Venturing To Help Startups

By Bill Spencer
Wednesday - December 01, 2010
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By Bill Spencer
HVCA President

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association (HVCA) was formed in 1988 to focus attention on the need for venture capital formation in Hawaii. Venture capital is an investment asset class that, for the last 20 years, has returned 19 percent on investment. It involves a high degree of risk, so consequently investors limit how much of their portfolio goes to venture.

Venture capital plays an important role in funding new companies through various stages of growth. Hawaii has a very small number of venture capital funds. Hawaii does, however, have a fairly large number of angel investors, who invest in very early stage companies. This was stimulated by Act 221, which for the last 10 years gave a dollar-for-dollar credit against Hawaii state tax liability for investments in qualified businesses. The Hawaii Venture Capital Association helped create the law and keep it functioning as part of its mission.

HVCA is a 501 (c) 6 notfor-profit. Our members include entrepreneurs, investors (VC’s and angels) and service providers who work with entrepreneurs and investors.

HVCA holds monthly informational meetings, usually the fourth Thursday of each month.

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association focuses on the need for venture capital formation in the Islands

HVCA also honors entrepreneurs and companies at two annual award ceremonies, Entrepreneur of the Year, held in November, and Venture Capital Deal of the Year, to be held Jan. 27, 2011.

HVCA is a membership organization, but anyone can attend its meetings. If you are thinking of starting a business and wondering how to get it funded, HVCA is a great place to learn about the venture finance continuum.

HVCA is affiliated with ThinkTech Hawaii and several other tech-based organizations such as TechHui and the Hawaii Science and Technology Council. Members of these organizations can attend HVCA events at the “member” rate, which also is afforded to legislators and government employees. Students are encouraged to attend with a special student rate.

HVCA meetings are held at the Plaza Club on the 20th floor of Pioneer Plaza Building, 900 Fort Street Mall in downtown Honolulu. You can join HVCA’s mailing list to get notices of upcoming meetings and other events of interest by visiting the HVCA website,, where you can opt into our mailing list.

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