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DBEDT NEWS RELEASE: Hawaii incubator, manufacturing companies contributed $620 million to Hawaii’s economy, HTDC annual survey finds

Posted on Mar 30, 2017 in Latest Department News

State Gained $27.1 Million in Taxes in 2016

HONOLULU — The state received $27.1 million in taxes generated by 150 companies that responded to the 2016 High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) Client Annual Economic Survey. Hawaii’s economy also benefited from an estimated total economic impact of $619.6 million, based on a multiplier that includes direct revenue, spending by the company, and employees’ spending.

“As we continue to grow our innovation economy, this survey shows the importance of our local tech and manufacturing industry,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “Our overall growth strategy includes building a robust infrastructure to support this area, while we work on building more public-private partnerships.”

“The results of our survey demonstrate the growth of Hawaii’s tech and manufacturing companies, and the exponential impact they have on our local economy,” said Robbie Melton, HTDC executive director and CEO. “HTDC’s role in providing incubation spaces, mentorship, support staff, and other resources allows companies to focus on developing their products and reaching their next growth level. Technology and innovation businesses can flourish here in the islands and HTDC is doing all we can to nurture them.”

Nearly 80 percent of the 193 client companies responded to the survey. The 150 companies that responded, which included incubator tenants and graduates, grant recipients, and Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative program clients, had an estimated $388.8 million in total revenue, generated $156.2 in income, and provided 2,687 local jobs. The annual survey also demonstrated HTDC’s progress in its 80/80 Initiative, which aims to increase the number of high paying tech and innovation jobs in Hawaii.

HTDC also manages a Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) matching grant program, which enables Hawaii companies get their products to market faster. By providing competitive grant and contract award opportunities, the federal SBIR program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in research & development with the potential for commercialization.

Thirty-seven companies receiving SBIR funds reported:

Total economic impact        $89.5 million

Estimated total revenue      $33.9 million

State taxes generated         $5.9 million

Local employees                  372

“HTDC workshops have been very helpful in expanding our network and knowledge in the innovation sector of Hawaii’s economy. Additionally, the HSBIR program has been and continues to be instrumental in helping us offset the high cost of R&D in bringing the first prototype to the users,” said Isar Mostafanezhad, founder and CEO of Nalu Scientific, LLC, which develops high-end sensors and systems.

HTDC supports Hawaii’s manufacturing industry through the Manufacturing Assistance Program (MAP), providing reimbursements for qualified expenses including equipment purchases, employee training, and costs related to improving facilities and processes.

Forty-two MAP grant recipients reported:

Total economic impact        $515 million

Estimated total revenue      $121 million

State taxes generated         $20.8 million

Local employees                  1,984

“HTDC funding allowed us to grow our production through facility improvements and equipment purchases that made a significant impact not only to our productivity, but also to our employee’s safety and morale,” said Marie Marcos, production manager of Honolulu Cookie Company.

The impact of neighbor island innovation companies was also reflected in the survey. Ten companies participating the Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative (NI3), HTDC’s newest program, reported a total economic impact of $6.1 million, total revenue of $1.3 million, and 57 local jobs.

About HTDC (High Technology Development Corporation)

HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).  HTDC’s mission is to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s high technology industry.  HTDC is providing the capital, building the infrastructure and developing the talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. HTDC’s 80/80 Initiative is to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs that will provide high paying jobs for Hawaii residents.

ABOUT DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

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Media Contacts: 

Robbie Melton
High Technology Development Corporation
Office: (808) 539-3615
Email: [email protected]

Christine Hirasa 
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Email: [email protected]

Jocelyn Collado or Susan Wright
Becker Communications, Inc.
Phone: (808) 533-4165
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]