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A new initiative seeking to boost innovation and entrepreneurship across the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi System is now accepting applications. The UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization’s (OIC) Ideation Studio@UH is a new incubator program that provides concierge services, resources and seed funding to advance UH-affiliated innovations from ideas to market.

Ideation Studio@UH will be a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship at UH. It is tailored to meet the needs of our faculty and staff to support them in starting companies, creating jobs and diversifying and growing our economy and Hawaiʻi’s innovation ecosystem,” said UH Vice President for Research and Innovation Vassilis L. Syrmos.

Unlike other accelerator and incubator programs, Ideation Studio@UH provides a 12–24 month curated experience that drives innovation and the long-term success of UH tech startups. The inaugural spring 2022 cohort will be limited to three participants, who will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applications may be submitted from January 19–February 1, 2022 on the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization website.

The program’s wrap-around services and benefits for each selected cohort participant include:

  • Guidance: Personalized education and coaching through mentors, advisors, webinars, classes and/or aligned programs.
  • Resources: $50,000 in-kind operational support for legal and financial options and guidance on grant opportunities, business operations and strategic planning.
  • Funding: Up to $25,000 in milestone-based seed funding, and support in securing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), and/or other potential grant and investment opportunities.
  • Perks: Exclusive networking, partnerships, community building, publicity and award opportunities.

“This program is developed for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs,” said Director of Programs and Partnerships Vincent Kimura. “Many faculty don’t realize that running a lab—securing funding, managing staff, developing and testing inventions and products—is a lot like running a business. We’re here to help them take their ideas and inventions from the lab to the market to impact the greater community.”

This program is made possible by the support of a $2.7 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. More than $1.8 million will be invested in UH tech startups through the new incubator program over the next three years. Seed funding will be provided through OIC’s UH Ventures, LLC.

Join us for upcoming informational webinars on Wednesday, January 12 at 1:30 p.m. and January 19 at 9 a.m., and/or sign up for a one-on-one meeting. To sign up or for more information, visit the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization website or contact Lea Okudara at lokudara@hawaii.edu for additional assistance.