Hawaii start-ups swim with legislative sharks

Some “Hawaii Start-Ups” swam with the sharks at the State Capitol.
Just like the hit ABC show “Shark Tank”, local entrepreneur’s pitched their innovative ideas.

On the show “Shark Tank” start-ups hope to catch the eye of a billionaire investor.

At the State Capitol, new companies wanted instead to connect with lawmakers.

“This is really to inform the legislature we have so many innovative companies in Hawaii,” said Robbie Melton, with the High Technology Development Corp.

Like Kineticor, which has come up with an ingenious way to get clearer magnetic resonance images of patients.

“What we’re doing is correcting MR images in real time. It is one of the last unsolved problems in MRI applications. We can have significant impact by correcting for motion for patients that really need clear images but can’t get them,” said Kineticor COO Will Alameida.

Businesses made their pitch to a panel of lawmakers, not with the hopes of finding individual investors, but instead to change attitudes about funding future Hawaii start-ups.

“We’ve got a lot of great technology in town, with the University of Hawaii and the research done there, but we need capitol to turn that research into commercialized applications,” said Kineticor CEO Dr. Jeffrey Yu.

“They have great ideas, great technology. So even a small infusion of capitol helps. The other thing is good business practices. How can we make things operate smoother, allowing good business permitting to flourish?” asked Melton.

Entrepreneurs and starts-up also showcased their innovations around the Capitol. Demonstrating how new technology can make current jobs more efficient or create innovative way to do things. For example: a device used supercooling on items instead of freezing them. That allows foods to stay fresh weeks longer and life-saving organs to last a week before transplanting — instead of only one day.

But to keep up this pipeline of products people can use and need, start-ups say they need more infrastructure with places to work, grow and even manufacture. That is the case of KMBCo, which pitched to lawmakers the goal of building its own design of wheelchair accessible standup paddle boards in the islands.

“We need to make it easier for manufacturers to do business in Hawaii, so we have the funding and resources available to innovate product rather than using everyone else’s product. Why don’t we innovate product here?” asked KMBCo founder Kainoa McGee.

See original article by Paul Drewes at KITV’s website here.