Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Perhaps it's time for a seed fund incubator in Hawaii?

This latest TechCrunch post, "LaunchBox Unleashes Its First Nine Startups" really got me thinking of whether we could do something like this in Hawaii.

Ever since I met Paul Graham back in 2004 when I presented at MIT's Spam Conference (fast forward 21 minutes to see me make a presentation in record cold temperatures wearing so much clothing I looked as chunky as Santa Claus) I followed his Y-Combinator project very closely with great interest, always pondering its applicability to Hawaii.

A seed fund incubator basically is designed to give a couple of geeks a summer's worth of room & board money to belt out a beta version of a web company. In exchange, the incubator gets a small percentage of the company and the right to invest in future rounds.

This is something that just might work here. We could style the incubation process after the business plan competition (which also gives a sizable prize for the winner) and then perhaps as a community, agree to provide some of our expertise to help the startup succeed.

Is this something worth pursuing? I haven't spoken to Paul since '04 but I'm certain he'd at least return my email and perhaps give us some pointers of how to do something like that here in Hawaii (I thought about asking him to perhaps partner with us but he told me he really hates flying).

What do you all think?

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Comment by Peter Kay on August 5, 2008 at 9:23pm
Lets see what traction this picks up in this blog. If there's interest, we can pursue. Act 221 is a huge help here. Perhaps I can get HVCA to take interest. Lets see.
Comment by Sid on August 5, 2008 at 9:15pm
Shawn Drost and I have been talking about something like this just recently. He posted to Hacker News also a while back about Act 221, and there was some discussion there about why there isn't already a YC clone in Hawaii -

I think the idea is worth pursuing and there is talent in Hawaii - I don't know enough about the VC industry, but I imagine being in Honolulu versus the Bay Area would present it's own challenges.


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