Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the program?

Team has one core member with a University of Hawaii affiliation. Affiliation is any student, alumni, faculty, or researcher.

The team is also eligible if it is using University of Hawaii Intellectual Property.

What type of companies are you looking for?

We’re sector agnostic, which means if you think you have a high growth startup idea or technology ranging from the next hottest mobile app to a novel medical device you should apply.

What is a Proof-of-Concept?

We define POC as one of three opportunities:

  1. Prototype Development:
    • Tangible evidence of efficacy (beta site/app; CAD design; model development; field study, clinical trial; etc.)
  2. Customer Proof:
    • Obtain first customer / user
  3. Market Proof:
    • In some cases, our startups’ technology may in fact be a disruptive technology in which an existing market is disrupted or a whole new market is developed.

How many startups are in each cohort?

For the Phase I program, we can accept a maximum of 15 startups per term, but aim for seven to ten.

For Phase II program, we can accept a maximum of 10 startups per term, but aim for three to five.

What resources does XLR8UH provide?

In addition to weekly classes and workshops, XLR8UH provides office space and weekly one-on-one advising to continually develop the business and product or service of each team.  We also provide access to a wide array of online services to facilitate learning and growth in the program and conduct office hours with various experts and mentors that teams can utilize for advice. While in the program, teams can utilize each other for advice and support, creating a community to spur innovative thinking. Check out our resources page for more detail!

What if we only have an idea?

We are open to all ideas. Even if your plan may not be fully developed, this is an opportunity to get some early feedback on your idea. Fill out our application form and we’ll get back to you.

What is the time commitment?

Our teams typically spend a minimum 20 -30 hours a week working on their companies during the course of the XLR8UH program.

Sample Breakdown:

4-6 hours     Weekly Sessions typically held on Saturday Mornings

1-2 hours      Weekly office hours / check in calls

9-22 hours   Preparation for class: Learning modules, Customer interviews, Pitch Practice, Other Assignments

We ask that at least one member of the team attend all sessions. We won’t sugar coat it; we expect serious commitment. That being said, we know you may have other obligations as well, so we are willing to work with those that are committed to their startups.

Can I have an office space?

Yes! We offer free office space for our cohort teams as well as a conference room that can be reserved for meetings and conference calls. 

Will you sign a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA)?

No, we do not sign NDAs. We understand that you may be worried about losing your idea, however, we invest in more than an idea: we invest in our entrepreneurs. Investors are looking for exceptional companies, not just exceptional ideas.

What does “team must be fully engaged” mean?

Each member of your team is expected to be dedicated to the success of your startup. That includes coming to all scheduled classes and a significant portion of additional activities such as networking events, workshops, office hours, etc.

What if I am a team of one?

While a good team is an asset while building a company, single founders are welcome to apply. Fill out our application form and we’ll get back to you.

How much money do teams receive?

Phase I teams can receive up to $25K in funding during the program. The $25K will be deployed depending upon standardized metrics and milestones.

Phase II teams can receive up to $50K in funding during the four months of the program. The $50K will be deployed depending upon standardized metrics and milestones.

Both Phase I and Phase II startups are eligible for follow on funding of up to $100k upon a qualified round of financing.

How much equity does XLR8UH take?

XLR8UH takes 6% equity for each phase of investment separately. Follow-on funding is deployed based on the terms of the lead investor of that round.

Can I go through Phase I and Phase II of XLR8UH?

Teams that complete Phase I of the program can apply to Phase II as early as the following cohort. If accepted, the company will be eligible for a total of $75k of investment plus follow on funding.

How close are the XLR8UH offices to the beach?

You can see the surf from our office!

How can I work with XLR8UH?

Send us an email; We love working with talented individuals who are passionate about helping startups grow in Hawaiʻi!  “Careers Page” coming soon!