Kihei Workshop Explains State’s Economic Accelerator Program

July 18, 2012, 6:02 PM HST · Updated July 19, 10:40 AM
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Photo courtesy of HVCB.

By Sonia Isotov

Entrepreneurs, investors and business professionals are invited to a free workshop on the State of Hawaii’s new economic accelerator program on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Malcolm Center in the Maui R&T Park.

The new program is called Launch Akamai Venture Accelerator, or LAVA, and is made possible by a new state law that took effect July 1. The program objective is to launch and secure venture funding for startups through the use of accelerators.

Administered by the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), LAVA seeks to accelerate business startups by matching entrepreneurs and innovators with investors and support professionals, and then providing financial support to qualified teams. The program features cohorts or “classes” of startups, rather than individual companies.

The LAVA program seeks to build two or three accelerators by 2013; Hawaii accelerators that have the potential to be world-class. LAVA will provide funding to teams operating accelerator programs and for the teams of entrepreneurs participating in these accelerators.

A one-to-one cost match is available. For operating costs of the accelerator, the cost match can be provided by in-kind contributions. For the investment capital provided to the accelerator participants, the cost match must be in cash.

The LAVA proposal deadline is August 31, 2012, with LAVA funding completed by October 31, 2012.

In preparation, HSDC is presenting this free 90-minute workshop on Maui to interested parties. To register, go to: http://lava.eventbrite.com/.

Startup Hawaii and Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation, an agency of the State of Hawaii, are also co-sponsoring a conference entitled “Accelerating Hawaii’s Startup Innovation” on August 2 and August 3 at the Sheraton Waikiki.

The conference is designed to catalyze business innovation in Hawaii, a key element for growing the local economy. The conference will feature a variety of speakers and workshops designed to explore methods for accelerating the local economy through startup innovation. Steve Case, chairman of Startup America, co-founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution, LLC is the keynote speaker at the conference.

More information on LAVA is available at the HSDC website: http://hsdc.hawaii.gov/. The Maui Economic Development Board’s Malcolm Center is located at 1305 N. Holopono St., Kihei.

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