Entrepreneurial resources · Hardware manufacturing

wearable technology and manufacturing startup - todo or not todo in Hawaii?

Billy Strong mind and body until the end.

April 16th, 2019

This junction in my wannabe wearable technology and manufacturing startup's path is fast approaching. I have been far from exhaustive and thorough in my research, but on the surface, it seems the state is incapable of providing a stronghold to which to base this endeavor. I am in interested in opinions on how to proceed. I've been down the SBA and other government 'knowledge assistance' path's - and they quite frankly are seriously disappointing with regards to applicability.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

April 17th, 2019

The question isn't whether it's possible. The question is whether it's desirable. You can plan for anything. But what goes into that plan may not be practical, cost effective, or desirable in other ways. Depending on your definition of success, what support and resources you are seeking for your enterprise, and any number of other factors, it may be preferable to locate your business where stuff (labor, materials, talent, transportation, customers) is easier to access.


One of the four criteria for career success is geography, where you want to live. So I totally understand that you might make Hawaii your choice and need to bend other plans to meet that requirement.


Let me step on a small set of assumptions you may be making. A new business is not entitled to knowledge, support, resources, convenience, or incentives. You may be lucky to find them, but there's no right to run a business or a business of a particular type, it's a privelege, and sometimes it's luck. Your disappointment is nothing more than jealousy, but it's understandable and expected. We all play the "if only" game when we imagine our futures.


Part of planning a business is recognizing the effect that choices have on the plan. And when businesses ignore the obvious disadvantages, they have to plan for balancing them in some other way (rent too high, must charge more for products). The planning stage is when you're able to realize that the economics don't make sense before you ever waste a dime (customers won't pay high price, so must choose lower rent location).


So yes, anything is possible. It may however not be practical. And if you're unwilling to do other things to compensate for deficiencies in location, supply, talent, etc. then you are at least informed in advance not to launch that business. You can make a different choice (type of business, other location, etc.) or you can set aside your plan entirely, glad to know in advance that you would have lost all your money, without actually having to lose it.


There are plenty of businesses in Hawaii, some maybe even manufacturing. But the obvious challenges are always going to be transportation, resources, and talent pool. Although it might be exciting to have a new software development firm in the Bay Area, I wouldn't want to compete with very well-established companies for talent and end up paying a premium for programmers that I could avoid by setting up shop in someplace else.

Maria Orozco Director of Operations at NFX Guild

April 17th, 2019

What exactly is your question? Are you looking for funding advice? Funds? Infrastructure?

Billy Strong mind and body until the end.

April 17th, 2019

Can a technology manufacturing startup actually startup in a relatively remote location? Why is there no previous record of success? or is there? The laws of the land do not seem promotive re grants, taxes, etc. Again, my view is derived from a focused technical and manufacturing perspective. I'm going for it anyways but interested in expert testimony. please and thanks. ( ps - I would prefer not having to go to the mainland 😬)