24 Hawaii Accelerators to Grow Your Business and Startup

December 18, 2023

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Aloha Hawaii entrepreneurs! If you’re dreaming of starting a startup or growing your business in Hawaii in 2024, look no further. The Hawaiian Islands offer not only breathtaking landscapes but also a thriving business ecosystem supported by numerous incubators and accelerators. We’ll name the best Hawaii small business incubators, accelerators and programs you need to know about in Hawaii.

There’s a resource for you regardless of which Hawaiian island you live on, or where you are in growing your business. Get ready to turn your business dreams into reality!

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Planning a trip to Hawaii to scout out if it’s a good place to start your business? Grab our free Hawaii Packing List and ways to be a ethical visitor and business owner in the islands. See our best sunrise spots guide for the islands to fall in love with Hawaii!

What are Business Accelerators and Incubators?

First off, venturing into the world of startups can be an exhilarating yet challenging journey, and having the right support can make all the difference. But what exactly are incubators and accelerators?

Incubators provide a nurturing environment for early-stage startups, offering resources, mentorship, grants, and a collaborative community to help businesses grow and succeed. On the other hand, accelerators focus on rapidly scaling businesses that have already demonstrated their potential. These programs often provide intense, time-limited support, including mentorship, funding, grants, and networking opportunities, to propel startups to the next level. In Hawaii, these incubators and accelerators play a crucial role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across various industries.

