Local Accelerators Courting More Entrepreneurs


If you’ve got a great idea for a hot new startup but say that you haven’t been able to find the right people to pitch, then you’re just not paying attention.

Two of Hawaii’s leading startup accelerator programs are again putting out the call for entrepreneurs who might consider applying for funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Blue Startups is hosting an online event tomorrow afternoon, and XLR8UH is hosting an information session downtown on Tuesday.

The Blue Startups webcast follows an in-person meetup last week, where more than 100 interested entrepreneurs attended (including my daughter, who received a torrent of priceless advice).

Among the announcements made last week is that Blue Startups has increased its potential investment in cohort companies to $100,000. That’s $25,000 up front and as much as $75,000 in additional funding should cohort companies meet certain milestones. In addition, its three-month term is being extended to sixteen weeks.

Blue Startups also announced yesterday that it is for an accomplished business leader to serve as the ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ for at least a one-year term beginning in October. The person who fills the role will provide counsel as an in-house advisor and consultant, offering company founders insight and advice related to growing a successful startup.

Managing Director Chenoa Farnsworth will share all the details during the Google Hangout tomorrow at 2 p.m. You can visit and bookmark this link, or tune in live on YouTube:

Then on Tuesday, XLR8UH will open its doors to people thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, starting a company or commercializing a technology. The program, a partnership between the University of Hawaii and Sultan Ventures, is focused on people and research from the University of Hawaii system.

XLR8UH offers up to $175,000 in investment for high-growth opportunities rooted at UH.

While the commercialization of university-generated intellectual property is one of the goals of XLR8UH (which labels itself as a Proof of Concept Center as well an accelerator), its doors are open to anyone connected to UH. This includes students, alumni, post-docs, and faculty that happen to have an idea or nascent business that they want to take to the next level.

The pau-hana information session will lay out the opportunities and requirements in participating in the third cohort of XLR8UH, and alumni teams and mentors will be on hand to answer questions. It’ll be hosted at the XLR8UH office in Pioneer Plaza downtown (900 Fort Street Mall, Suite #1888).

Anyone interested in attending on July 14 should register online.

For more information on either event, visit either BlueStartups.com or XLR8UH.com, or visit the Blue Startups page or XLR8UH page on Facebook. Both programs are also on Twitter at @BlueStartups and @XLR8UH.

Photos from the respective accelerators’ Facebook pages.

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