George Yarbrough 0

Support Impact Hub Honolulu Grant In Aid

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Dear Honorable Members of the Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee,

As you know the Impact Hub Honolulu has applied for a Grant In Aid (GIA) for the 2016 legislative session. This funding request is the final step in a three-year process that will create Impact Hub Honolulu in 2016, connecting Hawaii with 85 Impact Hubs around the world and 17,000 entrepreneurs. In recent months the community has come to asking repeatedly how they can voice their support for the GIA application. Hence, we have decided to write this letter and gather signatures from the community to show the community’s support for the GIA application.

During the operation of ProtoHUB Honolulu, our prototype space in Kaka’ako, we completed the year-long rigorous application to achieve Impact Hub status. With this license we have until November 2016 to officially open our doors at a new location as Impact Hub Honolulu. The model has been tested and proven (we had 165 members and 300 program in one year) both in terms of viability and community impact.

By operating ProtoHUB for one year, we cultivated the foundation to create Impact Hub Honolulu. We have partners and investors who will ensure we have the startup capital to build out our space to be worthy of earning respect as Hawaii’s premier innovation and entrepreneurial center. The final piece we need to make Impact Hub Honolulu a reality is this request: funding for one year of operations including rent, CAM, and/or utilities, as well as salaries for three (3) key staff. This will ensure that costs are covered as we ramp up operations over one year to self-sufficiency.

Governments across the nation and globe have realized the economical, social and community returns on their investments by supporting coworking spaces like Impact Hubs. Hence, governments across the US (Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona, DC, Santa Cruiz) and the world (Paris, Belgium, Israel) have invested in coworking spaces for the purpose of economic development. Many US funds are modeled after Massachusetts where entrepreneurs can apply for up to $2 million in matching grants for-profit and non-profit entities that will own, sponsor, or operate coworking spaces.

“These shared environments are hubs of economic activity, and are a very important part of our overall growth strategy.”

Greg Bialecki, Housing and Economic Development Secretary

Ninety seven percent (97%) of Impact Hubs are financially self-sustaining after two years of support. We have one year completed, so we simply require one more year of support to become self-sustaining and to serve as an economic development engine and important cornerstone of the innovation ecosystem for many years to come.

Supporters of the innovative and entrepreneur ecosystem of Hawaii believe that through its programming, numerous events aimed at educating and connecting entrepreneurs with collaborators and other networks, and affordable office and coworking spaces, the Impact Hub Honolulu is an example of how Hawaii can support businesses and innovators at all levels, especially in the early stages of growth.

We thank you for your continued support for the innovators and entrepreneurs of Hawaii.

Kind Regards,

The Impact Hub Honolulu Team and Community Supporters

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