Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Doing a Startup in Hilo, Hawaii

If you are thinking about doing a startup, consider Hawaii, in particular, Hilo, Hawaii.

The State of Hawaii supports new businesses with great tax incentives and several organizations in Hilo are dedicated to supporting startups.

The Hawaii Innovation Center at Hilo is an 8000-square foot facility owned by the University of Hawaii at Hilo and operated in partnership with the High Technology Development Corporation. The facility is a small business incubator with office space, a shared conference room, janitorial services, and copy machine and offers startups a combination of subsidized facility rates and business support services.

The Hawaii Small Business Development Center is also located in Hilo. They run seminars on starting a small business in Hawaii and provide help on getting SBIR grants.

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association actively supports entrepreneurs in Hawaii by creating opportunities for networking, providing information and organizing support for state legislation regarding businesses. The Hawaii Angels is group of high net worth individuals that coach and support startups in Hawaii. There are several VC's in California and Utah that target companies in Hawaii to fund.

Hilo has a lot of advantages for a new business. It has a shipping port which is close to Asia and the west coast of North Amercia, an international airport, and trucking facilities for getting products to all parts of the island. A 31 acre parcel adjacent to the Hilo airport, zoned for commercial and light industrial uses, is designated as a Foreign Trade Zone 9 allowing small businesses to avoid customs if the product is not sold in the US and numerous other advantages for product assembly and packaging with parts from other countries. The zoning was approved in 1992 but has yet to be used by any company. Hilo also has high speed internet, computer repair stores, office supply stores, an excellent University, and a large work force near town. Hawaii has the benefit of not having severe monetary problems and is very focused on green energy and self sustainability. Its locality in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes Asia as important to its sustainability as North Amercia creating unique market share opportunities.

And the final plug for Hilo is that it is located in paradise.

There are business resource links at Making an Income in Hilo.

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