ThriveHI awarded $300,000 federal grant to support Hawaiʻi’s technology ecosystem : Maui Now


ThriveHI, a Hawaiʻi-based tech and entrepreneurship advocacy organization, has received a $300,000 federal grant by the US Economic Development Administration. The funding, announced by the federal government will enable ThriveHI to grow Hawaiʻi’s innovation ecosystem over the next two years.

ThriveHI is a Hawaiʻi-based organization established in 2022 with the mission to serve as a “field catalyst” to convene and align organizations working to develop Hawaii’s technology entrepreneurship ecosystem behind a unified strategy.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by the EDA for this substantial grant, which will significantly advance our mission to align Hawaii’s tech and entrepreneurship ecosystems behind a unified vision and strategy,” said ThriveHI co-founder and community head, Trung Lam. “These funds will allow us to catalyze innovation and economic growth in Hawaii by bringing together a diverse network of partners and increasing access to critical resources for technology entrepreneurs across the state.”

ThriveHI is one of 60 recipients selected out of hundreds of applicants for the highly competitive EDA Build to Scale program grants, which totaled $53 million nationwide this year. The grant was obtained under the auspices of the Pacific American Foundation, a Kāneʻohe-based public charity 501(c)(3).

Through network building, strategic planning, and collaboration, ThriveHI aims to strengthen Hawaii’s economy, increase access to high-paying jobs, and pave the way for an inclusive and thriving technology sector.

ThriveHI will use the grant to facilitate statewide collaboration, strategic alignment and network building amongst individuals, nonprofits and businesses committed to developing Hawaiʻi’s tech and entrepreneurship sectors. The organization also plans to commission a data-driven study to identify the most promising technology niches for Hawaiʻi to pursue.


“By implementing this strategy, we aim to leverage the collective efforts of various actors in Hawaii’s tech and entrepreneurship ecosystems, overcome the challenges posed by our geographical location, and pave the way for a robust, resilient, and diversified economy,” said Sonia Romero, ThriveHI strategy director.

Sonia Romero, ThriveHI strategy director.

The EDA’s Build to Scale program aims to “accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial assistance and startup capital,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

“Investing in scalable startups and expanding access to entrepreneurial capital will yield good-paying jobs, economic resiliency, and equitable growth in communities throughout America,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo.


ThriveHI looks forward to collaborating with partners and stakeholders statewide to maximize the impact of this investment in Hawaiʻi’s innovation economy.

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