Sultan Ventures, a boutique venture firm based in Honolulu, has once again put Hawaii’s Startup Paradise on the nation’s map. Selected from a singularly competitive applicant pool as a “pioneer VilCap community” by Village Capital and its partners the Kaufmann Foundation, Sorenson Impact Center and Revolution/Rise of the Rest, Sultan Ventures’ “HUI” will participate as part of a cohort of many of the strongest entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country.
VilCap Communities is an initiative designed to close the “pioneer gap” for entrepreneurs who have the potential to change the world. Over the last seven years, Village Capital has developed a peer-selected investment model that localizes and contextualizes investment in entrepreneurs, delivering better results for entrepreneurs and the people who support them, leveling the playing field in the process.
To meet VilCap’s requirements for entrepreneurial support networks that can support specific sectors of business (i.e. healthcare, education, energy, agriculture), Sultan Ventures is launching Hawaii United Innovators (HUI), a collaboration thus far with XLR8UH (the University of Hawaii’s venture accelerator program), Energy Excelerator, and Maui Food Innovation Center to focus on energy and agriculture innovation.
“We are definitely on track to creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hawaii. Being a part of VilCap Communities will give our startups access to a select group of investors and experts in energy and agriculture, two sectors that have great promise here,” said Tarik Sultan, co-founder and managing partner of Sultan Ventures. “With VilCap Communities and the $1 million boost from the EDA’s i6 grant and the University of Hawaii’s match for XLR8UH, we can continue developing superior programs statewide.”
Sultan Ventures will be attending the VilCap Communities March launch in Salt Lake City, led by Jim Sorenson, Village Capital’s board chair; Steve Case, the founder of AOL; and Wendy Guillies, the CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. As part of the launch, leaders from 12 to 15 communities across the U.S., representing over $1 million in pre-committed, peer-selected investment, will lay out their vision for how entrepreneurs can transform their communities.
In addition, Steve Case, founder of AOL, will discuss the past, present and future of technology and innovation. As one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and investors, Case will explain how the next generation of entrepreneurs have the tools necessary to transform major, “real world” sectors like health, education, food and energy.