purple prize 2020

We accelerate excellent teams with ideas for innovative technology products to start and launch mission-driven companies that amplify community and regenerate our ecosystems.
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What is the purple prize?

Since 2016, the Purple Prize has empowered the people of Hawaiʻi to create impactful technology startups that are truly rooted in Hawaiian values. To date, we have worked with over 40 teams and have awarded those with the highest potential to create real impact in Hawaiʻi nei.

The incubator runs for six-months (April to September) and is consciously designed to help criteria-aligned projects refine their idea and build traction in preparation for launch and/or future investment.



  • ROOTED IN PLACE: Companies are grounded in the local cultural history and physical environment.
  • EXCELLENCE: The team is comprised of what we call “outlier individuals” who are highly motivated, ambitious, bold, values-based, and genuinely pono. 
  • IMPACT POSITIVE: Technologies and companies in the Purple Prize create net positive community and environmental impacts.
  • TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED: All products must leverage hardware, software, algorithms, and/or platform technologies.


How the program works

1. Level Playing Field

To create an environment that amplifies collaboration and creativity, we select teams who are at a similar stage of development: idea to pre-market. 

2. Educational Opportunities

You donʻt need an entrepreneurship or tech background to succeed in the Purple Prize! Our workshops equip our teams with the skills and knowledge necessary for starting a business – from culture immersives to customer discovery to practicing the pitch.

3. Tailored Advice and Network Connections

The common model of mentorship — where each team is assigned a mentor based on industry or need — is less effective at this early stage. Instead, we have bi-weekly check-in calls and make carefully chosen connections to people who can offer constructive feedback, advice and resources. 

4. Flexible Funding

Bootstrapping and fundraising, through friends and family can be time consuming and generally challenging. Our teams have access to flexible capital that doesn’t require a major proposal. 

5. Access to Customers

In 2019, we ran the “Indigenous Tech Prototype Showcase” and invited over one hundred people to test and give feedback on early prototypes. Teams were able to receive early validation, interact with real customers, and form relationships with members of the community. 

6. Incentives

The most successful team(s) in each Purple Prize cohort receive a monetary award and continue to receive incubation services including tailored advice, access to networking opportunities, access to customers, continued education opportunities, and workspace at our headquarters, Hālau ʻĪnana.


submit your application

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until March 28, 2020.

If you are interested or have questions, contact:
Alec Wagner
Director, Purple Prize

Meet Purple Prize 2019 teams

an #indigenousinnovation incubator

Applications open February 15

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2438 S Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96826