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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce

Annual Report


Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Planning 1 $98,800
1 $182,847
Total 2 $281,647

Creative industries play a prominent role not only in the Hawaiian economy, but also in the vibrant mix of ethnicities and cultures that call Hawaii home. For example, garment manufacturing of Hawaiian-print shirts has long been a staple of manufacturing. Similarly, in television, documentaries, and movies, Hawaii, its people, and its unparalleled outdoor scenery have long played supporting roles.

However, these and other industries lacked a strategy to develop, design, and export the creative process. In FY 2014, EDA awarded the State of Hawaii $400,000 to create the Hawaii Creative Industries Innovation Ecosystem Development program. The initiative is designed similar to an accelerator program that includes a mentorship program. With EDA’s assistance, the program provides Hawaiians with opportunities for immersion, workshops, and boot camps, as well as collaborations with industry partners that offer mentorship. The project also provides a venue to nurture new island-based entrepreneurs in screenwriting, producing, broadband/new media, interactive media (mobile gaming), design/fashion, music, and animation.

By FY 2015, the program has provided assistance to 108 entrepreneurs, such as venture capital funding and exposure to both national and international markets. In just over a year, this project resulted in 32 films, TV series, and web series; 27 fashion and jewelry lines; 16 original song placements in film, TV, and web media; as well as 48 projects currently in development.