The goal of Liftoff Advisors is to build market-ready, investor-ready ventures that are positioned for sustainability. Selected UH ventures will be paired with an interdisciplinary group of talented and experienced professionals. The program will provide founders with a safe space to develop relationships, seek feedback and achieve milestones. Besides achieving their own milestones, founders will be encouraged to:
– seek funding from the Calvin Shindo Student Venture Fund; and depending on the company – SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grants.
– apply to local and global accelerators.
Promising UH-related ventures will be invited to participate in the program. These ventures will be selected from across the UH system and may emerge from programs such as the iLab, the Breakthrough Innovation Challenge, the UH Venture Competition, Summer Startup Launchpad, the MIND program, (K)new Futures, or other sources of innovation and entrepreneurship across the UH system.
Teams are selected by PACE staff; should be committed to move their business forward; and willing to give back to the innovation and entrepreneurship community in Hawai’i.
The Liftoff Advisors program will run on a rolling basis. Invited teams will establish specific, measurable milestones to achieve within a year-long period. (The duration of time may be extended, if the founders and their advisory group agree.) At the kickoff meeting, each team will meet with their dedicated advisors, present their goals and milestones, and modify them as needed. Teams will meet monthly with their advisors to provide progress updates and receive feedback. The program will culminate in a final presentation before the program advisory board and PACE staff.
During the selection process, each invited team will establish specific, measurable milestones to achieve within a one-year period. At the kickoff advisor meeting, these milestones will be approved or modified by the Advisory Group. In each subsequent meeting, venture founders will present progress toward these milestones and receive input from the advisors.
The PACE Advisory Group will be established from among PACE’s existing and growing network of professional executives, entrepreneurs, and mentors for its various programs. In addition to the monthly meetings, the Advisory Group may participate in the selection process and any presentations. Teams and advisors may continue in the program after one year, should an extended mentorship relationship be needed.