Guest Blog by IBIA Featured Member – High Technology Development Corporation

At the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), our motto is “innovation starts here.” It’s the driving force behind all we do. HTDC is a state agency with a mission to facilitate the growth of Hawaii’s high technology industry. We provide capital, build infrastructure and develop talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. One of our key programs is to provide incubation to local startups.  Our innovation ecosystem includes businesses that range from software development, cybersecurity, manufacturing, clean energy, aquaculture, financial and even fashion.

HTDC recently hosted its third annual Legislative Innovation Crawl, launching the tour at the Manoa Innovation Center, our incubator in the Manoa Valley on Oahu for new and early-stage tech and innovation companies. The Crawl provides a powerful opportunity for lawmakers to meet entrepreneurs, see their technology and learn how companies are diversifying Hawaii’s economy.

Keeping our innovation ecosystem connected is paramount to our mission. One of our new programs, the Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative, is providing free assistance and mentorship that is not readily available to tech-related small businesses across the neighbor islands. The Maui Research & Technology Center, strategically located in Kihei, services a vibrant community of startups and a diversity of enterprises—the Cohana co-working space has been a new hub of community. Kona is now home to Hale Iako, West Hawaii’s first and only technology hub, and an exciting blue tech incubator with a focus on aquaculture and natural products.

Looking ahead, we are excited for the creation of a dynamic Entrepreneur’s Sandbox, a community center for innovation with a maker space digital media studio and collaboration space. Expected completion is in 2019. The Sandbox would also include public spaces for bringing together the extended tech community.

To expand business development opportunities for new start-ups, as well as existing businesses in the technology sector, HTDC’s services also include nationally-acclaimed programs such as the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program.  Our efforts to support small and medium-size manufacturers by enhancing the productivity and technological performance of local manufacturing have expanded to include a manufacturing assistance grant program. HTDC was also designated a TechHire hub, a program of the White House to help fast-track workers to support startup companies.

It is inspiring to be able to offer a network of incubation services and facilities that provide new businesses with access to development services, strategic partnerships, marketing opportunities and mentoring. As we live our motto “Innovation Starts Here” we believe the best part for our team is getting to help our entrepreneurs reach their next growth level.

To learn more about HTDC, visit their website here.