XLR8UH, the multi-phase education and investment program designed to help grow University of Hawaiʻi entrepreneurs and startups, has selected four companies to participate in the program’s sixth cohort. Recognized in 2017 by Forbes as one of the top 30 accelerator programs in the United States, XLR8UH is a public-private partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi and Sultan Ventures, a venture firm that supports visionary founders in building successful, long-lasting businesses by guiding them at every stage of their journey.
“As we continue to build out a complete innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem for the entire UH System, we are pleased to see a high number of strong applicants competing for the few seats in this round,” said David Ai, chief innovation officer and director of the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization. “It is a clear sign that UH has a robust entrepreneurial culture in place, which motivates us to continue to offer more services to give our startups their best chance at success.”
The search for Cohort 6 began late last year with multiple class info sessions on the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa campus and culminated with two sessions held at the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship at the Shidler College of Business. The search called for those interested in becoming an entrepreneur, starting a company, commercializing technology, or joining a startup. From more than 100 applicants across multiple UH System campuses across the islands and three screening rounds, only four companies were selected.
This year’s cohort includes four startups that are 1) developing groundbreaking sensor technology, 2) reinventing database security and connecting cyber-physical infrastructure, 3) redefining collaborative meeting environments, and 4) enhancing the digital gifting experience.