ALOHA FROM JENNIE: Hawaii was ranked 8th among the ten most entrepreneurial states in 2012 by the Kauffman Foundation which annually surveys half a million people who start a business. Hawaii's startup rate in 2012 was 400 per 100,000 adults. This comes as no surprise as Hawaii inventors include Duke Kahanamoku who is credited with starting the sport of surfing, and Steve Case who founded America Online.
Projects and research in the areas of solar/wind, aquaponics, and biotech take advantage of our natural resources and environment. One of our seniors, Linda, enjoyed taking a class on home aquaponic systems which enables one to grow produce and raise fish in the backyard. Incredible medical strides are being made by Hawaii's own SKAI Ventures, as detailed on their website linked here: http://www.skaiventures.com.
The entrepreneurial spirit has been further elevated by reality shows such as 'Shark Tank' where inventors can pitch a product or concept to a panel of investors including billionaire Mark Cuban. If the inventor can 'make a deal' with one or more of the investors, they can gain the resources to make their business wildly successful.
Furthermore, projects can now be taken directly to the public for funding through a concept called 'crowd sourcing'. The pioneer for this platform was Kickstarter, which began in 2009 and has since funded over 135,000 projects. Entrepreneurs can post a video on the Kickstarter website, explaining their project idea. A target monetary goal must be reached in a limited period of time. Anyone in the world can donate to the project, and if it's successfully funded and completed, the donors may receive rewards or experiences, such as the product itself.
Fans of the cancelled 'Veronica Mars' television series were able to raise funds to complete a feature film with the original TV show actors. The Pebble smartwatch was funded on Kickstarter, well before today's AppleWatch. An idea for a state of the art ice cooler chest recently raised over $13 million. When manufactured, the cooler will have a built in blender, bluetooth speakers for blasting music, USB chargers for your devices, and features such as built in cutting boards and bottle openers.
Below are short videos spotlighting some genius ideas (fun factoid: the pizza box can be purchased for approximately $1 per unit, while the table can cost $50,000 to $70,000). We'll add more cool ideas and concepts as we come across them.