Posted on behalf of Yuka Nagashima, Executive Director of HTDC
HTDC is looking for your immediate support! - (DUE by Sunday 2/12 @ 1:15 PM)
The Senate Economic Development & Technology Committee has scheduled a hearing for MIC Land lease transfer bill-SB 2415 on Monday, February 13th at 1:15 PM. This bill is important because SB 2415 transfers the title of the land that MIC sits on from UH to HTDC. This is more than a land lease issue for HTDC because we rely on the revenue from rent to fund our program.
Otherwise, the lease expires in April 2015 and HTDC will be forced to relocate AND find an alternate source of funding and/or reduce our program. The land and the building will return to UH. UH has not made public their intention for the facility.
HTDC's position is that we are in STRONG SUPPORT of the proposed bill. At the same time, we cannot afford to depend on this and we continue to look for another suitable facility and source of funds.
Regardless of your opinion on the land lease, we encourage all friends of HTDC to submit testimony stating your position for this bill and also comments in support for the HTDC program to ensure that HTDC has a future beyond 2015.
The link to the bill status and description can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/7p2h59b
To submit testimony (DUE no later than Sunday, 2/12, at 1:15 PM)
Complete the following testimony attachment template and submit here: http://tinyurl.com/75wftaa
Please forward HTDC a copy of your testimony upon submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
Aloha and Mahalo on behalf of the entire staff at HTDC,
Here is the testimony I submitted:
We strongly support this bill. As a tenant of the Manoa Innovation Center we have benefited greatly from the facility and the services of HTDC. I know this to be true of our neighbor companies as well.
The current location near the UH Manoa campus is ideal because many MIC companies have collaborations with the university. The shuttle between MIC and the campus makes it easy to provide internship opportunities to students.
Finally, it is a beautiful and inspiring space ideally suited for innovative start-ups.
I thought the University had at least suggested plans for the building? I get that the UH system is bursting at the seams in Manoa, but on a broader scale, aren't they already decentralizing with initiatives like the UHWO campus? And with them finding $35M to put a huge IT Center next to Bilger Hall, they can apparently find and fund space within the existing main campus footprint if they really want to.
Also note there's HB1511 'High Technology; R&D Income Tax Credit; High Technology Development Corporation; University of Hawaii; Land Lease' that lumps the R&D tax credits in with a lease extension "for no less than 25 years from the date of expiration." It's moving to the finance committee so it isn't taking testimony right now.
I'm not sure what the likelihood of SB2415 passing (won't hurt to send in testimony). But we should also keep our eyes on HB1511 as it looks like it's moving smoothly through the House.
I just submitted this testimony:
STRONG SUPPORT OF SB 2415
I strongly support SB2415 for the following reasons:
1. It provides financial and location stability for the Manoa Innovation Center.
2. With this stability the companies there can continue to develop their business and receive the support they get from HTDC.
3. HTDC will continue to be a leading voice for technology in Hawaii.
4. The current location in Manoa is centrally located and provides easy access for UH and metro Honolulu.
5. The synergy and interaction amongst the companies at MIC contributes to the growth of the tech economy in Hawaii.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to submit testimony in support of SB2415.
Julian Yap asked via Twitter: "what does MIC offer? Cheaper/free rent? Honest question, I'm not sure."
A valid question. MIC offers flexibly lease terms that are very favorable to start-ups. We can expand or contract space on 45 day's notice. They provide numerous services such as the professional service provider program, assistance with grant programs such as SBIR/STTR, a corworking space and networking events.
@Jared - Thank you for the update and info re: HB1511. @Burt - Thank you for sharing your testimony.
Unfortunately SB 2415 was deferred today.
Thanks to everyone who submitted testimony and mahalo to Dan and Mika for all of your efforts.
That is unfortunate. Thank you for the update Len.
From Jared Kuroiwa: "Figured it would be killed. That's why HB1670 and HB1511 are on the docket from the House side. HB1511 is the one to watch as the other hasn't been to committee yet.
In fact, HB1511 is a great example of a bill with pieces that are being attached to it to give it strength. The original bill was just focused on a tax credit for qualified research activities and the amendment (HD1) added the MIC lease extension to it. It basically wraps the non-controversial piece of Act 221 with the extension.