General FAQs

  • What is HTDC?
    • Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) is a dynamic state agency responsible for diversifying Hawaii’s economy developing a flourishing technology industry that provides quality, high-paying jobs for Hawaii residents. HTDC aims to accelerate the growth of Hawaii’s high technology industry by providing capital, building infrastructure and developing talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. HTDC is attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).
  • What types of programs and services does HTDC offer?
    • HTDC provides key resources to help Hawaii-based technology and innovation companies to thrive by providing the capital, building the infrastructure and developing the talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. Core initiatives include developing a statewide network of incubation services and facilities; expanding existing business development services for new start-ups, as well as existing businesses in the technology sector; providing federal and private grants and contracts in support of technology research; and supporting skilled workforce development for the technology sector.
  • Who is eligible to participate in HTDC programs?
    • Hawaii-based businesses may qualify to participate in HTDC programs and apply for funding. Individual programs, such as HSBIR, will have specific qualifications.

MAP Grant FAQs

  • What is the purpose of the MAP Grant?
    • The purpose of the Hawaii Manufacturing Assistance Program (also referred to as the Manufacturing Development Program) is to provide grants to businesses in Hawaii that are manufacturers in the State and require assistance for specific activities related to manufacturing that shall result in economic and employment growth in Hawaii. For the Fiscal Year 2024, HTDC’s Manufacturing Assistance Program has been funded $2M by the State. Applications are scheduled to open in the fall of 2023.
  • How are award funding amounts determined?
    • In determining the distribution of funds, the HTDC shall be guided by the nature and economic significance of the activity of each grant application, the importance of the grant to the activity’s success, and the potential economic advantage and/or job creation prospects offered to the State.
  • Where can I find the administrative rules for the MAP grant program?
    • The Hawaii Administrative Rules for the Hawaii MAP (Manufacturing Development) Program can be found here.
  • What constitutes eligibility?
    • Eligible companies must be registered as a Hawaii Business and obtain their Hawaii Compliance Express certification by applying at this website: https://vendors.ehawaii.gov/hce/splash/welcome.html
      These are required and must be submitted with the application.
      Sample of HCE can be found here.
    • In addition, the company’s line of business must be categorized as manufacturing as defined by the Federal North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Line of business codes must begin with 31, 32, or 33. To lookup your company’s line of business code visit this website: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/. Search for keywords related to your business to find your NAICS code. For instance, searching for “bakery” you would find codes related to bakeries such as:
    • 311812  Soft pretzels made in a commercial bakery
      311812  Bakery products, fresh (i.e., bread, cakes, doughnuts, pastries), made in commercial bakeries
      311813  Desserts, frozen bakery, manufacturing
      311813  Crullers, frozen, made in a commercial bakery
      311821  Bakery products, dry (e.g., biscuits, cookies, crackers), manufacturing
    • You will also be required to provide a Dun & Bradstreet number (also known as DUNS Number) prior to receiving any grant funds. If you do not have a Dun & Bradstreet number or are unsure, email us at mfggrant@htdc.org and we can assist you.
  • What qualifies for MAP assistance and how do we list these expenses?
    • Eligible expenses include manufacturing equipment, training on the use of manufacturing equipment, energy efficiency equipment, and feasibility studies for implementing new manufacturing facilities. “Manufacturing equipment” means equipment integral to the manufacturing process. This does not include product components such as bottles, labels, boxes, ingredients etc., and it does not include consumables such as gas, oil, lubricants, drill bits, blades, or other tooling.
    • Please download and use the MAP Expense List template provided in the application form to list all eligible manufacturing expenses. Fill in the provided template with budget and details for all possible funding areas (Equipment, Training, Energy Efficiency, Feasibility Study). For Equipment, if applicable, please include the Make and Model number, along with a brief description of what the equipment does in the Item Description Column. Under Justification, provide the reason you chose the equipment over other models/brands and explain how the equipment is integral to your manufacturing process. SUPPLIES and MATERIALS used in your product (such as boxes, labels, bottles, etc) are NOT ALLOWABLE expenses.
    • Upload your completed MAP Expense List (excel file), valid proof of payments, receipts, and other supporting documents for all items listed on your MAP Expense List to your application form. Acceptable forms of proof of payment include copies of receipts or statements from the vendor showing zero balance due, cleared checks from your bank, and bank/credit card statements. For training expenses, also include course information/agenda and, if using third-party for training, qualifications of the trainer. For energy efficiency and feasibility studies, also include vendor qualifications and results/conclusions of the study. These are required and must be submitted with the application.
  • What qualifies as proof of payment?
    • All supporting documents, proof of payments/receipts must be labeled and/or numbered to correspond with the item on the Expense List.
    • All supporting documents, proof of payments/receipts must include Vendor Name, Equipment/Training Name, Date, and Matching $ Amount.
    • Documentation not meeting these criteria will not be accepted and could result in a denied application.
    • Proof of payment sample (invoice and check payment) can be found here.
    • Proof of payment sample (invoice with zero balance) can be found here.
  • What is the earliest date purchases can be made from?
    • July 1, 2020
  • When does the grant period open and when does it close?
    • Please sign up here to receive email updates including future funding for this program.
  • The application is not letting me upload more documents / files are too large to upload. How can I get these to you?
    • There is a 25 MB individual file size limit. There is no limit on the NUMBER of documents. To add more documents to your online application, please click on the link “Additional Attachments.”
  • What are the minimum and maximum amounts that can be requested?
    • The minimum grant request is $1,500 and the maximum is $100,000.
  • Can we submit more than one grant request?
    • Only one grant request per company per year is allowed. However, you may apply for multiple items on one grant. For instance, multiple pieces of equipment or BOTH equipment AND training.
  • What happens after the funding is received? What will be expected/required from the applicant and what is HTDC and INNOVATE Hawaii’s role at that time?
    • By accepting a MAP award, grantee agrees to complete both the HTDC Annual Economic Impact Survey and the INNOVATE Hawaii National Institute of Standards & Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership Survey for a period of five years from date of award. The grantee must also agree to keep the purchases made under the grant in the State for a minimum of two years. HTDC and INNOVATE Hawaii may request further information which will be used to highlight a company’s achievements and the success of the grant programs. INNOVATE Hawaii is also available to assist companies with services beyond the grant project.