Hawaii’s Best Business Resources: Accelerators and Incubators

Accelerator & IncubatorFor-profit/ non-profitIndustryStage of businessAdditional RequirementsCost of programApplication Projected Opening Date
Mālama Design StudioFor-profitsAny sectorEarly stage100% Kānaka owned, needing branding help FreeApplications open now – February 1st, 2024
Mana UpFor-profitsRetail, beauty, value-added food productPrefer companies with $100,000+ in annual revenue-Hawaii-based founder + company-Elevates Hawai’i or Hawai’i brand through authentic connection, resource, or story-Quality of product + potential for international expansion-Owner has full-time commitment to the company-% of increase in revenue at the end of the program.** Final due date: February 16, 2024**Application Review Period: January 2024**Interviews will take place from late February – Late March, 2024**Final selection of Cohort 9 (and notification of selected companies) will happen in early April!
Blue StartupsFor-profitsSoftware, Travel/tourism, sustainabilityPre-seed-Founders: Hawaii, Female(preferred)-Technology-based companies that can scale quickly and have global market potential.FreeEarly 2024
Pre-XFor-profits and nonprofitsAny sector of businessAny stage of businessn/aFreeSeasonal cohorts:Spring: early MarchSummer: early JuneFall: mid AugustWinter: early November
XLR8UHFor-profitScience, Tech, InnovationIdea/Proof-of concept or Commercialization and Growth-UH affiliated startups/entrepreneurs (students, faculty, alumni)FreeOpening date not yet posted
Elemental ExceleratorFor-profit stand-alone ventureAddress climate change and related topicsOperating prototype, seed to Series C+ companiesMinimum requirements:
-Be a startup addressing climate change and related issues-Be a for-profit, stand-alone venture-Have at least two full-time employees-Have an operating prototype-Have an initial pilot deployment in progress or completed
Equity investmentOpening date not yet posted
SIIPFor-profits and nonprofits-Socially impactful; purpose-driven solving a pressing community problemSeed stage, more than an idea-Hawaii-basedFreeCohort 3: November 29, 2023
We by Rising TideFor-profit Any sector of business-Minimum of 3 years-Minimum yearly revenue $250,000 (previous year)-Max yearly revenue $5 mil (previous year)-51% women owned-Registered in State of HIFreeSpring 2024
KūHanaFor-profit and Non-profit with revenue generating model Any sector of business1-5 years in operations-Registered with DCCA-Based/operated in Hawaii$250 *with partial scholarships available3 8-week cohorts per year; interest form currently open
Common Ground AcceleratorFor-profitfood/ beverage packaging, food market tech, support food supply chainSeed stage interested in scaling operations located in Kaua’i-CPG companies serving local market-Need resources to expand nationallyFreeOpening date not yet posted
HATCHFor-profitSustainable aquaculture tech and alternate seafood/proteinPre-seed/seed start-ups with proof-of-concept at application stage, then have to be an entity before program starts-Min. 2 full time team members-Required to visit 3 office locations -Required to be on site(Hawaii location) for duration of program8% equity stakeApplications open now for 2024 program
HIR (Hawaii Investment Ready)For-profit or Non-profitsA social enterprise: a business or organization whose primary purpose is to address a social or environmental needEnterprises must be operational and generating income-Preference to Hawaii based
$2000 per personOpening date not yet posted
RISEHICreators(narrative of Hawaii), Entrepreneurs(trying to get off the ground), LeadersIdea stagen/aFreeOpening date not yet posted
Common Ground IncubatorFor-profitFood & beverage niche products in marketEarly stage with annual revenues of $150,000 or less located in Kaua’i-Connection to locally grown ingredients-Global demandFreeOpening date not yet posted
Culinary Business IncubatorFor-profitFood related business Any stage of business that is needing a larger operating space-Special focus to low-income, socially disadvantaged-O’ahu located facility with 11 commercial kitchens, dry & cold storage, meeting & training rooms-Short-long term permit at hourly ratesCurrently accepting
Pacific Gateway Center Social Enterprise ProgramFor-profit or non-profit with revenue generating potentialMust work in agriculture,value-added goods, orculinary sector, ancillaryindustries to food/ beverageAny stage of business with a sustainable business model-Hawaii based founder & company-Business operations, residents, or hire employees  in Honolulu county-Must have less than 100 employeesFreeCurrently accepting:
Maui Food Innovation CenterFor-profitFood Service, food manufacturing, agribusinessesAny stage of business-Incubator is located in MauiFreeOpening date not yet posted
INPEACE Center for EntrepreneurshipFor-profit or non-profitAny sector of businessAny stage of business-Incubator is located in West O’ahuFreeCurrently accepting
PACE UH Venture CompetitionFor-profit or non-profitAny sector of businessIdea stage or existing companies less than a year old-Must have at least one member be a full-time or part-time student(undergraduate or graduate) at a community college or university within the University of Hawaii system-Students must have an ownership stake or potential equity/employment-Student must play major role in developing venture, business plan, and oral presentation-Teams must have at least two but not more than five membersFreeOpens around early January
Chaminade Hogan Entrepreneurship ProgramFor-profit or non-profotAny sector of businessn/a, this is a certificate progra,-Must be a Chaminade graduate or undergraduate student-2.8 GPAFreeApplication open now
Kūkolu Indigenous Business IncubatorFor-profitAny sector of business-Early stage-Minimum viable productn/aFreeAround July
Ideation Studio@UHFor-profit-Tech innovations-Start-up idea-Seed stage start-ups-At least one member of a company must be either a UH system faculty, researcher, student, staff, and/or alumni. Students and alumni must partner and apply with a current UH faculty and/or staff member-The technology must have originated and/or been developed through University of Hawaii research.-Only take equity if the company is selected for investment. This will be agreed with SAFE(Simple Agreement for Future equity).-not open at this time
YWCA MCBL – Various ProgramsVariousVariousVariousSeveral different programs opening at different times including early stage business development, marketing, and e-commerceCost various, some are $150Dates differ for each program, some not yet announced
PulauhalaAny sector of businessEarly stagePulaulala is an accelerator program looking for Molokai-based small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups, that are interested in learning & expanding their companies.FreeOpening date not yet posted

Final Thoughts: 24 Hawaii Accelerators to Grow Your Business and Startup

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As you set sail on your entrepreneurial journey amidst the beauty of Hawaii, remember that every step you take is an opportunity for growth, innovation, and success. Hawaii offers a wealth of great resources and supportive business environment fueled by the aloha spirit. Each incubator and accelerator we mentioned is a gateway to unlocking your business potential, providing the tools and community needed to thrive.

We hope that you found the resources outlined in this guide helpful. If there are any other programs or initiatives you’ve come across that we may have missed, we’d love to hear from you!
Let’s all foster a collaborative community where startups and business can thrive in Hawaii. Keep pushing the boundaries, embracing the challenges, and let the aloha spirit guide you on your path to success! 🌺

Onwards to the future 🚀

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