Discover more from ThriveHI
ThriveHI’s September PauHana deets are out, Elemental is hiring a Staff Accountant, PreX applications are open, and more…
Happy Tuesday (: I wanted to share my current obsession: Morning Brew’s “60 Second Startup” Series, where startup founders must pitch their business in 60 seconds or less. I’m a little afraid to admit how many late nights I’ve spent scrolling through these. My favorite startup featured so far was definitely Anja Health, which helps pregnant parents freeze their umbilical cords and placenta for its stem cells.
Don’t know if it’s just me, but I would LOVE to see a Hawaii startup featured here in the future 👀
Have a good week!
P.S. 📣 Hiring or hosting an event? Let me know by responding to this email and I’ll share it out in the next blast.
Latest Hawaii Tech & Startup News
👯♀️ Move over Winklevoss twins, the Yang sisters are in town. Okay, perhaps they are not on the Winklevoss’ level yet, but Lucy and Victoria Yang, McKinley High School alumni, just finished their Pre Seed round of funding where they raised $1.9M for their fintech company, Staax. This is a huge deal for many reasons, perhaps most notably because as of 2020, only 2.3% of all VC funding went toward female founders. Staax is marketed as, “Venmo meets Robinhood”: a peer-to-peer payment system that lets people pay their friends back in shares of stock. Although right now the Yangs are based in SF, they look forward to ways they can give back to the Hawaii community in the future.
🐟 Ai.Fish wins $125k through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant. The SBIR program is a highly competitive R&D program with an acceptance rate of <10%. The grant funds cutting-edge technology development in small businesses with significant potential for commercial and/or social impact. Ai.Fish aims to use this money to develop novel computer vision algorithms for fisheries monitoring. Based on their progress in Phase I, Ai.Fish will be eligible to submit proposals for up to $500,000 in Phase II funding to further develop their technology toward commercialization.
☀️ Photonworks is the first Hawaii-based company accepted into Apple's Impact Accelerator. Founded in 2004, Photonworks is Hawaii’s largest solar installation contractor. Photonworks is one of only 16 companies that made the cut to help Apple reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Apple’s Impact Accelerator intentionally invests in BIPOC-founded organizations that, “help fight systemic barriers impacting communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental issues like climate change.” At the culmination of the Accelerator, Photonworks will be able to pitch their services to Apple and be on a short list of bidders for future projects.
In other news…
We are shouting out interesting, innovative, and trailblazing organizations within Hawaii’s ecosystem that are significant contributors to the effort to make Hawaii a more equitable, innovative, and economically resilient place.
📍Honolulu, HI | Founded in: 2021 | Employees: 2 | Funding: Preseed ($125k)
Float is an online platform that provides supply-chain finance for CPG brands. Basically, Float pays supplier invoices for companies up front, and companies pay them back automatically as their products sell. This is huge for businesses that are beginning to scale and want to control their cash flows. Float was accepted into YCombinator’s 2021 Cohort with a Pre Seed round of $125k. The company was co-founded by Rob LaFave and Zachary Kim (#kamaainafounder) who are trying to build the company in Honolulu.
Photonworks Engineering: Solar Engineer
Sudowrite (Remote): Frontend Software Engineer
Kamehameha Schools: Python Application Engineer - Investment Management
Squarespace (Remote): Customer Service Team Lead
TurnoverBNB (Remote): Marketing Intern
Elemental Excelerator: Staff Accountant
UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization: Accelerator Program Manager
We’re back and ready to party! Our second monthly ThriveHI WFH (#workfromhawaii) Pau Hana is on! Here are the deets:
When: Sep 28 @3pm-5pm
Where: Aloha Beer Company Kakaako, 700 Queen St Honolulu, HI
Parking: $4 valet parking up the ramp with validation or street parking
What is it? This is a casual get-together for folks to talk-story and make new connections within Hawai'i’s tech scene. Attendees are responsible for buying their own food and drinks.
Who should come? Although our primary audience is remote tech folks, we encourage anyone who is interested in Hawai'i’s tech scene to come out.
Other events happening soon…
Sep 22: Startup Hawaii Kona Meetup
Sep 25: Hawaii Geek Meet
Sep 26: Maui Techies Meetup
PreX Fall Cohort applications are now open. PreX is XLRHI’s free virtual 4-week investment readiness and business scaling program for founders and small business owners across the state. Former PreX alumni include GameDevHQ, Piko Provisions, Ai.Fish, and more.
Hawaii DOE Esports League is accepting applications. All Hawaii schools can participate for free! The program is run through Vanta, and begins on Sep. 26th. Students can compete in games including Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and League.
Elemental’s 2022 Innovation Challenge(s) are on. In partnership with NextEra, Amazon, and Ara Ake, Elemental wants to help visionary climate-tech entrepreneurs implement and scale their solutions with some of the largest customers in the world to help them accelerate their decarbonization goals. Up to $2.5M in funding is available. Applications close Oct 4.