t.co/4pfsxqloOk via @ZDNet & @stephcondoncbs— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 18, 2019

See how our partnerships with leading open-source data management & analytics companies will make it easier for our enterprise customers to build on open-source technologies ↓ #GoogleNext19https://t.co/eV8WIsTEsz— Google Cloud (@googlecloud) April 9, 2019

MyPOV: not yet. On this way! #googlenext19 https://t.co/IasATsrv6B— R “Ray” Wang (王瑞光) #SlackFrontiers #WDaySummit (@rwang0) April 19, 2019

is Google truly in the enterprise biz now? https://t.co/mXs7lrgYKO
— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 19, 2019

Though now that I think of it these DNA shifts can take what seems like eons to actually take root. @Microsoft made Its first enterprise software acquisition in 2000 (Great Plains) and then spend YEARS getting to where it was actually ready to be a player.— Josh Greenbaum (@josheac) April 17, 2019

IBM is preparing to close its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat but Wall Street has ‘real question marks’ after its ‘mediocre’ quarter (IBM, RHT) https://t.co/aSBggRWQYl #mustreadblogs #feedly— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 18, 2019

IBM Watson cuts back on drug discovery, Redox's $33M Series C and more digital health news briefs https://t.co/1j9zUqhcmI via @MobiHealthNews— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 18, 2019

Zoho announced at #Zoholics19 that they are building a new campus in Austin, TX! https://t.co/dUhHp6e8Rr pic.twitter.com/TSivJKs6Yg— Melissa Rogozinski (@RPCStrategies) April 17, 2019

ha! https://t.co/5mK8FgNktV— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 19, 2019

Bristol-based SDI Launches ZEUS Platform to Enable Digital Supply Chain https://t.co/5t4O11Ovm1 via @PRWeb— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 20, 2019

Villanova-based rooundCorner was recently acquired by Salesforce.org

Publicis to buy Epsilon

Publicis announces $4.4 billion deal to acquire data marketing company Epsilon https://t.co/1yk04m69oQ— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 14, 2019

In my first job out of B school, one of our founders passed around a red herring (prelim to an S-1) for Epsilon and said, “thats what we ought to be”. But we failed to develop any thing like that. Should have just bought it. Would have been just a small acquisition for my company at the time

philly enterprisetech highights 4/13

TechCrunch’s first story on Uber (then UberCab) way back in 2010 by @Leenarao https://t.co/a5AfMZ3bH3— Lucas Matney (@lucasmtny) April 12, 2019

+1. Highly recommend this plan. @visitphilly https://t.co/bCHSla0v92
— PhillyForce (@PhillyForce) April 13, 2019

Why is Safeguard Scientifics on a planned path to its demise:?
— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 13, 2019

Analyst: Verizon Should Partner with Charter, Comcast on Wireless Infrastructure https://t.co/0gNwt71610
— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 13, 2019

T-Mobile relaunches Layer3 TV service as TVision Home https://t.co/uYwZZMHgts via @Verge
— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 12, 2019

Amazon boss snubs ‘expensive’, ‘sub-optimal’ relational databases. Here’s looking at you, Larry https://t.co/bv1vlPwlVl
— The Register (@TheRegister) April 12, 2019

#TBT: Muni Wi-Fi in Philly; mobile gaming grows; AOL adds VoIP … this week in 2005 https://t.co/E4GP172a9V via @rcrwirelessnews
— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 12, 2019

Who Will Win? https://t.co/mLExtnztDB?
— Tom Paine (@phillytechnews) April 12, 2019


“After I started buying it, I felt I still didn’t understand the business. Particularly after my experience with IBM, I don’t think I understand exactly where the cloud is going.”

Waren Buffett, on unloading hia Oracle shares, finds himself in company with Oracle and IBM .

Sungard Availability Is Said to Prepare Bankruptcy Filing https://t.co/DoWUD66YKk

April 4, 201

Comcast and Independence Health Group joint venture Quil Health names a CEO https://t.co/GdVvKvBW7e

Ariba Live 2019: SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass Joining Forces and Other News https://t.co/z4SpYEAntX #prime #feedly April 3, 2019

Exclusive: Amazon moving thousands of employees out of Seattle, relocating key division to nearby city https://t.co/V4zwJFlHEY #prime #feedly —) April 3, 2019

Accenture Interactive’s CEO says its acquisition of Droga5 will give the consulting firm more than just a creative agency (ACN) https://t.co/TZd2GmNiDHApril 4, 2019

Wayne’s Evolve IP acquires startup that uses AI to transcribe calls https://t.co/MS0LcJtAY9April 2, 2019

Amid its breakneck expansion, WeWork finds that banks need more convincing https://t.co/Ql8IdESCOiApril 1, 2019

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