  • What is the SBIR/STTR Program?
    • The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization. https://www.sbir.gov/
    • The Hawaii SBIR program provides matching funds to Hawaii-based companies to enhance their project development, compete for the more lucrative awards to conduct prototype development and ultimately reach successful commercialization.
  • What are the different phases of funding?
    • HTDC provides Hawaii SBIR funds in various phases. Available funding for the Phase II/III portion of the grant program is approved on a yearly basis.
    • Phase 0: up to $3,000 reimbursement for grant writing services
    • Phase I: up to 50% match or up to $75,000 of the Federal Phase I award
    • Phase II/III (when available): up to 50% match or up to $500,000 of the Federal Phase II/III
  • When do the grant applications open and what is the deadline to apply?
    • Online Applications are currently closed. Please contact us at sbir@htdc.org to be added to the email list to receive grant updates and announcements.
  • How does a company apply for matching HSBIR funding?
    • Hawaii businesses that have received a federal SBIR grant * may complete the online form during the open application period.
    • * If you are applying for HSBIR Phase 0 funding, you do not need to win the federal SBIR grant.  You will need to upload to your application: a copy of your Federal Phase I application, proof of Phase I submission, and invoice from the grant reviewer/writer.
  • How are applications scored?
    • See the scoresheet used to score the applications here.
  • What constitutes eligibility?
    • See Subchapter 2 Eligibility and Selection Process of the Hawaii Administrative Rules, here.
    • Eligible companies must be registered as a Hawaii Business and obtain their Certificate of Vendor Compliance by completing the process on Hawaii Compliance Express (HCE): https://vendors.ehawaii.gov/hce/. This is required throughout the application and award process, and must be submitted with the application.
    • Do not submit your application if your HCE compliance is incomplete and/or if the individual status for any of the 4 departments show as “Not Compliant”. Please contact the respective department to clear the compliance issue.
  • The application is not letting me upload more documents / files are too large to upload.
    • There is a 25 MB individual file size limit. There is no limit on the number of documents. To add more documents to your online application, please click on the link “Additional Attachments.”
  • What happens after the funding is received? What will be expected/required from the applicant and what is HTDC’s role at that time?
    • By accepting a grant award, recipients agree to submit progress reporting and expense information as requested, as well as complete surveys from HTDC and NIST MEP designed to measure the economic and employment impact of this program and to comply with Federal regulations. Recipients shall complete the surveys annually for five (5) years following the award. HTDC and INNOVATE Hawaii may request further information which will be used to highlight a company’s achievements and the success of the grant programs. INNOVATE Hawaii is also available to assist companies with services beyond the grant.
  • Where can I find the administrative rules for the Hawaii SBIR program?
    • The Hawaii Administrative Rules can be found here.
  • Who do I contact if I have questions?
    • Please email all inquiries to HTDC at sbir@htdc.org.

