HiSTEP-IH Program

Hawaii companies are invited to apply for the HiSTEP-Innovate Hawaii
Internationalization to Japan: E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Assistance Program

This program is funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration


Are you a Hawaii-based company that is looking to sell your products to Japanese consumers
through e-commerce and digital marketing?

Then, this program could be for YOU!

If selected, your company will be awarded a vendor engagement (a value of up to $10,000) to
expand your existing e-commerce website and enhance your digital marketing capabilities
to take on the Japanese market.



1. Be a manufacturer with products for direct-to-consumer (B2C) sales; manufacturers of food, fashion, and cosmetic products shall receive preference.
2. Must already have a well-functioning e-commerce platform (in English).
3. Be in business for at least (2) years.
4. Must be an export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or that has at least 51% U.S. content.
5. Must be in good standing with the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
6. Have a current general excise tax license with the State Department of Taxation.


If selected, the company agrees to:
1. Work with an e-commerce/digital marketing vendor selected by Innovate Hawaii.
2. Commit to project completion using grant funding before July 30, 2022.
3. Participate in Innovate Hawaii’s E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Internationalization Track**
4. Abide by other terms and conditions.

**E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Internationalization Track: Japan
This track is a 10-12 week virtual program with the purpose of helping the company to:
– Increase its knowledge about the Japanese consumer market
– Develop a product suited for Japanese consumers (new product development / product localization)
– Enhance its e-commerce and digital marketing capabilities to acquire Japanese customers
The program is expected to commence in late January / early February 2022 and will be held weekly via Zoom. Each weekly session will be 3 hours, consisting of lectures and in-class exercises. The participant fee is $600 for the program.


Deadline: December 3, 2021 (Friday), 5PM HST

There are (2) steps in the application process:

Step 1 – Complete the online application using the “Apply Now” button below

Documents required for the online application:
1. Certificate of Good Standing –
To purchase the Certificate of Good Standing, visit

Step 2 – Complete the HiStep Registration Form

Visit this link to complete the form: https://dbedtbdsd.tfaforms.net/41

Step 3 – Interview over Zoom

Upon the review of your application, you may be invited to an interview over Zoom for additional questions or clarifications.


For any questions regarding this assistance, please email nicole@htdc.org