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Friday, May 27, 2022
Hawaii High-Tech Schemers Get $94M
By News Release @ 8:14 PM :: 1678 Views :: Tax Credits


State program provides critical capital assistance to local businesses

News Release from Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, May 19, 2022

HONOLULU—The Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) announced today that the State of Hawaii’s application has been approved by the U.S. Treasury for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a program that was part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The SSBCI Program brings to Hawaii up to $62 million in federal funding to expand access to capital for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. Hawaii is among the first states in the nation to be approved for participation.

“This is a valuable addition to the state’s economic revitalization efforts and provides much needed support for our businesses to not just recover but grow post-pandemic. We anticipate the creation of high-quality jobs for our residents as a result of this program.” said Governor David Ige.

HTDC, a state agency attached to the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is the lead for the program and has partnered with the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, a division within DBEDT to jointly administer this program, known as the ‘Hawaii Small Business Capital Program’ (HI-CAP).

“Receiving federal funding that requires private matching funds will provide needed capital to our small business communities. It gives us a way to engage and continue strengthening our efforts toward diversifying our economy”, added Mike McCartney, Director of DBEDT.

The funds will be released in three tranches, with a first tranche of $19.8 million. Additionally, with the program requiring investment from the private sector, it is expected that more than $600 million in matching private investments will be injected into Hawaii’s economy.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was devastating for businesses and entrepreneurs in states like Hawaii, whose economy relies heavily on tourism. That’s why these investments through the American Rescue Plan are so critical,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “Hawaii’s plan will help diversify its economy and spark innovation in key sectors, including renewable energy, to promote economic growth. Treasury will continue working with Hawaii to help make sure this capital is having maximum impact in communities across the state.”

“We are very appreciative of all of the state’s support for HI-CAP, including an appropriation from the legislature this year. This will greatly strengthen HTDC’s mission to accelerate business growth with local innovation,” shared Len Higashi, acting Executive Director of HTDC.

There will be four types of offerings within HI-CAP available to Hawaii small businesses:

‘HI-CAP Collateral’ will have the State working with local financial institutions to provide collateral to small businesses where financing may be difficult or help them secure better terms.

‘HI-CAP Loans’ is a State administered program that will directly lend to businesses for catalytic projects that have community impact. Projects include, but are not limited to, renewable energy, innovation, local agriculture, dual-use technology, manufacturing, or creative industry projects that spur economic development.

‘HI-CAP Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Loan Pool Program’ is designed to work with Hawaii CDFIs in providing loan capital to lend to very small businesses and provide small loans including micro loans. This program will provide much needed loan capital to Hawaii’s CDFI network, including underserved small businesses.

‘HI-CAP Invest’ will be a Fund-of-Funds Venture Capital Program that is a continuation of the successful SSBCI 1.0 HSDC Venture Capital Investment Program. The program is designed to invest in high quality investment managers with the capacity to mentor and advise entrepreneurs and facilitate follow-on investments.

HI-CAP is expected to run until September 30, 2030.

For more information, please refer to our summary report on our website. (PDF)

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Elemental Excelerator to Fund First-of-a-Kind Climate Projects with a $32.5 Million Commitment from Office of Naval Research

News Release from Elemental Excelerator, May 25, 2022

We are proud to announce a new multi-year commitment from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to expand our mission to redesign the systems behind climate change. This commitment of $32.5 million over five years brings the total funding from ONR to more than $90 million. This is the third installment of ONR funding to advance technology commercialization and first-of-a-kind project deployments at Elemental.

“This grant from the Navy is a vote of confidence in our ability to select technologies and design projects that transform the systems behind climate change,” said Dawn Lippert, Elemental’s Chief Growth Officer. “The Navy’s five year commitment enables us to bring new private and philanthropic funders to the table who are increasingly stepping up to invest in equitable climate solutions.”

“We are excited to leverage this groundbreaking federal funding to mobilize a growing network of ambitious foundations, corporate leaders, and private investors to work together to de-risk climate technologies, grow a more diverse climate workforce, and build on the nearly $7 billion in follow-on funding that our work has inspired to date,” said Melissa Uhl, Elemental’s Chief Growth Officer.

“This award is proof that federal funding can help bring major private sector investments into the fight against climate change,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, Hawai’i. “Elemental is a groundbreaking organization, leveraging funds to identify and incubate new climate solutions, and ultimately scale those solutions around the globe.”

In May 2022, the Department of the Navy released its climate strategy, Climate Action 2030, which sets the objective of building a climate-ready force through two performance goals: building climate resilience, and reducing the climate threat. The Department will work with a range of stakeholders, including Elemental, to meet these goals.

“The purpose of the grant to Elemental Excelerator is to leverage private sector innovation to help the Department of the Navy reach climate goals while strengthening our maritime dominance,” said Deborah Loomis, Senior Advisor for Climate Change to the Secretary of the Navy. “Grants like this one help ensure that tomorrow’s climate innovators are able to secure the resources they need to create the solutions we need.”

While Elemental’s work began in the use of the accelerator model with climate-focused startups, we have grown through funding from sources like APTEP to now encompass a wide array of teams transforming the climate tech landscape, including:

Elemental Policy Lab, a team of policy experts and fellows focused on bridging the gap between policymakers and technology on local, regional, and national levels.
A dedicated Equity and Access team, which builds local partnerships with community organizations and supports project development to benefit startups and ensure frontline communities are receiving equitable funding for climate solutions through work like the
Square Partnerships model.
Elemental Navigator, a group of corporate members that collaborate with Elemental’s pipeline and portfolio companies to make investments, identify acquisition opportunities, pilot first-of-a-kind projects, and roll out project deployments at scale.
EDICT (Empowering Diverse Climate Talent), a comprehensive internship program that was designed to create a diverse pipeline of talent for the climate sector and inspire and empower organizations to create inclusive cultures.

To date, Elemental has invested in more than 130 climate technology startups worldwide, pioneered and published a model for embedding equity and community in technology deployments, deployed 100+ projects (many of which were first-of-a-kind), celebrated more than 20 exits across our portfolio, and built a platform for scaling equitable, market-driven solutions to climate change. We are currently evaluating applicants for our 11th cohort of investments, and in October 2022 we will name the next 15-20 companies receiving $300,000 to $600,000 in funding for strategy or project-specific work. More than 500 companies from 46 countries applied to participate in this year’s cohort, with 52% of all applicants having a CEO from a traditionally-excluded race or gender.

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CB: Elemental Excelerator Gets $32.5 Million Navy Grant


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