HI Growth Initiative

higrowthGrowing the Innovation Economy is a key part of Governor David Ige’s plan to generate economic growth and create jobs. In his State of the State address, the Governor proposed $30 million in new funding for the HI Growth Initiative to build upon successful efforts that have helped to launch a new type of paradise in Hawaii: a Startup Paradise.

The HI Growth Initiative is a State equity investment program designed to catalyze the development of an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial high growth businesses and creates high wage jobs for our people.  The HI Growth Initiative currently provides $20 million of investment capital that will focus on the critical building blocks of an innovation ecosystem: entrepreneur development, research commercialization and the mobilization of startup investment capital.

The knowledge and creative industries represent important new sources of economic growth for Hawaii.  A recent University of Hawaii and Hawaii Business Roundtable study found that the innovation sector accounts for over 7% of the total jobs in the State.   These industries are growing rapidly, have high value output, compete globally using digital technologies and leverage Hawaii’s ability to be the meeting place for the world.  They do not require large land and water resources to achieve global scale.  Knowledge intensive industries favor regions with a high quality of life, a distinct competitive advantage for Hawaii.

The High Growth Initiative is a comprehensive investment program and represents a bold new approach to re-invigorate state efforts to fuel an innovation economy.  This investment program engages with the private sector to startup and grow creative and innovative companies.  This initiative will help to keep our established industries competitive, create new areas of opportunities to excite our entrepreneurs and provide them the ecosystem to pursue their dreams here in Hawaii.