March 7-10, 2017
Over 120 entrepreneurs, along with several companies and government agencies that support them, converged on the State Capitol on March 5th for the HI Growth Entrepreneurs’ Day at the Capitol. For the second year in a row, DBEDT gathered these businesses in a show of support for DBEDT’s HI Growth Initiative, the strategy to grow Hawaii’s innovation economy. The HI Growth Initiative creates the basic building blocks to help these businesses to grow and scale in Hawaii, namely entrepreneurial development, research commercialization, and investment capital. DBEDT is focused on global relevance to earn export dollars; creating high wage jobs to reverse the so-called brain drain; targeting high growth businesses as drivers of job creation; and supporting industry clusters to increase productivity and competitiveness.
Legislators and government officials saw firsthand the impact that entrepreneurs are making on currently, while showing great promise for the future. The exhibitors represented the cutting edge of Hawaii’s high-tech and life sciences industries, as well as fashion designers, manufacturers of gift items and the creative industry. The diverse exhibitors were not only able to network among themselves to share ideas and best practices, but also gained access to several support agencies in attendance, ranging from the US Post Office, the US Small Business Administration, Homestreet Bank and YWCA’s Mink Center for Business & Leadership.
Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui welcomed legislators and business leaders to a lunch presentation featuring the Hawaii Business Roundtable’s announcement on their report on Innovation in Hawaii, and the Chamber of Commerce discussed their focus on fortifying the manufacturing sector in Hawaii.
Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, Speaker Joe Souki, House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and a host of legislators also made time to meet with the exhibitors who represent Hawaii as some of best entrepreneurs in the state. DBEDT’s goal is to grow the environment to support these businesses and keep jobs and revenues in Hawaii.
Watch the KITV news recap of the event.
COMING SOON – A video highlighting the day produced by the Roosevelt High School video team.
For many more photos of the day’s activities, visit DBEDT’s Flickr page.