Transmedia is the strategic delivery of a story experience across multiple media platforms.
The GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program is a public-private initiative. The Program utilizes disciplined development models, mentorship and coaching relationships, and seed financing to empower Hawaii’s creative entrepreneurs to launch their original transmedia franchises.
The Program will help accelerate development and startup for promising Hawai’i- based transmedia companies whose vision demonstrates strong potential as commercially viable franchises. Companies will be prepared for follow-on fundraising and commercial launch. As a result, the Program will also create jobs and further develop the creative industries in the State of Hawai’i.
- CHALLENGE: Hawai‘i ranks in the highest percentile Nationwide of residents holding multiple jobs.
- Innovation Hubs seed exponential economic growth.
- Creating moderate-to high-paying entertainment and production related jobs.
- Local service jobs are created at a ratio of five-to-one in these hubs
- CHALLENGE: Rural Big Island received only 10.2% of the entire State’s film/entertainment revenues in the year 2014.
- SOLUTION: Establish Big Island based co-op transmedia studio facility (Honua Studios) With the Accelerator to jumpstart new production.
- CHALLENGE: Lack of infrastructure, economically depressed region. Separation from main hubs of industry, lack of network capital resources.
- GVS’ two new gigahubs now connected to more than 450 studios with private fiber for virtual collaboration.
- Hawaii is bridged to the mainland and international industry through seed investment, mentorship and studio relationships.
- Hawaii island has 11 of the 13 climate zones for locations.
- There is a 25% production and post production tax credit.
The Program is for Hawaii’s creative entrepreneurial teams/companies who have already begun developing their IP for multiple storytelling platforms and who can demonstrate commercial viability and the potential to raise follow on funding.
The GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program is less about incubating ideas and concepts in early stages but more about accelerating projects that have an existing foundation (i.e.: an existing script).
Selected companies will receive $50K in seed investment funding from the GTA Development Fund. In addition, companies will receive dedicated mentoring and coaching over a 6-month intensive program to develop the franchise and position the company for raising follow on funding.
The GTA Development Fund now has a follow-on funding opportunity for graduating cohort companies who can raise at least 25% of their follow-on *budget in private equity and provide evidence of some form of territorial pre sales and/or significant distribution and marketing commitment. The matching funds available are from $50K minimum to $250K maximum. Matching funds are on a first-come, first-serve basis with a total current fund of $1.5M.
*Follow-on budgets must require at least $200K in investment capital.
Selected companies will sell 10% equity of their company to the GTA Development Fund in exchange for the investment and to be coached through the GVS Transmedia Project Pipeline.
The Transmedia Project Pipeline is about developing your franchise to the stage of potential to be funded and produced.
Transmedia Project Pipeline
Please see our Apply section
An average of six companies will be selected per cycle.
For this third cycle there is not a closing date for accepting applications. This is a rolling application and when all the slots are filled, then we will stop accepting applications.
The second cycle will begin upon final selection of the cohort startup companies. We project mid to late September 2015.
- Franchises geared for wide commercial audiences with stories that can be expressed over multiple transmedia platforms
- Potential to raise follow on funding
- Well rounded founder teams
- Team players that are in alignment with the GVS Transmedia Accelerator’s strengths, format and model
- Positive impact for Hawai’i
Approximately 100 applications per cycle were processed.
12 companies have successfully progressed through the Accelerator Pipeline.
$600,000 (as of Q4 2015).
~25 FTE (as of Q1 2016).
~110 (as of Q1 2016).
~5.5 FTE + 10 periodic part-time employees (as of Q1 2016).
So far, Accelerator projects have procured $150: in additional private investment. The majority of our cohort companies are in the beginning stages of their follow-on fundraising.
- $103K in setup costs from the County of Hawai‘i/ HCEOC matched by $100K from the HSDC/ HI Growth Initiative.
- $200K/year from the HSDC/ HI Growth Initiative for Accelerator running costs matched by $200K/year from the County of Hawai‘i/ HCEOC.
- $500K in private equity has been invested into the Accelerator from private investors to match $500K from the HSDC/ HI Growth Initiative. These are monies coming into Hawai‘i from out of State and provide the seed capital to launch each of the cohort companies.
- The GVS Accelerator and GVS Connect have launched two gigahubs, one at the Foreign Trade Zone in Honolulu and the other in Kona (Honua Studios). Between these two locations, we are hosting 12 startups and 6 freelancers in our co-workspaces.
