Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

We have brought on a new CEO, currently in Seattle. He makes a strong case for relocating the company to Seattle. I'd rather not go, but will do what is right for the company.

He will be here next week for a few days while we meet with the Hawaii Angels and other potential investors. Obviously Act 221 is in our favor, but beyond that I need to demonstrate to him other advantages of basing the company here.

In particular, what organizations or people should I arrange for him to meet while he is here (already in touch with Enterprise Honolulu, HVCA, HTDC, HiBeam, Hawaii Angels and Kolohala Venture.

Any other ideas?


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I just saw this article:
Study: Bay Area Leads Nation in High-Tech Employment
Authored by Mark Hefflinger on June 27, 2008 - 9:19am.

Santa Clara, Calif. - The Bay Area, combining the three metro areas of San Francisco, San Jose/Silicon Valley and Oakland, had 386,200 high-tech industry workers in 2006, the most of any metro area in the nation, according to AeA's newly released Cybercities 2008 report.

San Jose held the majority of the tech industry jobs (225,300), and also had the highest concentration of tech workers in the nation, with more than one in four private sector workers employed by the tech industry.

"AeA's Cybercities report places the Bay Area as the epicenter of the tech industry," said Ed Keible, the CEO of Endwave.

"Combining Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, we are the largest technology cluster in the nation."

And it is true that Hawaii is currently very good for military work and it is true that there is military potential in our product, but I am not interested in pursuing it, being and old fashioned peacenik.

Of course when Daniel Inouye dies it may become a whole different story.

Patrick Sullivan, founder, chairman and CEO of Oceanit, tells a great story of how he utilized military funding to pay for development of technology which he subsequently is marketing beyond DoD:

He retains ownership of the IP while the DoD gets to use the technology for their own purposes. The best example of this was in their development of their Star Trek sick bay medical bed marketed by their Hoana Medical spinoff company.

Probably this strategy of utilizing military funds to develop technology is better suited to certain type of technology rather than others, as John has alluded to. For Web 2.0 software entrepreneurs such as myself, I can't see how I could make this strategy work for my company. But depending on your industry maybe it can work for you.
Try speaking to a few recruiters in addition to your list of orgs to meet ((already in touch with Enterprise Honolulu, HVCA, HTDC, HiBeam, Hawaii Angels and Kolohala Venture.) Attracting, mentoring and retaining top flight people in your team is probably top of mind for you in any case.
I owe you a wrap up and it's early and I'm still on west coast time and avoiding work, so...

We did bring our CEO to Hawaii. He had a very good visit. We visit the UH Angels, Kolohala Fund, Enterprise Honolulu, Archinoetics and had a realtor show him houses. He came away with the belief that, yes, it is possible to run a high tech company in Hawaii. Whether we stay here depends on how much money we raise locally, and right now that is looking very positive.

Thank you all for your ideas and comments.


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