XLR8UH Recognized by SBA as one of the Nation’s most Innovative Accelerators

We are incredibly proud to have XLR8UH recognized by the U.S. Small Business Association as an innovative accelerator program. See excerpt of the press release below:

XLR8UH has been recognized as one of the nation’s most elite accelerators by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA). XLR8UH was selected from applicants across the nation to receive $50,000 in cash as a winner in the second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

XLR8UH is a first of its kind Proof of Concept Center and Venture Accelerator. Founded via a public-private partnership between the University of Hawaii (UH) and Sultan Ventures, XLR8UH educates, mentors and invests in the University of Hawaii’s research and talent, ranging from students to post docs, faculty and even alumni. XLR8UH is one of the first public university investment programs in the nation, revolutionizing the way innovation is commercialized at universities.

“This national recognition of our accelerator program, just over one year old, confirms our belief in the abundant opportunities that exist at the University of Hawaii in all disciplines, but particularly those emphasizing Hawaii’s strengths in energy, astronomy, marine and life sciences,” said Omar Sultan, cofounder and managing director of XLR8UH and founding partner of Sultan Ventures, a boutique venture firm, which manages XLR8UH. “Our goal is to cultivate and empower the talent affiliated with UH.”

“XLR8UH is putting financial and management muscle behind university research that is generating world-class technologies and break-through innovations,” said Vassilis Syrmos, UH vice president of Research and Innovation. “This will ultimately diversify Hawaii’s economy and establish viable companies that generate well-paying jobs and benefit society as a whole.”

Launched in 2014 with funding from UH, XLR8UH will select its third cohort of startup teams this fall. Cohort participants receive hands-on training and resources through the three-phased program branded Lean, Build, Pitch™ as well as the opportunity to pitch at Demo Days in both Honolulu and Silicon Valley. To date, 11 companies have been through the XLR8UH program, already generating hundreds of thousands in revenue and receiving millions of dollars in follow-on funding.

“I was very pleased to hear that SBA has awarded Growth Accelerator Awards to outstanding programs in Hawaii, validating the impressive work going on with our innovation and fast growth segments in the islands. Through the competitive application process, hundreds of proposals were evaluated and I am very excited to see XLR8UH selected in 2015,” said Jane Sawyer, district director of the SBA Hawaii District Office.

As a winner in the accelerator competition, XLR8UH will report metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, and startups launched. This will allow the SBA to continue building upon its database of accelerators and their impact and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.