Local Accelerators, Startups Take the Stage


There are two events on Thursday focused on the local startup scene. For lunch, an overview of several Hawaii accelerator programs, followed by a pau hana program featuring pitches by three local startups.

Venture Accelerators in Hawaii” is the theme of the July monthly luncheon of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, taking place at Pioneer Plaza downtown. And ProtoHub Honolulu in Kakaako will host the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawaii and its “Pupus & Pitches: Summer Edition.” And both organizers are offering joint event tickets, where $40 will get you into both.

The HVCA follows up its last two luncheons (focused on the VC scene and women in tech) with a panel made up of representatives from five local programs:

GVS (Global Virtual Studio) and Hawaii Investment Ready are two less frequently featured programs. GVS is based on Hawaii Island and is focused on content creation, connecting artists with projects, envisioning a virtual production model that spans time-zones and cultures. Hawaii Investment Ready, meanwhile, is a partnership among Kamehameha Schools, Social Impact International, and the KL Felicitas Foundation. It’s a peer-to-peer learning program for social enterprises, teaching social entrepreneurs to scale up their programs and increase their impact.

And if that weren’t enough, the luncheon will feature updates from the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawaii, HTDC, HiBEAM, and DevLeague.

The program is aimed at entrepreneurs who are curious about local accelerators, citizens curious about what accelerators are doing for the local economy, investors looking for opportunities, and “bread pudding lovers.” (The Plaza Club is known for its bread pudding.)

“What have these programs done in the past and what are they doing now to grow the innovation sector and talent pool in Hawaii?” asks the HVCA invitation. “Why is this so important?”

After those questions are answered, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawaii will pick up the baton as the sun goes down for the summer edition of its signature Pupus & Pitches event. The stage will be set for three local startups to pitch to a panel of investors, while attendees network and enjoy some food and drinks.

The featured startups are:

  • Shifted Energy: Turning ordinary electric water heaters into energy storage systems, helping grid operators integrate more renewable energy and provide other services at low cost.
  • Board.Vote: A dashboard for decision makers, facilitating online voting for connected teams via a fully-responsive web platform.
  • Mentor’s Guild: Helping businesses find and engage leading consultants, vetted advisors, board members and executives to help them make wiser decisions, overcome complex challenges and drive better results.

The investors will be Lisa Kleissner of Hawaii Investment Ready, Richard Lim of Tradewind Capital Group, and Steve Koskie of SPK Ventures.

“Venture Accelerators in Hawaii” will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Pioneer Plaza. “Pupus & Pitches: Summer Edition” will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at ProtoHub Honolulu. To attend, register via Eventbrite here or here. For more information, visit HVCA.org or EFHawaii.org.

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