HTDC’s programs are focused on building the next generation technology, innovation and manufacturing industries. HTDC offers startups a variety of opportunities to ramp up quickly through its facilities, funding and mentoring. Programs help companies at all stages, overcome challenges and equip companies to create sustainable and globally competitive businesses.


HTDC programs are helping to meet the 80/80 Initiative goal to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs earning $80,000 or more in Hawaii by 2030. Our programs serve all facets of the tech and innovation sectors through developing places where people come together to create, providing funding and mentoring for the most promising companies and helping employers gain access to Hawaii’s brightest talent.

HTDC Facilities and CoWork

HTDC offers a variety of services to help grow a company from startup to beyond product launch.


Our facilities offer low cost office and co-working space. HTDC offers mentoring, educational programs and access to resources to grow your business. Dozens of clients have successfully graduated from incubation and moved into spaces of their own. HTDC has facilities in both downtown Honolulu (Entrepeneurs Sandbox) and in Kihei, Maui (Maui Research and Technology Center).

Entrepreneurs Sandbox

The Entrepreneurs Sandbox is a community center for innovation. Open to all ages, people will be able to learn how to bring their ideas into reality. The Sandbox will house limited private office space opportunities, a cowork space, digital media studio and production facility. The Sandbox is currently accepting applications for the office space waitlist.


The Entrepreneurs Sandbox is a community center for innovators of all ages. It encourages creativity, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. The facility is approximately 13,500 square feet and features a collaboration and event area ideal for town hall meetings and community gatherings, digital media studio, coworking space, meeting rooms, and a few small offices. It will host a variety of educational programs and activities for all ages. Entrepreneurs Sandbox is located at 643 Ilalo Street, Honolulu HI 96813.

Visit the Entrepreneurs Sandbox official website for details & rates on co-work membership, event space and conference room rentals.

Applications for the Sandbox office space waitlist available HERE.


Tech/innovation, startups and companies (Service Providers) that can offer support to clients of the Sandbox.

Nine (9) offices, 200sqft est. each
Companies selected may only rent one (1) office.

Qualified Startup – Starting at $800/month
Qualified Service Providers – Starting at $1,100/month
Market Rate – $1,500/month

a) 24 hour access to office
b) *Furnished Office – (three desks, three chairs)
c) *Eight (8) hours of conference room time per month (in any of the 3 conference rooms). Hours exceed to be charged an hourly fee at the Member rate.
d) Internet access
e) Weekday cleaning service
f) Access to 2nd floor breakroom and kitchen
g) Use event space (collaboration and cowork area) – to be provided at a Member rate
i) General hours of operation for Sandbox: M-F 8am-4:30pm w/ on-site support
j) A/C hours will be aligned with general hours of operation.

k) General mail service
l)  Parking can be made available for a monthly fee with the Sandbox Mgt Office.

Offerings may be subject to change.

The Making of Entrepreneurs Sandbox – Construction Time-Lapse Video – May ~ Jul 2018

Entrepreneurs Sandbox Ground Breaking Ceremony

The Making of Entrepreneurs Sandbox



INNOVATE Hawaii is the state’s NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network Center, which supports small and medium-sized manufacturers to enhance their productivity, growth, and technical performance through programs and services across the islands.


INNOVATE Hawaii assists manufacturers looking to improve their business and are willing to invest time and resources to grow their company. INNOVATE Hawaii builds the strength and competitiveness of Hawaii manufacturers through an array of programs and services, including coaching and training, consulting, collaboration-focused industry programs, and grant opportunities.

The team includes experienced business professionals with skills in manufacturing systems and methods, strategic planning and implementation, business development, process analysis, and technology commercialization. Technical assistance, training, and consulting services to manufacturers are available to program participants. INNOVATE Hawaii administers the Manufacturing Assistance Program Grant (MAP) and the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Grant (HSBIR).

INNOVATE Hawaii is a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP). The MEP National Network™ is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing. INNOVATE Hawaii is the official representative of the MEP National Network in the State of Hawaii.


INNOVATE Hawaii offers a FREE one-hour consultation on the first and third Tuesdays of every month! Email to reserve your spot.

Automation Assistance

Examples of services

  • growth planning
  • cost control and reduction
  • technology deployment
  • skill development
  • quality system analysis
  • process analysis and improvement
  • facility design and layout
  • world-class manufacturing initiatives
  • Export assistance

Funding to support R&D and Manufacturing

INNOVATE Hawaii administers HTDC's grant programs.

The Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research grant (HSBIR) provides matching grants to help companies further the development of new products to solve critical issues. The Manufacturing Assistance Program (MAP) offers Hawaii-based manufacturers up to a 20% reimbursement (up to $100,000) on qualified expenses for expansion or becoming energy efficient. Click on the buttons below to learn more

INNOVATE Hawaii seeks Business Consultants

INNOVATE Hawaii seeks applications for various business consulting services needed to support INNOVATE Hawaii's program throughout FY2020-2021. Applications will be accepted July 29, 2019 - June 30, 2021. Click here for more details and to download an application.

Creating a thriving Hawaii through collaboration and the sharing of technology solutions.


TRUE is an initiative of the Hawaii Executive Collaborative, supporting the CHANGE Framework and Movement.

Driven by a partnership between the private, public sectors and the State of Hawaii, TRUE aims to tech-enable organizations through collaboration and sharing of tech solutions to common business challenges.

Many organizations in Hawaii, from large enterprises to small-medium businesses, are slow to adopt new technologies. However, we create more opportunities to grow the tech economy and workforce by being proactive in incorporating the use of technology in our organizations. A 2017 report from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)  found that tech-enabled jobs earn over 40% more than non-tech-enabled jobs.

Through the TRUE Initiative, we believe that as we increase the local demand for more tech talent, we can create jobs and opportunities with higher wage-earning capacity, and simultaneously, reverse the brain drain from Hawaii. In turn, with the efficiencies derived from technology enablement, our organizations can then devote resources to innovation.

Join us to tech-enable Hawaii, grow our innovation economy and keep our talent
to help Hawaii thrive.

Learn how you can be part of the TRUE Initiative

Digital Currency Innovation Lab

The Digital Currency Innovation Lab is a test bed for innovation in the digital currency space.


The Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) is a pilot program by the State of Hawaii. The program allows digital currency issuers to do business in Hawaii without obtaining a state money transmitter license.

In partnership with the Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions (DFI), this program is expected to:

* Create economic opportunities for Hawaii through early adoption of digital currency
* Offer consumer protection by providing guidance to issuers of digital currency
* Provide data to shape legislation supporting digital currency

The Digital Currency Innovation Lab will position Hawaii at the forefront of financial technology innovation and spur technology-based economic development in the State.

A Snapshot of Digital Currency Activity
(Customers in Hawaii; Period Ending October 31, 2020)

Visual displaying DCIL Participant Data

*No. of Complaints – 1



Cohort 2 (*NEW!*)


Upon acceptance into the program, the participating company will be given a specific duration to engage in digital currency transactions. DFI has issued a “no action message” – stating that “no action” will be taken against companies conducting what DFI would consider unlicensed money transmission activity, if they have been successfully admitted into the program. DFI will monitor all digital currency transactions taking place in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab. [Press Release]

Participating companies are expected to adhere to the terms and conditions of the Digital Currency Innovation Lab. For the terms and conditions, read our FAQs for Companies.


Prior to applying online, the applicant should:

* Review a sample copy of the application form

* Review the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

To enable the review of the application, the company would have to pay a fee of $1,500:
– Application fee: $500
– Participation fee (Term 2*): $1,000
* Term 2 – July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 

An email with the link to the payment portal will be sent 1-2 working days to the email address on file for the payment to be made.

Please note that the application fee is non-refundable and will not be refunded should the Applicant:

* Be rejected from admission into the program; or

* Upon successful admission, withdraw from participating in the program at any time.

In the event that the company is deemed unsuitable to enter the DCIL however, a refund of $1,000 for the participation fee will be made.

Cohort 1

The first round of applications started from March 17 to May 1, 2020. We received submissions from 19 companies. ( Press Release )

Following a comprehensive review, 12 companies who fulfilled the conditions of the program were selected to join the DCIL. The program officially started on August 19, 2020 and will be in effect until December 31, 2022.
Press Release )

DCIL Reporting Guide Visual
Participants are responsible for ensuring that information requested for each reporting period is submitted on time. A reminder with the reporting template will be sent via email to company representatives from the Division of Financial Institutions.

Quarter ending March 31 >> Report due April 15, 2021

Quarter ending June 30 >> Report due July 15, 2021

Quarter ending September 30 >> Report due October 15, 2021

Quarter ending December 31 >> Report due January 15, 2022



Please note:
As of January 13, 2020 – Robinhood is no longer a participant of the Digital Currency Innovation Lab.

