Startup America Comes to Hawaii

Let’s Startup Hawaii! Join us for our very first networking meetup where you can learn more about Startup Hawaii and, hopefully, decide to be a part of our movement!

  • What:   Startup Hawaii Kickoff
  • Register here…even if you can’t make it!startup hawaii
  • When:   Tuesday, January 31 @ 7:00 PM
  • Where:   Bar 35, 35 N Hotel St., Honolulu

During this casual meetup, you’ll network with entrepreneurs and independent professionals who have firsthand knowledge of the gaps in Hawaii’s startup ecosystem. If that’s not enough incentive, we’ll have some giveaways, too!

Giving Entrepreneurs a Voice

A few months ago, I read about Startup America and how this Steve Case-funded and President Obama-backed initiative provides various resources for entrepreneurs. The main goal is to drive job creation by helping to build strong startups across the country. One of their campaigns is to foster “Startup America Regions” throughout the country, where local entrepreneurs and independent professionals can support each other, creating progressive entrepreneurial communities and developing a strong local ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, and supporting companies and organizations. These groups of entrepreneurs can, through firsthand knowledge, identify that region’s entrepreneurial gaps, bring attention to them, and work with the ecosystem to fill those gaps.

As I talked with others, most were intrigued by the concept of a “Startup Hawaii” region, and most agreed that definite gaps do exist. A small group started to coalesce around this idea and some of these “gaps” were repeated over and over:  the need for an active startup education and mentoring network, better awareness of our region’s successful startups, an openness to startups in non-technical, non-profit, and service industries, and more coordination between the entrepreneurial groups that already exist, among others.

So, we decided to push down the path of creating “Startup Hawaii,” following the framework of the national Startup America Partnership. To do so, we’re having this kickoff meetup simply to network with others and see who’s interested in becoming involved. The best thing about the Startup America regional framework is that there are really no limitations. It’s by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and the group identifies the gaps that exist and determines which ones to tackle and how.

By Entrepreneurs, For Entrepreneurs

In essence, we’re trying to bring together a group of entrepreneurs who have firsthand knowledge of the challenges of building a startup in Hawaii, then bring attention to, and help persuade local government, businesses, and support organizations to help fill, those gaps. We’ve gotten great feedback from other entrepreneurs telling us that they would be interested in getting involved, so now we’re taking the next step to get together and see what happens!

We hope to see you there!