New tech opportunities in a Hawai‘i 2.0 futurePosted on Dec 30, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Galvanizing the local creative industry – During the pandemic with people hunkered down at home, demand for online entertainment skyrocketed. Hawai‘i became one of the safest spots in the world to film. DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division and the Hawai‘i Film Office worked with unions and producers to create “The Safe Way Forward,” a plan with strict COVID protocols to resume filming in the state during the pandemic. New island-based TV series like “NCIS: Hawai‘i” and “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.” debuted, and local musicians and other artists turned to digital platforms to reach their audiences.
From startup to product launch – The Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) secured federal grants totaling over $1 million to help local businesses survive the pandemic through digital marketing. HTDC’s e-commerce program provided more than 200 companies and entrepreneurs with training and hosted more than 50 virtual events. In 2022, the agency is scheduled to launch a $56 million State Small Business Credit Initiative to provide access to capital for small businesses. HTDC’s INNOVATE Hawai‘i increased local manufacturing capacity for producing cleaning supplies and PPE. Free consultations are available every month for companies interested in growing their businesses. After a two-year hiatus, HTDC will also hold its next Virtual Tech Job Fair Jan. 21 for both job-seekers and companies looking for talent. The Entrepreneurs Sandbox, an innovation hub, offers free online classes for Hawai‘i residents, digital workshops with private sector partner TRUE, and launched ID8 studios as a production site for ad agencies, fashion designers, musicians and film companies.