Sponsorship FAQs

  • What type of events or programs does HTDC sponsor?
    • HTDC is seeking opportunities to attract the broader Hawaii business community to take a greater stake into the high technology and growth sector within the tech startup, innovation, and manufacturing community.See Section 2.04 in the RFP document for more details.
  • What are our objectives?
    • One of the strategies that HTDC uses to fulfill its mission is sponsorship of events that promote the growth of the high tech, innovation and manufacturing industry in Hawaii. Events include but are not limited to conferences, seminars, and workshops.See Section 2.05 in the RFP document for more details.
  • What are your sponsorship amounts?
    • In fiscal year 2017, HTDC sponsored 23 events totaling $107,000 at various individual amounts. Previous years have varied due to availability of funds and HTDC initiatives. The sponsorships have proven to be beneficial in establishing new partnerships and increasing HTDC’s impact for the tech, manufacturing and innovation community by leveraging our mission into ongoing programs and events.
  • How do I apply?
  • When do you need applications by in order to be considered for sponsorships?
    • We request that applications be submitted at the minimum six (6) weeks prior to event for consideration. Applicants are encouraged to submit earlier if possible.
  • How soon will I hear status on my application?
    • After committee review, notice of sponsorship award or decline will be provided by email within an estimated 3 weeks of submission of application or 6 weeks prior to event, whichever is later. A delay in this process may also occur if there are questions about the application, missing information, or a need to discuss the request with the Applicant.


