Incubating the Future

An Industry In Its Infancy Takes Stock and Looks Forward.

October, 2001

Physical incubators, otherwise referred to as high technology parks or centers, had an unusual start in Hawaii. Up until about 10 years ago, incubators were really just a way for real estate developers to get businesses and like-minded people together in one building. Then came the inception of the “virtual incubators,” such as HiBEAM, which would anticipate the needs of start-up and phase-in companies and assist with their growth. Physical incubators, as we know them today, represent the best of both worlds. Incubators often offer shared equipment and facilities; infrastructure conducive to high-tech work; and access to business management teams, resources, and venture capital specialists. In addition, each incubator usually has a draw to the center — the primary reason tenants are attracted to it — a “secret sauce.”

Manoa Innovation Center

Director: Nola Miyasaki, exective director, HTDC
Web Site:
Founded: 1993
Size: 42,000 leasable sq. ft.
Success Rate: Currently averaging 30 percent failure rate, program objective is 10 percent maximum failure rate by 2002
Secret Sauce: Proximity and connections to the University of Hawaii
Rent Range: $1.83 to $2.70 per sq. ft. depending on whether incubation or phase-in company

Incubation Companies:
Adaptive Technologies Corp.
Aquasense Inc.
Best Places Hawaii
Computer Assurance Inc.
Dimensia Inc.
Frontier Interactive Inc.
GL Scientific
HiPoint Software LLC
Innovative Technical Solutions
Laser Barcode Solutions
Oceanic Imaging Consultants Inc.
Pacific Area Networks Inc.
Pacific Island Technology
Pac-Tech Communications
Safe Water Systems
TerraSystems Inc.

Phase-in Companies:
Amagata U.S.A
iReady Corp.

Anchor Tentants:
University of Hawaii – OTTED
UH Medical School – Research Offices RCUH

West Kauai Technology & Visitor Center
Director: Gary Baldwin, managing director
Web Site:
Founded: 1999
Size: 7,500 sq. ft. with plans for 10,000 sq. ft. of expansion (Phase 2) beginning 2002
Success Rate: So far only one company, TREX Enterprises, has left the facility
Secret Sauce: Most companies in the incubator are contracted to work with the federally funded Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Barking Sands.
Rent Range: $2 per sq. ft.
Solipsys Corp.
Oceanit Laboratories Inc.
Textron Systems
Digital System Resources

Maui Research & Technology Center

Director: Steve Perkins, program director
Web Site:
Founded: 1992
Size: 40,000 sq. ft.; 22,000 leasable sq. ft.
Success Rate: MRTC has established a 20-year timeline for determining its success rate.
Secret Sauce: Access to the U.S. Department of Defense’s “super computer” housed at the Maui High Performance Computing Center
Rent Range: $1.90 to $2.85 per sq. ft.

Incubator Companies:
Akimeka LLC
Maui EdTech
Maui Gateway
Maui Net
Oceanit Laboratories Inc.
Pacific Disaster Center
Premier Image Productions
Sky Research Inc.
TC Kokua LLC

Phase-In Companies:
Science Applications International Corp. Trex Enterprises

Anchor Tenants:
Hawaii SBDC Network – Business Research Library
Hawaii SBDC Network – Small Business Development Center
Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) Maui Pacific Center

Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA), Kona

Director: Jeff Smith, executive director
Web Site:
Founded: 1974
Size: 874 acres
Success Rate: NELHA has had only one company reach commercialization and then go out of business since 1974.
Secret Sauce: Unique cold-water resources (deep sea water, surface sea water), adjacent land
Rent: For commercial operations: Flat monthly fixed rental fee of $100 per acre for unimproved property and $400 per acre for improved property. In addition, once the company is profitable NELHA is also entitled to percentage rent.

Aquasearch Inc.
Big Island Abalone Corp.
Black Pearls Inc.
Coast Seafoods Co.
Common Heritage Corp.
Cyanotech Corp.
Enzamin USA Inc.
Verizon Wireless
Hawaii Deep Marine Water Plant L.P.
Hawaii Deep Ocean Water LLC
High Health Aquaculture Inc.
Indo-Pacific Sea Farms
Kona Bay Oyster & Shrimp Co.
Kona Cold Lobsters Ltd.
Marine Bioproducts International
Ocean Rider Inc.
Ono Take
Pacific Harvest Inc.
Royal Hawaiian Seafarms Inc.
State University of New York (SUNY)
Stockly’s Aquariums Inc.
Taylor Shellfish – Kona
UH Infrasound Laboratory of Hawaii (ISLA)
UH Sea Grant Extension Service, West Hawaii
Uwajima Fisheries
West Hawaii Explorations Academy – Public Charter School

Affiliated Program of NELHA:
National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences (CEROS)


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Jacy L. Youn