Technology

BizGym partners with Hong Kong accelerator

BizGym.com, an online rapid business plan building program based in Hawaii, has formed a partnership with CyberPort, the largest information technology accellerator in Hong Kong. The relationship was sparked by BizGym.com’s recent partnership in “Hawaii Tech Asia,” a business development tour organized by Hawaii Business and Entrepreneur Acceleration Mentors (HiBeam). The two companies will create a Chinese language version of the BizGym online entrepreneur’s toolset, branding it as the “Cyberport Business System powered by BizGym.” It will feature team-matching, collaborative business planning and a direct link to Cyberport’s micro-fund application process. Operations will begin by year-end in Hong Kong and mainland China. Cyberport is a government-owned enterprise, and when breaking news of the partnership on Hawaii Public Radio’s Bytemarks Cafe show last week, BizGym.com founder Steve Sue said that the co-branded arrangement with a prominent Hong Kong organization will likely discourage copycats from diluting the BizGym.com model in Asia. [...]

HECO streamlines solar power installation requirements

It will now be faster and simpler for many residential and some small commercial customers to receive approval for on-site solar photovoltaic installations without worrying about the need for a possible interconnection study, Hawaiian Electric announced today. As of October 1, most residential and some commercial customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company can install certified single-phase PV systems up to 10 kW on single-phase transformers and participate in Net Energy Metering (NEM) with no interconnection study. In addition, any customer of the three companies who paid for an interconnection study and system upgrades to install a 10 kW or smaller single-phase PV system will be refunded the cost of the study and any upgrades. [...]

Five local nonprofits awarded $427,000 from Island Innovation Fund

The Hawaii Community Foundation announced today the final round of recipients for its Island Innovation Fund initiative. In total, five grant recipients were awarded $427,920 to support and develop their proposed innovations. Recipients were selected from a group of eight finalists who presented creative concepts that will affect widespread positive change in the community and transform existing ways the nonprofit sector operates. Applicants from all three funding rounds were also invited to vote for a People’s Choice Award from among the eight finalists. “While grantee selection for the Island Innovation Fund has wrapped up, the Hawaii Community Foundation is committed to opening doors for local nonprofits that are looking at new and innovative ways to address challenges and issues our islands face,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of Hawaii Community Foundation. [...]

Isle startup aims to help utilities reward energy savings

Ikehu Naturals LLC, a Hawaii-based startup, recently won an award in a contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The award was given for its Demand Response Incentive (DRIVE) system. The DRIVE technology gives power companies the ability to offer airline miles to their energy efficient customers. Ikehu said in a statement that it hopes the award generates interest by power companies around the world. “It’s an honor to be selected among the winners in such a prestigious competition” says Ikehu CEO and founder Holland Wood. “Soon, utilities will have the ability to use airline miles to guide consumers towards responsible energy use.” [...]

City unveils web apps for traffic, tsunami sirens, art

Israel Kamakawiwoole, the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Information Technology (DIT) says there are “apps for that.” DIT has partnered with software developers to put key information in the hands of smartphone and computer users. “We are using mobile applications to provide useful information for the public and make them aware of what is happening around them in a timely manner. It’s exactly what a 21st Century city is supposed to do,” said Mayor Peter Carlisle. “The launch of these applications, and the way in which they were developed and implemented, shows how the City and County of Honolulu is leading in its use of technology to work directly with citizens,” said Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director of Code for America. “By using lightweight, innovative approaches, reusing existing software, and building deeper connections with residents, Honolulu is creating real value and strengthening the fabric of the city.” [...]

Verizon fires up 4G LTE network on Kauai, Big Island

Verizon has extended its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on Kauai and the Big Island. The company says that customers on those islands can now use their 4G LTE wireless devices on Kauai to surf the Web, listen to music, stream live video, take advantage of thousands of applications, and stay in touch with family and friends, all with speeds up to 10 times faster than before. On Kauai, Verizon customers who live in or visit areas including Lihue, Puhi, Nawiliwili, Wailua Homesteads, and Kapaa now have access to the Verizon Wireless 4G network. On the Big Island, the service is available in Hilo, Keaau, Mountain View, and Pahoa. With the network expansion, residents in several other areas also have access. [...]

State business website wins international award

The State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) was recently honored with two awards for its suite of mobile business applications. The mobile apps are the first of their kind worldwide and the first mobile apps launched by the state. The International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) awarded a prestigious 2012 Merit Award for Outstanding Innovation, one of the top international honors for business registries, to DCCA’s Business Registration Division (BREG) last month at the IACA annual conference. “Hawaii’s technological transformation remains a top priority for my administration, and this award is recognition that we are on track to bringing state government where it needs to be in the 21st century,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Through the innovative work now being done by DCCA and others in our state, we are creating technological assets that improve efficiency, expand services and save businesses money.” [...]

Hawaii Apps company to tackle booming mobile business

A new local company has set its sights on no less than the top spot among Hawaii’s mobile app developers. Today, Hawaii Apps Inc. is launching an Island-based business focusing only on the development of mobile apps to help local businesses, government agencies, community organizations and individuals “tap” into the marketing, advertising and entertainment potential of mobile apps. “Mobile apps are where the world is going,” said Melialani “Meli” James, one of four principals who founded Hawaii Apps. “We want to offer Hawaii the chance to get in on the trend, for Island businesses and individuals to be able to create an app that will be developed right here in the Islands, by people who know Hawaii’s culture, traditions and lifestyle.” [...]

Local datacenter launches pay-as-you-go cloud computing service

DRFortress, Hawaii’s leading colocation and cloud services provider, today announced that it has launched “DRFcloud,” which it says is the first local, pay-as-you-use, cloud computing services based in the state. This new service, offered in partnership with Appcore, follows the successful start of the Nirvanix cloud storage service and is available to Hawaii customers as well as clients throughout the Pacific Rim. Both the “DRFcloud” and the Nirvanix cloud storage hybrid node are maintained at the DRFortress datacenter in Hawaii with redundant mainland nodes for disaster recovery purposes. [...]