House bill HB 2319 is legislation that would provide funding to establish venture accelerators in Hawaii. Venture accelerators are entities that combine hands-on mentoring of startups with some seed capital to "accelerate" a startups' growth and prepares them to compete for follow-on funding from venture capital investors.
The following link will take you to the Hawaii State Legislature website that tracks the progress of this bill. Drafts of the legislation, hearing dates, testimony submitted to the committees hearing this bill and a record of votes for the bill are all available at this link:
On February 27th, the House Finance Committee passed out HB 2319, the Venture Accelerator Bill. The appropriation amount was left blank, meaning there will still be a struggle to have funds allocated to this initiative.
The legislative focus will now shift to the Senate as that body must now deliberate on this bill. There is no companion bill in the Senate and the community will have to convince the Senate Committee on Economic Development and Technology (EDT) to support this House bill. I encourage you to contact the Senators on the EDT committee to inform them of your support for this initiative in advance of any hearings.
Information on this committee can be found at the following link:
Many members of the innovation community have submitted testimony in support of this initiative and several have shown up in person to testify. This initiative communicates a positive message about the potential of the knowledge and creative industries to contribute to Hawaii's economy. It provides a positive platform for the legislature to support and engage with the innovation community.