Startup Companies Sought for Tech Accelerator Program
by Denise Laitinen
Big Island entrepreneurs who have a technology business or have a software, gaming or mobile technology idea that they want to turn into a business, have until July 31 to apply for a business program that provides $20,000 in investment capital.
Blue Startups, a Hawai‘i-based venture accelerator founded by Henk Rogers, assists new companies with strategy development, networking opportunities and mentorship to build successful businesses.
Interested entrepreneurs should have a capital-efficient and scalable-technology company pertinent to the internet, software, mobile technology, gaming or e-commerce.
Up to 10 companies will be accepted into the three-month program.
In addition to the regular program session, entrepreneurs will be able to apply for the opportunity to develop Rogers’ next business idea.
President and CEO of Blue Planet Software, Rogers is known for producing Japan’s first major role-playing video game, The Black Onyx, and for revolutionizing the video game industry by securing the rights for the blockbuster game Tetris.
Each participating company receives an up-front investment of $20,000 and access to more than $500,000 in services. Workspace for each founding team (up to three people) is provided at Blue Startups Honolulu offices.
Blue Startups has a network of more than 50 mentors who assist in accelerating the startup companies in the program.
In exchange for the capital and in-kind services provided, Blue Startups takes an equity stake in each company.
Hilo native and Waiakea High School graduate Tiffany Quezada and her husband Mark participated in the first Blue Startups program.
As part of that program, they were able to travel to Silicon Valley where they pitched their tech business, named Aptly, Inc., to venture capitalists.
In a released statement Rogers said that the first eight companies that went through the Blue Startups program have collectively attracted more than $3 million in investment capital.
For more information or to apply to the program, go to www.bluestartups.com.