Blue Startups seeking applicants

HONOLULU — It takes belief to launch a new project.

Of course, having financial backing helps as well, which is why Hawai‘i’s Henk Rogers is launching Blue Startups.

Rogers, who owns Blue Planet software, is the sole agent of the Tetris game brand, according to a news release. Blue Startups is a technology company accelerator with an Asia Pacific focus.

The group is accepting applications for the first round of startup projects and recruiting capital-efficient and scalable-technology companies, including Internet, software, mobile, gaming and e-commerce.

As part of the Global Accelerator Network, Blue Startups seeks to become a hub of entrepreneurial activity not only in Hawai‘i, but also between Asia and the United States.

Offering a network with more than 50 mentors from Hawai‘i, Japan and the Silicon Valley, Blue Startups will assist in developing Hawai‘i as a center of entrepreneurship. These mentors will provide expertise, capitol and other resources.

Key relationships include The East-West Center in Honolulu, along with 500 Startups, Nest GSV, Movida Japan and Japan America Institute of Management Science.

“Blue Startups represents the development of Hawai‘i’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Rogers in the release.

“By attracting talented entrepreneurs to our community, we enhance it. We believe the best will stay in Hawai‘i. Many will likely build several companies — a powerful dynamic when you’re talking about 10 to 20 companies per year.”

In receiving preliminary notification of funding from the state of Hawai‘i via the Hawai‘i Strategic Development Corporation, this funding will provide supplemental capital for Blue Startups.

Following the TechStars accelerator model, companies accepted to Blue Startups will receive both an upfront investment of $20,000, along with access to more than $100,000 in services to allow companies to move to the next level.

In addition, Blue Startups will provide workspace for up to three people in Honolulu.

In exchange for the resources from the program, Blue Startups takes an equity stake in each company.

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