Apex Crypto LogoChicago-based Apex Crypto offers consumers the opportunity to purchase, store, and sell virtual currencies through partnerships with the registered broker-dealers that clear securities trades using the Company’s affiliated entity Apex Clearing Corporation. Digital currencies currently supported include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Service Ready | Visit Website
BitFlyer LogobitFlyer USA - bitFlyer is Japan's largest digital currency exchange with $1b+ in daily trading volume, and the only exchange licensed in the US, Europe, and Japan. Founded in 2014, it provides retail and institutional investors secure custodial wallet services for both legal tender and digital currency to facilitate trading activity. In 2017, bitFlyer expanded to the US and is now available in 48 states and territories. bitFlyer USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of bitFlyer Holdings, Inc. (based in Tokyo, Japan) and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Service Ready | Visit Website
Blockfi Trading LogoBlockFi offers financial products that enable cryptocurrency holders to put their crypto to work. The company services customers worldwide, including 47 U.S. states, with interest-earning accounts and low-cost USD loans backed by crypto. BlockFi is backed by leading institutional investors and operates with a focus on compliance with US laws and regulations.

Service Ready | Visit Website
CEX.IO logoCEX.IO is a marketplace for customers who want to instantly buy/sell cryptocurrencies, trade crypto assets, or exchange them for fiat currency. The company was founded in London in 2013 and established a dedicated US office in 2019, and now offers services from customers in 47 US states and 220 countries worldwide. Customer's may fund their account using instant ACH, credit cards or wire deposits and can receive the crypto of their choosing in their wallet within 90 seconds. CEX.IO provides a rich variety of innovative trading tools for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and other assets through its fully functional mobile app or online platform.

Service Ready | Visit Website
Cloud Nalu LogoCloud Nalu is a Hawaii-based technology solutions company that provides companies with blockchain development and integration services. These services include:
• Setup of crypto currency wallets, point of sale integrations, & custody services
• Development of smart-contracts, applications, and distributed ledger integrations
• Setup of mining equipment and asset tracking systems
• Providing a medium of exchange for businesses to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency and fiat money (2021)

Brokerage Service Target: February 2021 | Visit Website
Coinme logoCoinme is a blockchain financial services company dedicated to helping the world gain access to virtual currencies. The company provides services that give customers a safe and easy way to join the world of virtual currencies, including (i) the world's largest network of bitcoin kiosks where a user can purchase bitcoin with cash and (ii) a custodial digital wallet, where a user can safely store their virtual currencies.

Service Ready | Visit Website
ErisX logoHeadquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Eris Clearing operates an online-based cryptocurrency exchange platform through which customers may engage in transactions to purchase or sell certain cryptocurrencies (including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and such other cryptocurrencies as permitted by Eris Clearing from time to time) in exchange for fiat currency or another permitted cryptocurrency.

Service Ready | Visit Website
Flexa NetworkNew York-based Flexa operates a merchant payment network. Its suite of products provides consumers with the opportunity to make instant payments in stores and online using a variety of digital assets (such as digital dollars, tokens, and cryptocurrencies) and provides merchants with the ability to receive settlement in either digital assets or US dollars directly.

Service Ready | Visit Website
Gemini Trust logoGemini Exchange, LLC is an institutional-grade, regulated digital asset exchange and custodian. Through Gemini's online platform, customers may buy, sell, and store digital assets in a regulated, secure, and compliant manner. Founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini is a New York-based trust company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. It also created the Gemini Dollar ("GUSD"), the world's first regulated stablecoin, which is strictly pegged at a 1:1 ratio to the U.S. dollar.

Service Ready | Visit Website
Novi Financial logoNovi Financial, Inc. (“Novi”) is changing the way money moves. Novi intends to offer a new digital wallet service for the diem payment system. Novi is from Facebook, so you’ll be able to access it from your favorite apps.

Novi’s motto is: “A connected wallet for a connected world.”

Service TBD | Visit Website
River Financial logoRiver Financial is a challenger financial institution specializing in Bitcoin financial services. River Financial's flagship product, a Bitcoin brokerage, provides sophisticated retail investors with a high-touch platform to buy and sell Bitcoin. Founded in early 2019 by Alexander Leishman and Andrew Benson, River's brokerage product provides its clients with best-in-class security, a world-class client service experience, and investment performance tools such as cost basis tracking.

