Blue Startups

  • Location: North America, United States, Honolulu
  • Timing of Applications: Fall, Spring
  • Focus: Mobile, Software, Technology, Web-Based
  • Vertical: B2B, Food, Gaming

Blue Startups is a Top 20 Accelerator in the US (Techcrunch) focused on helping scalable-technology companies compete on a global scale. With an extensive global mentor network, Blue Startups is fast becoming a nexus of entrepreneurial activity in Hawai‘i, and between Asia and Continental U.S. Blue Startups was founded by Henk Rogers of the Tetris Company and Chenoa Farnsworth of Hawaii Angels in 2012 and has been a member of the Global Accelerator Network since 2013.

We are focused on recruiting capital efficient and scalable technology companies, including web, software, and mobile. In addition, the program is targeting companies in particular sectors including travel technology and gaming technology – with a strong preference for B2B solutions. We recruit from Hawaii, Asia and North America and are particularly interested in companies addressing both East and West markets.

Blue Startups follows the mentor-driven approach pioneered by techstars. Lean product development and go-to-market strategies are emphasized throughout the program and access to our extended international network is encouraged:

  • Up to 10 companies per session.
  • 14-week intensive full-time program.
  • A network of more than 100 mentors reaching from Asia to Silicon Valley.
  • One-on-one assigned lead mentor based on sector expertise.
  • Cohort working space in the heart of downtown Honolulu’s business district.
  • One week of intensive networking and pitching in the Bay Area.
  • Startup Paradise demo day in Honolulu, Investor event in the Bay Area.
  • Top-tier global partners provide free and reduced services to our companies.
  • GAN membership provides access to over $800,000 in free perks offered by over 400 of the best vendors in the world.

Blue Startups invests up to $100,000 in each company that comes through the program.

  • $25,000 up front investment, space, education, perks, mentorship and business development services for 3-10% equity.
  • Up to $75,000 in follow on funding per company.

The curriculum will be tailored to each individual company needs to the extent possible. A general outline of the program follows:

  • Phase 1 – “Customer and Company”: This phase is focused on finding the right customer-product fit. Sessions will be focused on customer discovery through lean startup methodology. There will also be time for teams to meet as many mentors as possible via “mentor dating”. By the end of this phase teams should have found their lead mentors.
  • Phase 2 – “Product and Market”: Teams will then focus on product development. This is the time to leverage the knowledge gained in the first month. Outside distractions and sessions will be kept to a minimum while teams work with their lead mentors and technical experts. For the duration of the program there will be weekly check-ins, group sharing on progress, and speed testing.
  • Phase 3 – “Traction and Pitch”: Growth hacking and marketing strategies will be explored and tested in this phase. Sessions will also be held to coach teams on pitching and teams will practice repeatedly with staff, peers, and mentors. Refining the pitch is very important to the success of the program.