DBEDT Hosts More Than 100 Entrepreneurs at State Capitol

entrepreneurs' dayHONOLULU — For a second consecutive year, the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) showcased Hawaii entrepreneurs, highlighting innovative ideas, projects and products today at the Hawaii State Capitol.

The exhibitors represented the broad diversity of entrepreneurship in the state, including in the areas of fashion, energy, food, music, arts and culture, technology and software applications. More than 120 businesses were represented.

“Entrepreneurs’ Day underscores the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship for the future of Hawaii’s economy,” said Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui. “Congratulations to all of the entrepreneurs for all they have achieved and for taking the risk in seeing their idea come into fruition.”

“What we saw here today is some of the best entrepreneurs in the state,” said DBEDT Director Richard C. Lim. “Our goal is develop the kind of environment that will nurture these entrepreneurs right here at home and keep jobs and revenues in Hawaii.”

“We are now expanding the HI Growth Initiative to include other new engines of growth by: focusing on global relevance to earn export dollars; creating high wage jobs to reverse the so-called brain drain; targeting high growth businesses as drivers of job creation; and supporting industry clusters to increase productivity and competitiveness,” said Karl Fooks, president of the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC).

The HI Growth Initiative is a $6 million comprehensive investment program that represents a bold new approach to reinvigorate state efforts to fuel an innovation economy. The HI Growth Initiative creates the basic building blocks to help these businesses to grow and scale in Hawaii. These basic building blocks are entrepreneurial development, research commercialization, and investment capital.

In his 2013 State of the State Address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the HI Growth Initiative as a state investment program focused on building an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial high growth businesses and creates high wage jobs for our people. On July 9, 2013, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, as acting governor, signed Act 274 (House Bill 858), appropriating funds to the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation for the HI Growth Initiative.

For more on Entrepreneurs’ Day 2014 go to: http://invest.hawaii.gov/hi-growth-entrepreneurs-day