East Hawaii News

Big Island Accelerator Receives National Recognition

September 18, 2015, 2:42 PM HST
* Updated September 18, 2:45 PM
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Big Island start-up GVS Transmedia Accelerator was recently recognized with two other Hawai’i businesses by the United States Small Business Administration as being among the country’s most innovative.

Each of the winners, which include GVS Transmedia, the University of Hawai’i’s Honolulu-based XLR8UH, and the Maui Food Innovation Center’s Accelerator Program will receive a $50,000 cash prize as winners of the second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

All of the programs are supported with state funds and work closely with the private sector to launch promising businesses in the state.

“We are pleased to see the state’s investment in innovation gaining national recognition,” said Governor David Ige. “These accelerators, based on Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, and Maui demonstrate that Hawai‘i’s innovation community is active throughout the state and across various industries.”

As part of a healthy startup environment, accelerators assist in driving entrepreneurship and attract investment by assisting entrepreneurs in developing their businesses and raising venture capital through mentorship and networking.

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The Big Island’s GVS Transmedia was founded in 2014 and is a partnership between Global Virtual Studio, the Hawai’i Strategic Development Corporation, the County of Hawai’i, and the GTA Development Fund.

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GVS Transmedia works to empower Hawai’i-based creative entrepreneurs and aims to help them launch original transmedia franchises.

“The HI Growth Initiative investment program has successfully partnered with the private sector to establish an active entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hawai‘I,” said Luis Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The SBA awards recognize the important role venture accelerators play in launching startups and are evidence of Hawai’i’s ability to compete as an innovation hub at a national level.”

Over 400 accelerators applied to the SBA competition, which was judged by more than 40 experts from public and private sectors. This is the second year that GVS has been recognized by the SBA.

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Earlier in 2015, Blue Startups, another Hawai’i accelerator, was recognized. Blue Startups focuses on software and mobile technology. The accelerator was recognized by TechCrunch as one of the top 20 accelerators in the nation.

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