- Our events, seminars, workshops, and networking opportunities benefit Hawaii's creative industries as a whole and drive a common vision and goal of bringing more jobs to the State and empowering creative entrepreneurs.
As we are only in our 3rd year, it is still early to measure a financial return as all the companies are in various stages of development and funding. However, we are proud of the following highlights:
- The GVS Accelerator is a two time winner of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Accelerator Growth Competition Award - twice named in the top 50 most innovative accelerators in the nation!
- The GVS Accelerator was recognized by the U.S. Congress and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
- The GVS Accelerator has been honored by the County Council of Hawai‘i Island.
- The GVS Accelerator created Honua Studios, the largest studio complex on Hawai‘i Island and the second largest in the State. Honua Studios is home to the GVS Accelerator as well as other resident companies servicing various parts of the entertainment industry, including Big Island Gigs, Twenty20 Sound, and Dakine Action Design Studio. Honua features Co-Work Space, a Full-service Event Venue, Green Screen Stage and Staging area, Production offices for Media Production, Conference Room with Audio/Visual and Virtual Connection, a 7.1 Surround Sound Screening Room, and more! Visit www.honuastudios.com for more information.
The Accelerator Program does fund your effort by providing $50K of seed capital to help selected startups refine their content and create a compelling creative and business package. In addition, the Program provides access to strategic mentorships and hands-on coaching as well as introductions to new relationships. This combination will hopefully give you a significant advantage as you go out for follow on funding.
The Program is investing seed money, providing coaching, opening doors and giving exposure. What selected companies do with this combination of opportunities will depend on them.
The Executive Board of the Fund (GTA Development Fund) will vote by majority on which companies are selected. This five-person board is made up of successful entrepreneurs, business executives and entertainment industry professionals. The GVS Transmedia Accelerator team (the day-to-day team facilitating the Program) does not sit on the Executive Board of the Fund and are not investors in the Fund.
Accelerator Program Flowchart
A sample of our Advisors/Mentors are listed below:
Lance Priebe - Gaming
Grant Curtis - Feature Film Production
Steve Okin – Entertainment Executive
Andy Peterson – Entertainment Executive, Marketing
Kevin Mills – Entertainment Law
Sondra Haley – Public Relations
John Fusco – Screenwriting
Tab Murphy - Screenwriting
Kevin Miller - Screenwriting
Michael Palmieri - Film, TV, New Media Production, Script Consultation
Edwin Marshall - TV, Film & App Production
Paul Emami - Television & Commercial Production
Mike Leahy – Feature Film and Reality TV Production
Cameo Wallace - Documentary & Reality TV Production
Sam Farmar - Documentary Production, Journalism
James Snook - New Media, Apps, Innovative Marketing
Scott Allen - Unified Communications & Telepresence
Rebekah Allen - Unified Communications & Telepresence
Robert Crotty - Transmedia Industry Networking, Cross-platform Innovation & Management
Joel Kneedler - Publishing Industry Networking
Cliff Graham - Digital & Self- Publishing Industry Networking
Frank Tate - Entertainment Entrepreneurship
William Kendall - Digital Media Entrepreneurship
Chris Lee - Feature Film Production
Anessa Allen Santos - Corporate Law and Law for Emerging Markets
The GTA Development Fund is funded 50% by a pool of private accredited investors and 50% by the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC). The GTA Development Fund is a separate entity from the GVS Transmedia Accelerator. The GVS Transmedia Accelerator is not an investor in the Fund, but is aligned with the startup companies and the Fund, and will receive a share in the Fund’s profits.
A five-person, pro bono board (the “Executive Board”) manages the GTA Development Fund.
David L. Cunningham is a filmmaker and entrepreneur and the Founder and Executive Director of the Accelerator. He leads the Accelerator team that runs the day-to-day operations of the Accelerator. He does not participate in the management of the Fund that selects and invests in Accelerator participants. However, he does have the opportunity to be on teams that apply to the program and is subject to the same criteria and review/selection process of each applicant.
The Accelerator team, based at Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, runs the day-to-day operations of the Accelerator program, facilitates mentorship relationships and provides coaching for the cohort. The Accelerator team also helps to facilitate the information needs of the Executive Board and Advisory Committee.
