It was with a heavy heart that we gave notice to our friends at the Manoa Innovation Center yesterday. Its time for Ikayzo to graduate to a larger commercial space. We are excited about having a new office, but we will miss the MIC community and our corporate home tucked away in beautiful Manoa valley.
Ikayzo has been at the Manoa Innovation Center since 2005. Our first customer was a fellow MIC company and we have worked in varying capacities with numerous other tenant companies including Pukoa Scientific, Concentris, Island Pacific Energy, Kuehnle AgroSystems, Undefeated Games and Sprout. In some cases they were providing us with advice on research grants. In others we were providing them with creative and technical services. Having all these great companies in proximity has been invaluable.
Ikayzo has collaborated with HTDC and fellow MIC companies on many community efforts including TechHui.com. HTDC CEO Yuka Nagashima and her staff have been invaluable resources during our journey. A note to our governor and legislators: We sincerely hope HTDC will continue to operate the Manoa Innovation Center and receive the funding necessary to continue their work. This is a uniquely inspiring place. It wouldn't be the same in some nondescript block of office spaces. On a related note, HTDC needs more funding! We finally have decent connectivity at MIC but things like redundant power and reliable AC are a must at an innovation center.
To those entreprenuers thinking about setting up shop at MIC - we highly recommend it. HTDC (the agency that operates MIC and is headquartered on premise) does much more than operate the center. They provide assistance to Hawaii tech companies looking to secure SBIR grants along with partial matching of awards. They have business consultants on staff, do workshops on everything from marketing to hiring, provide a program that gives you access to affordable service providers for legal and accounting services, operate a co-working space on the second floor and even provide testimony at the state legislature in support of our industry. Finally, you will find it invaluable to be surrounded by other startups that can provide advice, assistance and partnership opportunities. To all our friends at MIC - Mahalo nui loa!