  • What is PEARL?
    • PEARL stands for Pacific Energy Assurance and Renewables Laboratory. PEARL is a new system that is being developed to provide unprecedented control over how energy is generated, stored, and distributed. The PEARL system uses renewable energy technologies deployed within a series of interconnected micro grids to provide energy assurance. Through the strategic deployment of localized energy resources, site specific energy storage systems and specialized controls, PEARL will showcase the maximization of renewable energy systems planning at grid scale.
  • What is hydrogen fuel?
    • Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when passed through a fuel cell, produces electricity and yields only water and heat as a byproduct. Today, the most common methods of hydrogen fuel production are natural gas reforming (a thermal process) and electrolysis.  Hydrogen is odorless, can be produced renewably using power from wind and/or solar to power the electrolysis process and emits zero green house gases when utilized. These qualities make it an attractive fuel option for electric vehicle transportation and electric utility applications. Hydrogen fuel can be used in cars, in houses, and for portable power.
  • Is hydrogen safe?
    • Hydrogen is the lightest element on the periodic table, with an atomic weight of 1.008. This means that hydrogen readily dissipates into the surrounding atmosphere, making it difficult to ignite if it is not confined. However, hydrogen is an energy carrier that is indeed – as is the case with many other fuels – highly combustible when concentrated and in the presence of oxygen. Risk assessments show however, that it is no more dangerous than petro or natural gas. When using hydrogen it is important to be in a well-ventilated area to limit the potential for hydrogen accumulation. Hydrogen fuel can be used safely for transportation, in homes, in commercial buildings and for efficiency and conservation efforts and has been safely in use for over 100 years.
  • What is a fuel cell?
    • A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. The byproduct of this electrochemical reaction is water and heat. The fuel cell produces electricity and heat by electrochemically reacting a fuel (which is generally hydrogen or hydrogen-rich) with oxygen. Unlike a conventional engine, it does this without burning the fuel and can therefore be more efficient and cleaner.
  • Who is Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/Advanced Power Technology Office (APTO)?
    • The Air Force Research Laboratory is a global technical enterprise whose mission is leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for the Air Force’s air, space and cyberspace force. The Advanced Power State of Hawaii located at the National Demonstration Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. AFRL facilitates the demonstration and validation of the latest fuel-efficient and environmentally-compliant technologies for use in Air Force ground vehicle fleets, support equipment, base infrastructure, and basic expeditionary airfield resources.
  • What are the National Demonstration Centers?
    • The Air Force Energy and Security Integration and Demonstration Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) was established in 2015, a development of and compliment to the National Demonstration Center for Alternative Fuel Vehicles at JBPHH (established in 2001).  Both Demonstration centers were established as a partnership between the Air Force and the State of Hawaii to facilitate the demonstration, validation and potential for integration of the latest fuel efficient and environmentally compliant technologies for use in the Air Force.
  • Where can I learn more?

Digital Currency Innovation Lab FAQs (Companies)

