Social Impact Incubator Program strengthens Hawaii’s community of entrepreneurs
The Hub Coworking Hawai’i (The Hub) and Teach For America Hawaiʻi (TFA Hawaiʻi) are partnering on the Social Impact Incubator Program (SIIP), a program that aims to develop the whole entrepreneur for a sustainable Hawai’i. SIIP is a five-month cohort-based experience where participants will build strong relationships within The Hub’s network. Entrepreneurs will delve into proven technical skill sets developed and utilized by successful local businesses, access seed funding, and engage in meaningful one-to-one mentorships for individualized support.
“This program is something we have wanted to do for quite some time and we are excited to do it in partnership with such an incredible organization like TFA Hawaiʻi. SIIP addresses several needs in our current innovation ecosystem, including providing venture development support for altruistic social entrepreneurs who are beyond the design phase, but not quite ready for significant outside investment,” said George Yarbrough, cofounder of The Hub. “It also focuses on the growth of the ‘whole’ entrepreneur and enhancing their ‘social-emotional’ skills in order to create a stronger network of entrepreneurs and thus a secure and more resilient local ecosystem.”
Target applicants for the program are early-stage entrepreneurs, based in Hawai’i with the commitment to sustaining their ventures within the islands. Each venture in the cohort has the opportunity to receive up to $8,000 in funding for their business through a Village Capital approach. The Hub and TFA Hawaiʻi aim to assist purpose-driven ventures with focuses in the fields of education and sustainability, aimed at solving social impact issues and environmental challenges. The Hub has partnered with TFA Hawaiʻi to incorporate educators into the program. When the program application launched, The Hub and TFA Hawaiʻi received over 17 applications. Due to interest, a second cohort is expected to be created in the summer of 2021.
Entrepreneurs in the SIIP attend virtual workshops, complete projects, and participate in exercises that will refine essential skills for becoming an impactful entrepreneur in any setting as well as honing in on their personal and business North Stars.
The Spring 2021 cohort has eight modules that began on February 16 and recur every other week. In between the virtual modules the cohort members meet with their assigned mentors. Mentors within the program include Kapā Olivera, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; Matt Miller, an O’ahu-based technology services executive and board member of Hawaii Public Radio and Lanakila Pacific; Annie Schneider, CEO and Founder of Startup Major; Mark Watkins, founder of Bookship and multi-exit entrepreneur; Gabe Amey, founder and President of Hawaiʻi VA Loans, Keoni Lee, CEO of Hawai’i Investment Ready; Anne Weber Yarbrough, a community and program builder working with Hawai’i Energy; and Nam Vu, cofounder of The Hub.
To learn more about the SIIP Program, visit siiphawaii.com.
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