Big Island Accelerator Wins National SBA Competition

Big Island Accelerator Wins National SBA Competition

Three accelerator programs in Hawaii, including one on Hawaii Island, were named among the top innovative accelerators in the country. The winners were selected as part of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. In all, the SBA awarded a total of $4.4 million to recipients in 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Selected from more than 400 competitors nationwide, GVS Transmedia Accelerator of Kailua-Kona will receive $50,000 in funding. It’s the second year in a row it has received this award. The west Hawaii accelerator works with entrepreneurs and entertainment companies to foster creativity and stimulate job growth for creative industries in Hawaii.

It is currently accepting applications for its second six-month cohort in which it offers mentoring, training, collaboration with other professionals, and seed funding. (Learn more about applying to the GVS cohort here.)

The other two Hawaii winners include the Maui Food Innovation Center, which is part of the University of Hawaii Maui College culinary program, and XLR8UH, a proof-of-concept center on Oahu available to UH faculty, staff and alumni.

According to a SBA spokesperson, the purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“SBA is continuing to make advances in supporting unique organizations that help the start-up community grow, become commercially viable, and have a real and sustained economic impact,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Through the wide-spread outreach of this competition, we are able to reach entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country.”

More than 40 experts from the public and private sector with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds judged applications.

In addition to receiving the funding, the winners will be required to report metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained.


Photo courtesy of GVS. 

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