  • Why was the Digital Currency Innovation Lab created?
    • The Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) determined that based on its current statutory language, a person is engaged in providing money transmission* if the person provides those services to persons in the State, even if the person has no physical presence in the State. DFI wanted to address the concerns individuals and companies raised in not being able to meet the statutory requirements in the money transmitter law.
    • In addition to addressing these concerns, the Digital Currency Innovation Lab is expected to:
      1. Create economic opportunities for Hawaii through early adoption of digital currency
      2. Offer consumer protection by providing guidance to issuers of digital currency
      3. Provide data to shape legislation supporting digital currency
    • *Money transmission refers to the engagement in the business of (1) selling or issuing payment instruments or (2) receiving money or monetary value for transmission to a location within the United States by any and all means, including wire, facsimile, or electronic transfer.
  • Who is DFI?
    • DFI stands for the Division of Financial Institutions and is situated within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). DFI ensures the safety and soundness of state-chartered and state-licensed financial institutions, and ensures regulatory compliance by state-licensed financial institutions, escrow depositories, money transmitters, mortgage servicers, mortgage loan originators and mortgage loan originator companies, by fairly administering applicable statutes and rules, in order to protect the rights and funds of depositors, borrowers, consumers and other members of the public. For more information, visit http://cca.hawaii.gov/dfi/
  • Why is HTDC and DFI partnering to launch the Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • DFI is the authority on compliance and regulation of financial institutions in the State. DFI licenses, supervises, and examine money transmitter companies.  Leveraging its expertise and combining it together with HTDC’s proficiency in technological developments and our mission to drive technology-based economic development, this partnership lays the foundation for an appropriate evaluation of digital currency deployment in the State.
  • As a digital currency issuer, what can I do in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • Digital currency companies admitted into the program can conduct digital currency transactions without enforcement action for what DFI would consider unlicensed activity under HRS Chapter 489D. However, the participant is still subject to other federal and state laws (see question on “exemption” for details).
  • What are the terms and conditions for companies to participate?
    • Through the issuance of a “no action” message”, DFI is not taking any enforcement action against these companies, which need a money transmitter license to operate under the current statutory scheme. For the duration of the DCIL, DFI will allow the digital currency companies admitted into the program to conduct business in Hawaii without first obtaining a state money transmitter license.
      The companies will be required to comply with other sections of the money transmitter laws related to financial condition, consumer protection and post appropriate disclosures about the duration of the DCIL. Other state and federal laws may apply.
  • Was any statutory authority needed to launch this Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • No. DFI is using its regulatory authority to provide an innovative way for digital currency transactions to take place. In turn, it will evaluate the best way to supervise this type of activity and determine if this type of activity should be supervised by DFI.  DFI will evaluate digital currency companies to determine the type of supervision and examination as appropriate.
  • What type of company can participate in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • Any company looking to engage in digital currency transactions in Hawaii can apply. Participation is determined through an evaluation process by DFI.
  • How and when can our company apply to participate?
    • The application period closed on May 1, 2020. Only companies named will be allowed to participate, unless the DCIL application process re-opens.
  • Does our company have to be a Hawaii business to participate?
    • No. The company must be registered to do business in the State with the Business Registration, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
  • Is there a limit to the number of customers our company can service in the duration of our participation?
    • No. There is no limit.
  • Is there a limit to the amount of digital currency transactions (in value) during the participation period?
    • No. There is no limit.  However, companies should anticipate that the pilot program is two years and plan for a wind down of the activity if legislation is not in place.
  • How long is the participation period in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • The DCIL ends June 30, 2022.
  • Can our company withdraw from the program before the two-year period?
    • Yes, a company may withdraw from the program with notification to DFI.  The withdrawal should include a plan for the winddown of the company’s activity with consumers.
  • If our company is applying to or admitted into the Digital Currency Innovation Lab, will DFI or HTDC provide me with legal advice?
    • No. DFI and HTDC cannot provide legal advice and does not represent individuals or businesses applying to or admitted to the Digital Currency Innovation Lab. Legal advice should be sought from a private attorney who understands this industry.
  • Is my company exempt from complying with all state and federal laws?
    • No. Although DFI has issued a “no action message” to take no action against companies conducting what DFI would consider unlicensed activity, other state and federal laws may apply. In addition, a company remains subject to all criminal and consumer protection laws, including the Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits deceptive practices. Hawaii state business license and tax laws will apply as well. Companies considering participation in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab should consult with an attorney to ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws.
    • See FinCEN guidance for more information: FIN-2019-G001.
  • Does my company need to provide a bond or minimum net worth to be admitted into the program?
    • Yes. A participating company admitted must have a net worth of no less than USD1,000 at all times. During the application process, the company must also demonstrate that consumers will be protected for the duration of the program. Factors such as the standing of your company (general and financial), AML/OFAC policy etc. will be taken into consideration to determine acceptance. Participants must also agree to cooperate with DFI in determining the necessary level of supervision and examination during the program.
  • How will DFI monitor the activity in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • Participants will be required to provide updates based on specifications laid out by DFI. A report which includes the following items must be submitted following the timeline stipulated by DFI:
      1. The number of transactions ending October 31, 2020
      2. The amount or value of transactions ending October 31, 2020
      3. The number of complaints received
      4. Any regulatory enforcement orders or pending regulatory enforcement orders
  • Our application got denied, can we re-apply?
    • You can re-apply if we have an upcoming round of admissions. Note that neither DFI nor HTDC will provide a reason for the rejection of your company’s application. Please note that the $500 application fee will not be refunded.
  • What happens after the two-year period?
    • Once the two-year period ends, participants must conclude all digital currency transactions unless explicit approval has been granted. Per the participation agreement, companies must also execute on the wind-down plan and exit strategy. DFI will determine the appropriate licensing for the company to continue operations, if applicable.
  • Who should I contact if I have a question about participation in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • You can send us an email at fintech@htdc.org

Digital Currency Innovation Lab FAQs (Public)

