How Much Did the “Accelerate Hawaii” Events Cost?

I’m glad you asked! 🙂

In the spirit of transparency, togetherness, and building a cohesive startup ecosystem, Startup Hawaii and the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation, co-organizers of the recent “Accelerating Hawaii’s Startup Innovation” conference, have decided to release the event’s budget.

Why?  Well, I’m glad you asked again!

First, we wanted this event to be accessible to as broad an audience as possible. We set ticket prices below costs – $25-35 for the first day, even though lunch alone cost more than $33 per person. Throw in all of the other costs and, well, you can see that it really does take the support of the entire ecosystem to make these things happen.

Second, we couldn’t have produced this event without the generosity of our financial sponsors, including Hawaii Angels, Hawaiian Electric Company, HiBEAM, Kamehameha Schools, Orrick, Startup Capital Ventures, and Sultan Ventures, who donated a combined $13,580! And that’s not including the 100 cupcakes donated by Hokulani Bakeshop for the Accelerator Workshop event, and the 40+ chairs from The Box Jelly. The bulk of the audio/visual and costs to bring in the mainland accelerator execs, which, combined, cost nearly $13,000, was covered by HSDC, with additional funds added by DBET Creative Division and High Technology Development Corporation.

In-kind donations included over 30 lei for presenters and guests, printing, facilities and equipment, and a plethora of marketing and communications support from various organizations and individuals.

Finally, the event wouldn’t have happened without the many volunteers who donated their time, expertise, and energy to pull off an amazing show. In total, over 330 hours (and hundreds of miles driven) were donated leading up to, during, and after the conference. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees (over 90% found the event “worth their time” or better), and that’s a testament to the quality of our event team, which included members of Startup Hawaii, staff from HTDC, HSDC, and Hawaii Angels, interns from University of Hawaii’s business school, Startup America, and many others.

We sincerely thank all of those who supported this event, the great speakers and participants, and all of you who attended!

So, in the spirit of transparency and togetherness, here’s the final budget:

Ticket Sales $9,959
Donations $13,580
Total Revenue


Food, Beverage, and Facilities $19,474
Audio/Visual* $5,030
Event Production/Marketing $515
Travel and Transportation – Hawaii Guests $517
Accelerator Workshop Speaker Fees* $8,800
Donation to Startup Hawaii $500
Fiscal Management Fees** $1,675
Total Expenses


Net Event Excess (Deficit)* ($12,972)


What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. And, while you’re at it, head on over to and add your name to our mailing list. 😉


*The $12,972 shortfall was covered by HSDC, which paid for all A/V and workshop speaker fees, with additional support of $1,000 from DBEDT Creative Division and $500 from HTDC.
**Fiscal management fees were paid to Enterprise Honolulu ($996), which charged a 10% fee to receive and manage proceeds from ticket sales, and Hawaii Angels ($679), which charged a 5% fee to receive and manage sponsor donations, as well as deploy checks to pay vendors and reimburse expenses.