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HTDC Receives Grant from the SBA FAST Partnership Program

Release Date: 
Monday, September 21, 2020
Release Number: 
HI 20-0921.2
Sheila Taeza:

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), the State’s economic development agency focused on developing technology and manufacturing companies, received a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to further enhance the organization’s success in stimulating economic growth throughout the State.  HTDC received $125,000 as one of 24 awards granted by the SBA under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.

Along with funding, FAST helps to grow economic development by providing candidates with outreach, training, business assistance and mentoring. The support FAST provides is designed to help research- and development-focused small businesses compete in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially economically disadvantaged small businesses—which for 2020 will have more than $4 billion in early-stage seed capital to be awarded to early-stage, high-tech small businesses.

“Our FAST partners address the unique needs of next-generation, high-tech small businesses.  The program supports innovative entrepreneurs from underserved communities by helping them start and grow—a primary mission for SBA,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Programs like FAST are more critical than ever as the SBA is laser-focused on helping small businesses recover and once again propel the national economy forward. The SBIR and STTR funding can be the early seed capital to jumpstart companies today and make them successful in the future. Some of our nation’s leading technology firms got their start with SBIR funding, and FAST is helping expand those opportunities to other entrepreneurs.”

The FAST award project and budget provides grantees with one year of funding to execute state/regional programs that support potential SBIR applicants and awardees. HTDC will use the funding to conduct virtual on-line workshops and mentoring utilizing communications technology to connect the participants.

To be awarded, candidates had to be endorsed by their State governor as only one proposal was accepted from each state or territory. Proposals were evaluated by panels of reviewers from SBA and other SBIR participating agencies. Varying levels of matching funds were required, based on the number of SBIR Phase I awards in each State.

"We are very grateful to receive the FAST grant award from the SBA,” said Len Higashi, HTDC’s Acting Executive Director.  “With COVID-19, we have moved all of our staff remote and our programming online. The grant allows us to reach more companies and guide them to success through the federal Small Business Innovation Research program."

“The FAST program is an important catalyst for helping Hawaii’s cutting-edge entrepreneurs continue to drive innovation and create good jobs,” said J. Adalberto Quijada, Acting District Director for the SBA Hawaii District Office. “The partnership with HTDC will play a critical role in helping high-growth potential small firms take those next steps to help drive our local economy.”

For a list of the FAST grantees in other States, visit the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program website.


About HTDC

HTDC is an attached agency of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). Its programs are focused on building the next generation technology, innovation and manufacturing industries. HTDC offers startups a variety of opportunities to ramp up quickly through its facilities, funding and mentoring. Programs help companies at all stages, overcome challenges and equip companies to create sustainable and globally competitive businesses. Learn more at

About FAST

In FY 2020, $3 million was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2020 through September 29, 2021.  Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at


SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which for FY 2020 will result in over 7,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.  Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit