Maui Food Industry X-Celerator wins $50,000 from U.S SBA for second year in a row

With SBA funds, Maui Food Innovation Center is able to expand its classes to agribusinesses, chefs,

Maui College
Contact:
Cory L M Vicens, 808-984-3403
Marketing & Communications, Maui Food Innovation Center
T Karen Hanada, 808-984-3527
Director, OCET
Posted: Sep 9, 2016

March 2016 MAP Cohorts
March 2016 MAP Cohorts

KAHULUI, HI, (September, 2016) – On August 31, 2016 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced the winners of the 2016 SBA 2016 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, and the Maui Food Innovation Center (MFIC) at UH Maui College was one of the winners. MFIC is being awarded a $50,000 grant for being one of the elite programs in the nation who are pioneering and supporting our local entrepreneurs.

The successful Maui Food Industry X-celerator (MFIX) was a recipient of this same SBA grant in 2015. It was also a recipient of matching funds from The UH Maui College, Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), the County of Maui, Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, and many community partners and industry leaders who supported the launch of the Maui Accelerator Program for local food entrepreneurs in January 2016. “Winning the SBA Accelerator award for the second year in a row is a validation of Maui Food Innovation Center business mentoring program.  HSDC's HI Growth Initiative is proud to help support MFIC's efforts to help Hawaii entrepreneurs achieve business success,” commented Karl Fooks, President of HSDC.

The grant is part of the SBA 2016 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, a cutting-edge federal program that supports initiatives to spur innovation commercialization, entrepreneurship and job creation at the local level. MFIC is one of 68 awardees from 32 states to receive grants totaling $3.4 million dollars. “We are very pleased to be recognized nationally and that the SBA saw the value of our Maui Food Innovation Center and the MFIX program for a second consecutive year,” said Lui Hokoana, Chancellor UH Maui College.

The funding will enable MFIX to introduce its accelerator program to those agribusinesses, chefs, and restauranteurs looking to develop a value-added food product, and to connect with food business industry experts, and peers like themselves seeking to expand their revenue streams.

“The opportunity to expand our X-celerator program to this segment of the County of Maui community validates our work to advance our farmers/chefs, food entrepreneurs, and our economy by building upon new revenue sources, and to create more jobs. With the closing of HC&S and the era of sugar cane coming to an end it is key to diversify the agriculture businesses here on Maui, and that there be a resource for our farmers and food entrepreneurs to turn to for assistance,” commented Hokoana. With the SBA funding, MFIX is one way that the Maui Food Innovation Center hopes to assist these entrepreneurs in becoming successful business owners.

For more information about the Maui Food Innovation Center and its training programs, please visit: http://maui.hawaii.edu/foodinnovation

About The Maui Food Innovation Center (MFIC) – The Maui Food Innovation Center (MFIC) provides business and technological expertise to food and agricultural entrepreneurs throughout the State of Hawaiʻi. A program of University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, MFIC helps farmers and food manufacturers increase profitability through the development of new value-added food products, reduces our dependence on imports, and contributes to the sustainability of island-based agriculture. Based at UH Maui College the Maui Food Industry X-celerator Program (MFIX) is part of the Maui Food Innovation Center. The Program was established as a winner of the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. In partnership with our, County of Maui, community business leaders, and food industry leaders, MFIX provides support to food businesses and entrepreneurs in the form of training, community resources and access to a certified commercial kitchen. The program delivers an overview of business planning and marketing, good manufacturing practices, industry trends, packaging, and food industry requirements.

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