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State of Startup Paradise Hawaii

Brief Snapshot on the Impact of Hawaii Accelerators Over the Last Four Years

Last Monday, the Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s monthly luncheon hosted a panel of distinguished leaders in the Hawaii community to discuss the “State of Startup Paradise“. Governor David Ige kicked off the luncheon as the keynote speaker, discussing his support for our Startup Paradise ecosystem, stating it’s about “how we can encourage and invest in our people and our companies,” and committed to creating more jobs, funding, and innovation for Hawaii.

Panelists Governor David Ige, Vassilis Syrmos, Pono Chong, Tarik Sultan, and Chenoa Farnsworth

Panelists Governor David Ige, Vassilis Syrmos, Pono Chong, Tarik Sultan, and Chenoa Farnsworth

As part of the panel, I was asked to put together a quick snapshot of our ecosystem, with a focus on the impact of the region’s accelerators. The presentation was not meant to be comprehensive, but rather act as a spark to ignite further interest, discussion, and analysis of our Hawaii startup ecosystem – Startup Paradise. Some highlights include:

– Approximately 145 startups have gone through the four Hawaii accelerator programs over the last 4 years.

– Of the 145 startups, the large majority are still alive and growing, with 2 exits.

– Over $10M investment dollars were deployed by the accelerators.

– Over $250M of total capital (defined as revenue + funding) was generated by startups in Hawaii.

– While our startup ecosystem is gaining momentum year over year, and national recognition continues for many of the champion entities, even more corporate support is necessary to continue our progress.

As is always needed with aggregated reports, here’s the disclaimer: Data was collected and aggregated from four different accelerator programs (XLR8UH, GVS Accelerator, Blue Startups, and Energy Excelerator) in less than a week to produce this snapshot of the Startup Paradise ecosystem. Each entity tracked, defined, and interpreted their metrics slightly differently, using self-reported data (both from their portfolio startups as well as from themselves). This data snapshot therefore very likely contains inaccuraciesThe key takeaway from this presentation is that despite the fact that the numbers may not be exact, there is an overall positive trend developing in our ecosystem, Startup Paradise. Finally, as with any venture fund, and especially with accelerators, the Power Law plays a significant role – i.e. a few outlier companies that are outperforming are raising the average for the rest of the startups. While, those outliers are exactly what the venture capital sector is seeking, they do skew the results fairly significantly. 

Feel free to check out the presentation above (or click here to take you to Slide Share directly) and for an overview of the additional resources available in Startup Paradise click here.