Hawaii is well know for “paradise on earth” appeal. But it still needs energy, and energy has historically been dirty, especially on the remote islands. The Hawaii Energy Excelerator provides opportunity for those looking to clean the energy supply and reduce energy needs. This change comes about in regards to growth for aspiring entrepreneurs. The program supports entrepreneurs committed to creating pathways for solving critical problems with energy and ecosystems in Hawaii.
“Our mission is two-fold,” Dawn Lippert, director of the Energy Excelerator, said in a statement. “We aim to help Hawaii solve urgent problems in energy while supporting our entrepreneurial ecosystem and helping companies grow.”
Duane Shimogawa of Pacific Business News explains: “Hawaii’s Energy Excelerator program, which supports start-ups each year by connecting them with the right experts, investors, strategic partners and policy makers in Hawaii, the Asia-Pacific and on the Mainland, is opening the application process in June for its 2015 seed and growth cohorts with more than $5 million in funding, resources and connections for 14 companies.”
This is a “place-based innovation.” Hawaii is seeking companies that specifically fit into its energy system. Shimogawa continues:
The Energy Excelerator’s advisory board, which is-made up of representatives from the state Energy Office, Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE), the U.S. Department of Energy and the Office of Naval Research, met to discuss energy challenges faced by Hawaii that could be scaled to the world.
This resulted in the Energy Excelerator’s 2014-15 focus areas, including energy systems integration such as electric grid, transportation, agriculture and water, as well as energy systems resilience.
You can apply online here if you are in Hawaii and interested in bringing a clean energy idea to fruition. Here’s a bit more from Shimogawa:
By September, the Energy Excelerator, which will select up to 14 startups, eight seed-stage and six growth-stage firms, will then work to build a customized community around each startup that will help address each company’s core needs. Seed-stage startups will be matched with mentors and awarded $75,000 to strengthen their business models and go-to-market strategies, while growth-stage companies will receive up to $1 million, which must be matched by private funding, to demonstrate their solution in an early market.
The Energy Excelerator, a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, will be also holding informational sessions for potential applicants.
For some less upbeat Hawaii news, see: Hawaiian Islands Are Dissolving And Will Disappear Study Finds.
Image Credit: Energy Excelerator
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