Companies move from startup to growth
HONOLULU – The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), the state of Hawaii agency that promotes and supports innovation and technology business startups, has graduated three more companies from its successful business Incubator Program at the Manoa Innovation Center (MIC).
Having graduated from the program, these firms have moved out of the MIC into their own headquarters, where they will continue to develop and grow. The graduating companies are:
· The Collective, a startup created by Hawaii fashion designers Allison Izu Song and Summer Shiigi that helps independent designers use technology to streamline manufacturing and develop ways to provide high quality, locally produced clothes to consumers. The Collective has helped launch a number of Hawaii designers and has managed DBEDT’s Creative Industries inaugural Creative Lab Fashion Immersive. The Collective recently expanded their operations to Ward Village with retail space.
· MeetingSift, a “meeting collaboration platform” that uses technology to bring meeting attendees closer and encourage participation, no matter where they may be in the world. MeetingSift’s products make meetings more efficient, allowing participants to use their smartphones to provide real-time feedback and communication, keep track of minutes, and provide more focus to discussion topics. The company is moving closer to its investors.
· Slickage Studios, a Honolulu-based company specializing in creating full-stack software solutions including customized website backend development, web applications, and native mobile apps. Downtown Honolulu is their new home where they will be closer to their clients.
“We are happy to partner with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to host this celebration, which honors the three graduating companies from the Manoa Innovation Center,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which oversees HTDC and promotes Hawaii’s innovation economy. “MIC’s mission to accelerate the growth of local tech companies by providing business development services, funding, and training are part of the state’s overall growth strategy to build a strong innovation economy.”
Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC adds: “It’s always an honor to see companies graduate from our incubation program. The creativity and innovation that propelled these startups from dreams to functioning business entities will ensure they will make their mark in the marketplace, no matter their field. Birthing a startup takes immense drive, talent, and perseverance, and we congratulate the principals of all three companies for moving on to the next step.”
The three companies graduated at a ceremony during HTDC’s Wetware Wednesday on June 29, 2016, a monthly networking event for the innovation and technology industry. The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored the graduation celebration.
“We are grateful to HTDC for the support and guidance,” said Allison Izu Song. “In today’s fast-paced society, it’s nice to find an organization that sees the potential in small businesses, and offers the tools and guidance to learn and grow. We are especially thankful for the guidance and mentorship from Innovate Hawaii’s, Wayne Inouye, and HTDC’s, Len Higashi. Their doors were always open for us to talk about our issues, roadblocks, ideas and successes!”
About HTDC (High Technology Development Corporation)
HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). The agency was established by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1983 to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s commercial high technology industry. The state views high technology as an important driver in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy and one that provides quality, high-paying jobs for Hawaii residents. HTDC launched the 80/80 Initiative to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs earning more than $80,000/yr. by 2030.
ABOUT DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.
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Becker Communications, Inc. (For HTDC)