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Local Tech Companies Contributed Over $1B to Hawaiʻi Economy

April 9, 2018, 10:59 AM HST · Updated April 9, 11:00 AM
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The Maui Research and Technology Center in Kihei is is home to startups, technology companies phasing in Maui operations, and compelling federal technology projects. Photo courtesy of High Technology Development Corporation.

Local small businesses boosted the state’s economy with an estimated total economic impact of $1.05 billion in 2017, according to the Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation Annual Economic Impact Report of companies benefiting from HTDC programs.

The economic benefit calculation is based on a multiplier that includes direct revenue, spending by the company, and employees’ spending. The state received $48.69 million in taxes generated.

The report shows that approximately 71% of the 211 companies completed the survey. The 149 companies that responded — which included all active Manoa Innovation Center/Maui Research & Technology Center tenants, virtual & graduate incubator companies, Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative clients and Hawaiʻi Small Business Innovation Research & Manufacturing Assistance Program grant awardees — had an estimated $588.62 million in total revenue, generated $282.1 million in income and provided 3,736 local jobs.

The annual survey measures HTDC’s progress toward its 80/80 Initiative, which aims to create 80,000 new jobs paying $80,000 or more by 2030.

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The HSBIR grant program provides matching grants, up to 50% of funding, to help companies advance innovative products from research to market.

Twenty-nine companies receiving HSBIR funds reported the following economic data points:

  • Total economic impact of $117.11 million with a total revenue of $61.27 million.
  • $8.19 million state taxes generated
  • 379 local jobs

The MAP program supports Hawaiʻi’s manufacturers by providing reimbursements for qualified expenses, including equipment purchases, employee training, and costs related to improving facilities and processes.

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Sixty-nine companies receiving MAP funds reported the following economic data points:

  • Total economic impact of $876.29 million with a total revenue of $493.88 million
  • $38.02 million state taxes generated
  • 3,018 local jobs

The return on investment for the state grant programs is $14 in state taxes for every $1 awarded in grants.

The NI3 program provides mentorship support for innovative companies on Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island. Twenty-five companies reported a total economic impact of $50.5 million, total revenue of $28.71 million, and 304 local jobs.

The results above represent only the respondents, therefore, the figures should be viewed as conservative indicators of the overall contribution of companies benefiting from HTDC programs. The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (Research & Analysis Division) performed the impact analysis of the survey results.

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