Service Ready | Visit Website



Contact us at

For FAQs pertaining to Participating Companies, click here.

For FAQs pertaining to Participants from the Public, click here.


1. No acceptance of application shall be perceived as, or constitute any endorsement of an applicant. No denial shall be perceived as, nor constitute any repudiation of an applicant. Applications which have potentially predatory, unfair, or deceptive features, pose undue risks to consumers, or institutions, or are inconsistent with the policies of this program, will not be permitted into the program. HTDC does not approve, endorse, nor prioritize any particular applicant within this program.

2. Application approval is at HTDC’s discretion. Applicants do not have any rights or privileges. HTDC has the full discretion to accept or reject applications and there is no right to due process in this program. There is no contested case or appeals process, and no contractual rights or contractual remedies.

3. HTDC has the authority to suspend, revoke, and/or terminate any application or participation in the program on any, or even no, basis. No explanation is required. HTDC is not subject to any prior precedent, reliance, or guarantee.

4. Data, Privacy, Confidentiality and Limitation of Liability. This application form is provided for government-authorized use only. Unauthorized or improper use of the system the application form resides on may result in civil and criminal penalties. By submitting this application form, the PARTICIPANT understands and consents to the following:

A) The PARTICIPANT has no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communications or data transiting or stored on this information system; and is hereby notified that any information provided could become publicly available data.

B) HTDC is a government entity and subject to applicable Freedom of Information Act and Uniform Information Practices Act provisions. Therefore, it might be required to disclose documents if requested; and it may disclose information to other government agencies, as provided by law. However, any documents or data made or received by any member or employee of the corporation shall not be a public record to the extent that the material or data: (1) Consists of trade secrets; (2) Consists of commercial or financial information regarding the operation of any business conducted by the applicant for, or recipient of, any form of assistance HTDC is empowered to render; or (3) Relates to the competitive position of that applicant in a particular field of endeavor.

C) Limitation on Liability. Chapters 661, HRS, or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, the PARTICIPANT does not have any obligation, debt, claim, cause of action, claim for relief, charge, or any liability of any kind whatsoever in favor or any person or entity, against the State, HTDC, its board members, or its officers or employees, without regard to whether that person or entity receives any benefits under this chapter. The State, HTDC, and its officers and employees shall not be liable for the results of any investment, purchase of securities, loan, transaction or other assistance provided pursuant to HTDC’s actions.

Maui Research & Technology Center

Cohana is a new co-working space in MRTC that provides high speed internet which draws entrepreneurs from all over the island. The Maui Research &  Technology Center (MRTC) is a technology-based business incubator and facility for advanced tech companies. MRTC has large conference room space available for community meetings and events such as Startup Weekend Maui.

MRTC Application Process

To apply for MRTC Cohana:

Admission to the Cohana coworking space at the or Maui Research & Technology Center is open to entrepreneurs, startup companies and techies looking for a place with high speed internet access and community. The Cohana offers a variety of coworking space options to meet your needs. Please fill out the CoHana Application if interested.

For more information about Cohana please visit:  |  Any question please email:

To apply to be an MRTC tenant, potential clients must:

  • Have a personal interview with the Innovation Manager and if approved, make a presentation to HTDC’s review committee
  • Submit the completed and signed application form along with its business plan and financials (balance sheets, profit & loss statement, including pro forma statement) for review

Maui Research & Technology Center is located at
590 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei, HI 96753


Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative (NI3)

The Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative (NI3) is designed to provide technical and business assistance to small and early-stage companies on the neighbor islands engaged in technology based products or services. Assistance to companies is provided through HTDC’s local NI3 representatives. The goal is to move the company to the next growth stage.


NI3 provides business mentoring to startup and small companies to achieve its next growth level.  The advantage of this program is that the assistance is provided at no-cost to the company. Mentors on Kauai Island and Hawaii Island meet when and where it is convenient for the company.  NI3 helps eliminate the challenge of access to resources because of their location. Distance on neighbor islands can be challenging for companies to get access to resources and this program helps to eliminate that challenge.


Company criteria for NI3 assistance

  • Companies must be involved in developing new technologies or utilizing technology as a core of their business
  • Companies must have fewer than 16 employees
  • Annual revenue less than $1M
  • Age of company not a factor
  • Company must be registered in the state

Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative (NI3)

Hawaii Island Mentor

Tom Leonard |

Kauai Mentor

Warren Doi |