Saturday | April 25, 2015
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Waimea Business Expo Friday at Kanu o ka ‘Aina

Startup company assistance offered

Blue Startups, the Hawaii-based technology accelerator with an Asia and Pacific focus, is accepting applications for a second cohort of startup companies. Founded by Henk Rogers of Blue Planet Software (sole agent of Tetris®), Blue Startups provides investment capital and mentorship to startup companies in Hawaii.

“Blue Startups’ first cohort has outperformed our expectations,” said Rogers. The first eight companies that have gone through the Blue Startups program have collectively attracted more than $3 million in investment capital. According to program alumni, the mentorship and support received at Blue Startups was critical in moving their business to the next level. “The mentorship was right on point and highly relevant to our company,” said Dave Kosuki, chief executive officer of Tow Choice.

Blue Startups is recruiting capital-efficient and scalable-technology companies, including Internet, software, mobile, gaming and e-commerce. The program accepts up to 10 companies for each cohort. The next application deadline is Wednesday.

Blue Startups is introducing an opportunity to the second cohort: “Henk’s Wild Card.” In addition to the regular program, entrepreneurs will be able to apply for the opportunity to develop Rogers’ next business idea.

Blue Startups has a network of more than 50 mentors who assist in accelerating the startup companies in the program. Blue Startups has funding from the State of Hawaii, Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation and private investors.

“Our island state is earning the brand of ‘Startup Paradise’ as the word spreads about the globally competitive nature of our entrepreneurs,” said Chenoa Farnsworth, Blue Startups managing director. Each participating company receives an up-front investment of $20,000 and access to more than $500,000 in services. Workspace for each founding team (up to three people) is provided at Blue Startups Honolulu offices. In exchange for the capital and in-kind services provided, Blue Startups takes an equity stake in each company.

Blue Startups is a technology accelerator founded by Henk Rogers, founder of Blue Planet Software (sole agent of Tetris®). Blue Startups concentrates on helping scalable-technology companies including Internet, software, mobile, gaming and e-commerce compete on a global scale. Part of the Global Accelerator Network, Blue Startups aims to become a nexus of entrepreneurial activity in Hawaii, and between Asia and Continental U.S. For more information, visit:

Blue Hawaiian copters upgraded

American Eurocopter has received a Supplemental Type Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration for installing the Garmin G500H “glass cockpit” multifunction electronic flight display system in the EC130 T2 helicopter.

Launch customer Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, the only helicopter tour company serving all four major Hawaiian Islands, has received the first two G500H equipped EC130 T2s, with more on order.

The new aircraft, the latest model in the Eurocopter single-engine product range, will supplement Blue Hawaiian’s existing fleet of EC130 B4 and AS350 helicopters.

The G500H system is available with optional components like Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System, including Synthetic Vision. With this capability pilots can monitor and adjust the radios, navigation, intercom and operating systems through touch screens. The Garmin system is a leap ahead in technology.

“The G500H is a revolutionary tool to improve situational awareness and significantly reduce our greatest risk. The cost/benefit of this system makes this choice a ‘no-brainer,’” said David Chevalier, chief executive of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. “The greatest risk factor faced by helicopter operations in Hawaii is inadvertent flight into IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) and subsequent CFIT (controlled flight into terrain). Garmin’s synthetic vision technology is a godsend. “

Blue Hawaiian was the launch customer for the EC130B4 in 2001. Since that time the company has logged more than 460,000 flight hours on its all-Eurocopter fleet.

Waimea Business Expo is on Friday

The inaugural Waimea Business Expo — themed “‘The Go-to Place For Our Business Community” — will be held Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kanu o ka ‘Aina, at 64-1043 Hi‘iaka St.

Workshops will include: entrepreneurship, business strategic planning, social media for business and top-20 business apps.

“The Waimea Business Expo provides a one-stop opportunity to learn how to build your business and find the services you need for success,” said spokesman Kahanu Noa. Admission is free, and the public is invited. Interested vendors may register for a booth by going to:

For more information, please call Jackie at 327-3680 or Kahanu at 890-2516.

A chance to sell goods at Walmart

Hawaii-based entrepreneurs have a chance to “Get on the Shelf” at Walmart in a national competition recently announced by the company.

“The competition was developed by @WalmartLabs, and gives entrepreneurs a chance to get noticed and sell their products on and, potentially, in select Walmart stores,” said a spokesman for the huge chain of stores.

Entrepreneurs, business owners and inventors can enter through Wednesday by submitting a video featuring their product at


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