On behalf of Ikayzo, inc., formerly a Manoa Innovation Center tenant, I respectfully submit testimony in STRONG SUPPORT of SB 627, the ten year extension of HTDC's land lease agreement with the University of Hawaii that facilitates uninterrupted operation of the Manoa Innovation Center.
The center played a critical role in the formation and scaling of both Ikayzo and Contix. In addition to the facility, which is well tuned to a technology startup’s needs, we utilized their workshops, professional service provider program, CEO forum and frequently benefited from the expertise of our neighbor companies as well as HTDC’s superb staff.
The center’s proximity to UH Manoa allowed us to easily collaborate with the university in numerous ways including working with professors, finding interns who were matches for our needs (many of whom are now employees) and working together on tech conferences that benefited the community. Together, the University of Hawaii and the Manoa Innovation Center comprise a unique innovation ecosystem that benefits both the school and the center’s technology startups in innumerable ways.
It is my sincere hope that many other Hawaiʻi startups will be afforded the opportunity to benefit from the Manoa Innovation Center’s services and facilities as we did.
Thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony on this bill.