Honolulu, Hawai‘i – Senator Donovan Dela Cruz (Mililani Mauka, Waipi‘o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, and portion of Poamoho) received an award last night at the 2020 Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s ceremony honoring “The Best of Startup Paradise.”
He was recognized as Startup Paradise Champion, “someone who consistently contributes to the success of Hawai‘i’s startup community.”
As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the Senator has secured millions in funding for creation of an ag-tech center at Whitmore Village in Wahiawa and the First Responders Technology Campus and Cybersecurity Data Center in Mililani. He’s also secured funding for development of the Leeward Community College Value-Added Product Development Center in Wahiawa and the Small Business Innovation Research and Manufacturing Assistance programs.
“I think that we need to be a lot more strategic and make a smart investment in becoming thought leaders in growing certain industries,” told Dela Cruz to Hawaii Business Magazine. “That way the private sector can react to what government is trying to push from a more macro level.”
He believes that creating new pipelines for employment and public-private investment in rapidly growing technological fields is key to getting in front of challenges like climate change, caring for an aging population and “reversing the brain drain” of bright young people to the Mainland.