  • How am I protected as a consumer participating in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab?
    • DFI takes multiple steps to ensure the protection of consumers:
    • a) To ensure that a company is eligible to participate, DFI requires that the company submit an application to demonstrate that it has the necessary capital, personnel, financial and technical expertise to provide its services.
    • b) Upon admittance into the program, the company must provide DFI with the necessary data following DFI’s stipulated timeline. This data will allow DFI to monitor the activities ongoing in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab.
    • c) On its public-facing platform, the company must also provide written disclosures on the value fluctuations of digital currencies.
    • However, customers are encouraged to exercise discretion and caution in digital currency transactions as there will be associated risks. Neither HTDC nor DFI will be liable for any losses incurred with the consumer’s participation in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab.
  • What are digital currencies?
    • As per the definition of the Internal Revenue Service:
    • Digital currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and/or a store of value. In some environments, it operates like “real” currency (i.e., the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country that is designated as legal tender, circulates, and is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance), but it does not have legal tender status in the U.S. Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that utilizes cryptography to secure transactions that are digitally recorded on a distributed ledger, such as a blockchain, DAG, or Tempo.
    • Digital currency that has an equivalent value in real currency, or that acts as a substitute for real currency, is referred to as “convertible” digital currency. Bitcoin, Ether, Roblox, and V-bucks are a few examples of a convertible digital currency. Digital currencies can be digitally traded between users and can be purchased for, or exchanged into, U.S. dollars, Euros, and other real or digital currencies.
  • I want to buy digital currency. Can I use any digital currency company?
    • The DCIL is a two-year program to evaluate whether the digital currency industry should be licensed or not.  The Participating Companies are allowed to conduct digital currency transactions with their customers.  See the link to the DCIL 2020 and 2021 participants  and the Program description on DFI’s webpage
  • How can I purchase digital currencies?
    • You will need to check with the companies operating in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab for program requirements.
  • Is there a limit to the amount of digital currency I can transact per day?
    • Each company may have limits to the amount or number of transactions or other restrictions.  Please review the company’s requirements before you engage in this activity.
  • Are all digital currencies accepted in this program?
    • The Digital Currency Innovation Lab will accept the various digital currencies issued by the participating companies
  • What happens at the end of the Program (June 30, 2022)? Will customers of the Participating Companies have to sell all their digital currency before or after the Program closes?
    • The DCIL is a two-year program with activities scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2022 (“activity end date”).  Participating Companies will have until December 31, 2022, to disengage customers, return funds, close accounts and cease operating (“closure date”).  Accordingly, yes customers will need to withdraw their funds in accordance with the Participating Company’s disengagement and closure schedule.
  • Can customers make more deposits and withdrawals with the Participating Company once the Program closes?
    • No, after the Program’s activity end date, customers may not make additional deposit transactions.  Customers may only make withdrawals to close the account in accordance with the Participating Company’s disengagement and closure schedule.
  • After the Program is closed, can customers keep the digital currency that was purchased during the Program, then withdraw the digital currency at any later time?
    • No, accounts must be closed at the end of the Program in accordance with the Participating Company’s disengagement and closure schedule.
  • Will the Program be extended after 2022?
    • No extensions to the Program are scheduled.  The Participating Companies will need to cease activities by the activity end date, and cease operating in Hawaii by the closure date.
  • Will the Participating Companies ever be allowed to operate permanently in Hawaii, so that Hawaii customers can continue to purchase digital currencies?
    • This depends on whether the State legislature passes law to enable reasonable licensing of this industry or exempt it from licensing.

Internship FAQs

  • Who is eligible for an HTDC internship?
    • Students from any college or university campus is eligible for internships during the school semester as well as during summer and winter breaks. Both graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to apply. We want smart, motivated, disciplined students regardless of their degree program.
  • How do I apply for an HTDC internship?
    • Students interested in an internship should submit a cover letter and resume to internship@htdc.org.