Hawaii’s Blue Startup is an Accelerator in Paradise

Startups have a new way to build their business and hang ten. Among the islands of Hawaii, accelerator Blue Startup, located in Honolulu, started in 2013 by Henk Rogers, Maya Rogers and Chenoa Farnsworth to boost the state’s tech ecosystem and diversify the economy. Since their inception, they have invested in 62 companies.

Blue Startups mainly attracts web, software, and mobile startups that focus on travel technology, gaming and B2B solutions.

“It’s on us to show the world that we can create that quality, competitive company here. We have to create enough companies [in Hawaii] that a VC will see a pattern or trend,” said Farnsworth in a Blue Startup blog post.

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The Program

Startups that join the program need one of the founders needs to reside in Honolulu for 13 weeks (not a bad thing) followed by 1 week in Silicon Valley. The accelerator is a member of the GAN that give them access to perks including over $1M worth of free services, a network of investors and companies to connect startups. The accelerator invests $25,000 upfront into each team accepted into the program, $25,000 note based on milestones, and up to $50,000 in follow up funding. If the startup is viable, the founder could expect more interest from outside and Hawaiian venture funds.

To date they have graduated eight cohorts with the ninth one currently in session. Check out the startups in the cohort below:


Kallfly is a Virtual Contact Centre which provides on demand experts for Customer Support, Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Appointment Setting, Virtual Assistance to Small and Medium Businesses.


LIVEO is a private live streaming app for close friends. LIVEO allows you to stream to only the people that you choose to invite. There are features such as friend grouping, recently shared groups, and stream requests.

Surf Shop Box

Surf Shop Box is the first subscription box company that delivers curated, premium surf apparel directly to it’s members doorsteps every month for $49 — keeping members stoked in style, all year long while providing top surf brands with an outlet to connect with their target audience and move inventory in the process.


Tripidee is a travel sharing tool. It allows travelers and travel industry professionals to easily gather, plan, and share trip information.


Valence democratizes integration on the Salesforce platform, empowering data admins to intuitively configure and observe data movement.

VR Front Desk

VR Front Desk is a virtual property management company offering a 24×7 concierge desk for Airbnb, VRBO, and many other short-term rental platforms. We handle all guest communications, questions, booking requests, and more for a low monthly fee.


Youcanevent helps you plan your event. We are changing the behavior of the old and matured process of event planning. Know why Microsoft, Mary Kay, TEDx, HackerX.org, Seedrs, Vancouver Economic Commission found easy the process of sharing the event request, receiving a large number of vendors proposals in less than 24 hours, and had the support of a local event planner from day 0 to the day of the event to help them with management, promotion and operation.


Read more about ecosystems and startups at Tech.Co

Startup description source: Blue Startups

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Written by:
Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.
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