Hawai`i Innovation Center opens for business

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Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

A blessing ceremony was held today to mark the formal grand opening of the Hawai`i Innovation Center at Hilo (HICH), located in the former downtown Bank of Hawai`i building at 117 Keawe Street.

The Center is owned and operated by the University of Hawaii at Hilo , and is being managed by the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), a state agency. HTDC will operate the Center as a general purpose business incubator and is currently in discussion with companies in several different industries about locating their offices at HICH.

“This initiative is an important expansion of our role as an economic engine for the island and state of Hawai`i,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. “HICH will provide UH Hilo with another vehicle to channel our combined educational resources to promote more business growth and development.”

The Center’s activities take on particular significance in Hawai`i, a state where an estimated 95 percent of business is small business, and the economy logically depends on the success of small business entrepreneurs.

HICH will assist clients in their business development by providing a wide range of business incubation facilities and services. The two-story, 8,000-square- foot Center includes offices ranging from 137- to 307-square-feet, flexible month- to-month leases, a pair of fully-equipped conference or training rooms, and a full compliment of office equipment and services.

The Center’s strategic location also provides clients with immediate access to banking facilities, printers, federal offices, including a major post office facility, restaurants and shops. HICH is also located within minutes of the Hilo airport, state and county agencies, the UH Hilo campus and the University Park of Science and Technology, which houses an array of multinational tenants.

"High Technology Development Corporation is looking forward to not only managing this Center, but collaborating with local organizations and the business community to assist Big Island entrepreneurs," said Philip Bossert, executive director and CEO of HTDC. "We applaud UH Hilo for having the foresight to open a business incubator in downtown Hilo, near the University campus and science park, and look forward to contributing to the growth of Hilo's business community."

HTDC’s Professional Service Provider (PSP) Programs provide business incubator companies with access to a consortium of business experts from the private sector, offering assistance in law, finance, marketing, business plan development and other areas at discounted rates.

Clients will be able to attend workshops and seminars on a wide variety of subjects, such as venture capital and angel investing, state and federal funding, intellectual property issues, tax incentives, internet marketing and other topics key to their success. Guest presenters will include experts from the local business community as well as from other parts of the state.

HTDC was established by the Hawai`i State Legislature in 1983 to facilitate the development and growth of Hawai`i’s commercial high technology industry and to increase revenue generation and job creation within the technology-based sector of Hawai`i’s economy. HTDC provides business incubation services statewide, operates and manages three incubation facilities, provides technical assistance for small businesses participating in federal research and development funding programs, and administers the federally funded Hawai`i Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

For more information on HTDC, visit its website at www.htdc.org.

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