Category: Business

Civil Geeks: Tales from The Other Side

My last “Civil Geeks” column is a continuation of the previous piece addressing the practical and positive reasons why Hawaii startups often make the leap to the West Coast. In part two, I talk to entrepreneurs about why they decided to head across the ocean. Once settled in San Francisco,...

Civil Geeks: Startups Leave Hawaii and That’s Okay

My latest (and penultimate) column for Civil Beat addresses comments I’ve constantly heard throughout the growth of Hawaii’s nascent innovation economy. When a local startup announces that it’s relocating to Silicon Valley, there are a lot of congratulations but also a few complaints. A startup’s ability to succeed outside Hawaii...

Civil Geeks: XLR8UH Accelerates University Entrepreneurs

My latest “Civil Geeks” column for Civil Beat provides an update on the XLR8UH accelerator program, a partnership between the University of Hawaii and local early-stage startup investment firm Sultan Ventures. Now 18 months in, and on the verge of announcing the members of its fourth cohort for Summer 2016, XLR8UH Managing...

HVCA Announces 2016 ‘Deal of the Year’ Awards

The 16th Annual Hawaii Venture Capital Association Deal of the Year Awards were presented last night at the Waialae Country Club. I was there to support my friend and Smart Yields cofounder Vincent Kimura, who was nominated for — and won! — the award for Cleantech/Agtech Entrepreneur of the Year. While the...

Annual Tech Job Fair Set for Tomorrow

With many Hawaii born and raised professionals back home in the islands for the holidays, the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) is continuing its year-end tradition of trying to lure them back to the aloha state. Tomorrow evening brings the 16th annual Holiday Tech Job Fair, a free event for hopeful...

Bikeshare Hawaii Picks PBSC for Honolulu System

Would-be shared bike riders in Honolulu now have a good idea of what their two-wheeled rides will look like. Bikeshare Hawaii today announced that it had selected Canadian company PBSC Urban Solutions as the provider of its core offering: a 1,600-bike, 183-station bike-sharing system expected to launch next summer. Bikeshare Hawaii is backed by...

Big Island Startups Group Launched

A new group for current and would-be startup founders on Hawaii Island has formed, with an inaugural pau hana meetup set for Friday. The Big Island Startups was launched only four days ago, and has already drawn more than 100 members in its first three days. To kick things off, the first Startup...

Monday Panel to Probe Potential of Medical Marijuana

Hawaii was the first state to legalize medical marijuana. But unless you were willing and able to grow cannabis on your own, it was a largely useless privilege for more than fifteen years. A practical path to medical marijuana cultivation and distribution only took root in July, with Gov. David...

Newly Minted Coders Tackle State Tourism Data

Some Hawaii’s newest full-stack software developers have unveiled a new website designed to take a mountain of government data and turn it into a visual, browsable, useful resource for Hawaii’s largest and most vital industry. HiViz makes it easy to explore visitor market data that’s currently published only in spreadsheet form by the Hawaii...

New Accelerator to Focus on Hardware Startups

Given the exponential growth we’ve seen in mobile app development, it makes sense that most people associate venture accelerator programs with software startups. But plenty of new ideas require hardware — whether it’s the smartphone needed to run those trendy apps, or the glorious future analysts see in the “internet of things.”...

Energy Fun Fair in Kapolei Tomorrow

An up-and-coming community in Kapolei is hosting a free Energy Fun Fair tomorrow, highlighting energy efficiency and local technology, while giving residents their first look at the neighborhood. Not to be confused with Hawaiian Electric’s Clean Energy Fair, held in September for the 12th year, the Energy Fun Fair is the...

Winemaker Turned Coffee Farmer Growing Kona Farm

“Once you taste this coffee, you’ll never go back to Starbucks again.” That’s the bold pitch for Carta Coffee Merchants, founded in Kona by third-generation winemaker Scott Burr. “I grew up on a small winery south of San Francisco, where I learned firsthand that it takes a lot of hard work...

Conference Helps Companies “Make Stuff, Get Funded”

When people are asked to name the largest industries in Hawaii, the list usually stops after tourism and the military. But manufacturing is in the top five, producing over $4.5 billion in goods in 2014, and employing more than 14,000 people. Of course, when many people hear the word “manufacturing,”...

Mark Takai | XLR8UH SBA Award

SBA Lauds Three Local Accelerator Programs

Three Hawaii accelerator programs were among 80 such programs across the country recognized by the Small Business Administration for supporting entrepreneurs in their efforts to build successful companies and growing their local business community. XLR8UH, the Maui Food Innovation Center at Maui College, and the GVS Transmedia Accelerator on the Big Island each...

Non-Profits, Marketers to Connect at Ad Up Hawaii

Hawaii non-profit organizations often struggle to do more good work with less resources, and like other organizations, they often sacrifice marketing budgets to keep things going, This week, the second annual AD UP Hawaii will do some matchmaking between generous marketing and advertising professionals with community organizations that need their help....

Free Workshops to Explore Kakaako Development

A series of free, weekly workshops beginning this week will explore the many different faces of Kakaako. In the eyes of its majority landowners and deep-pocketed investors, Kakaako is Hawaii’s next great urban paradise, a new gleaming gem in the heart of Honolulu that’s thoughtfully designed to be a “livable,” mixed-use,...

Ten Eleven Bar Opens on Kakaako Waterfront

Ten Eleven Bar Opens on Kakaako Waterfront

Situated perfectly between downtown and Waikiki along the waterfront at Kewalo Harbor, the Makers & Tasters food park and market now offers luscious libations daily through the new Ten Eleven bar, which celebrated its grand opening tonight. Makers & Tasters is the permanent and ruggedly picturesque descendant of the massively popular...

Energy Excelerator Assesses Its Success

The Energy Excelerator, born out of a pivot from a grant-based operation to a dual-track accelerator program, released its first impact report today, illustrating its evolution and reporting on how well it’s doing with its more than $30 million in federal, state, and private funding. “It reveals what we’ve been working on for the past three...

Video & Gallery: Matsumoto’s Shave Ice

Founded as a small grocery store more than 60 years ago, Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in Haleiwa has grown into an island institution. Today the North Shore landmark celebrated its grand re-opening, ready once again to draw thousands of locals and visitors with its signature sweet and cool treats. The historic...

Accelerator Names Next Set of Storytelling Startups

You might not think of a YouTube star as being a startup, but for the Big Island-based GVS Accelerator, an online musical comedy series is a promising investment. The GVS Accelerator hit the road earlier this summer in search of its second cohort of companies. But rather than looking for the next hot...