In the world of energy, Hawaii is known for its need for alternative energy sources, excellent conditions for test bed projects, and access to the Asia Pacific market. So button up your Aloha shirts and slide your feet into a pair of slippers (flip flops); to kick off 2013, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) has launched Hawaii’s first cleantech business accelerator, the Energy Excelerator. After funding ten companies and $12 M in projects over the past three years through the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture, PICHTR is launching a new program to grow Hawaii’s clean energy community.
The Energy Excelerator, launching this month, is a dual pathway program consisting of: 1) a one-week Lightning Excelerator program to support startup companies with potential funding up to $90,000; and 2) a Pacific Excelerator program to drive adoption of innovative technology within Hawaii by co-funding technology demonstration projects up to $1,000,000.
PICHTR is encouraging startups and entrepreneurs, ideally with a prototype, to apply to the Lightning Excelerator. The Lightning Excelerator is currently accepting applications online until January 18 for the program starting on February 7. Those selected to participate in a series of activities designed to identify needs, develop business and technology strategies, and connect with potential customers. A network of mentors and instructors, made up of industry professionals, investors, experienced entrepreneurs, and potential customers, will guide and be available to participants. Teams will compete to receive $20,000 – $90,000 of funding for further business or technology development.
If one accelerator program wasn’t good enough, PICHTR is partnering with Blue Startups, a Hawaii-based business accelerator program. Top performers in the Lightning Excelerator will win not only funding, but also 1) dedicated mentors, 2) access to Blue Startups’ training through Spring 2013, and 3) an opportunity to pitch at the joint Blue Startups – Energy Excelerator demo days in May.
The Pacific Excelerator will start accepting applications in summer 2013. Companies with highly innovative technologies will be accepted to participate in a 4-day program introducing participants to the Hawaii and Asia Pacific markets and strategic partners within their sector and customer segment.
This article was written by Dawn Lippert and Lauren Tonokawa and submitted to CleanTechnica.
Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. As a serial eco-entrepreneur who has started, grown and sold multiple green businesses, Scott believes that capitalism, true capitalism, can be a powerful force for change, but that our current version of capitalism is severely hampered by perverse subsidies and negative externalities that make unsustainable products less expensive than healthier alternatives. Scott is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, and an organic gardener. Find Scott on Google Plus