No, the Accelerator team does not receive any compensation from the investment seed monies.
No, the Accelerator team does not sit on the Executive Board of the Development Fund nor do they vote on company selections. The Accelerator team vets applications and passes qualified projects on to the Advisory Committee for the first round of review. (see “What does the selection process look like?” above for more detail.)
A variety of virtual and in some cases in-person interviews will be incorporated into the final phase of the application process for those candidates who meet all previous requirements.
Upon written request, the Accelerator will provide you with constructive feedback and the reasons your franchise was not selected.
Yes, applicants may re-apply during a subsequent application period, following the same criteria of developing storytelling platforms with wide commercial viability and the potential to raise follow-on funding.
Our facility is located at Honua Studios in beautiful Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. Synergistic co-work space including internet access, shared access to conference room, quiet work space and more will be available to selected companies.
Sure! If you’d like to come visit us, email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will be happy to connect!
- Tailored development curriculum: hands-on coaching through GVS’ Transmedia Project Pipeline to polish and package franchise portfolios (including developing the investor presentation and pitch practice)
- Mentors: one on one advising from experienced professionals
- Synergy and momentum: the Cohort dynamic and the growing industry ecosystem around the Accelerator
- Networking: selected startups will benefit from introductions and industry relationships with our standout advisory committee and consultants
- Access: top quality legal counsel, marketing professionals
- Accelerator Showcase upon graduation
- Creative Community Events & Speaker Series: gatherings, screenings, creative collaborations, topical seminars, peer work-shopping and more
Each startup company will be on it’s own curriculum respective of its specific needs. Companies will work closely with their coach to set benchmarks and review development progress on a weekly basis in collaboration with their mentor(s). Entire cohort workshops and seminars will be organized at strategic junctures of the cycle and at the availability of key speakers and industry professionals.
Candidates will work together with Accelerator coaches to determine the most effective use of startup funds. A proposed budget is then submitted in cooperation with the Executive Board for final consideration and funding.
Each company will have its own needs and work at its own pace. If you are selected and receive seed funding, you are expected to complete the acceleration process at the advice and direction of your coach and mentors.
No, you do not. Team members will, however, be required to attend certain workshops, seminars and events at the facility.
At the end of the six-month intensive program, each company will have a polished and packaged transmedia franchise plan, including a business plan and investor presentation for at least three different expressions of their IP constituting multiple revenue streams. This portion of the program will end with an investor Showcase Day attended by potential follow-on funders including those in the networks of Accelerator advisors, mentors and consultants. Companies will then be poised to rapidly raise follow-on funding over the next six-month period of supported pitching and fundraising.
Yes - unless company founders, Accelerator coaches and mentors agree that the company needs further development.
The Program is a for profit venture and as such, the GTA Development Fund will not select non-profit companies for acceleration. Investors are looking to recoup and receive competitive returns on their capital.
The GTA Development Fund will be a minority interest owner at 10% equity stake. Essentially, the Fund doesn’t want any special or controlling interests in your company or uncommon investor rights, nor does the Fund need a board seat. Just looking for a great return on a great investment!
DAVID BRUCE, email@example.com, 808-938-7227
FAQ FOR APPLICANTS
Questions marked with an asterisk (*) must be answered for consideration. Other questions are meant to help Program facilitators get a better picture of where you’re at in your development process.
No, however keep in mind the Program is targeting Hawai’i-based entrepreneurial teams/ Hawai’i owned transmedia companies. Preference will be shown to candidates who demonstrate plans to produce products or to capture and retain the value of their IP in Hawai’i, or continue business activities in Hawai’i.
Yes, but your startup company must be a US domiciled company.
Yes, you may apply as a sole founder. We do recommend, however, that you begin to look seriously for complementary team members to share the founding responsibilities and ownership with you. Applicants will be considered, in part, based on the strength of the team.
The GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program is geared towards transmedia companies who have already formed their story concept and have a script draft for their lead product. For those who are in earlier stages of incubation and concept development, we recommend programs such as Creative Lab http://www.hiff.org/education/creative-lab
The Program is looking for companies that have been in incubation and have begun their development. These companies are now ready for acceleration and launch! Companies/franchises need to be at a stage where they can still be shaped. The GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program is not a marketing initiative for executed products.
Materials requested for review by the Program will only be seen by those facilitating the Program and the selection process and for the express purpose of considering your application.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org