Just wanted to keep you posted on the status of HB1329 HD1 SD1. The bill is now headed to a Senate floor vote (Tuesday, 4/11) and then to Conference Committee. I made copies of the following Fact Sheet and passed it out to legislators to let them know what modifications were made and our continued support for the bill. Let me know if you have any questions and THANKS for your continued support!
HB1329 HD1 SD1 appropriates funds for grants to participants in App Challenges so that the most promising apps created during the challenges can be further developed into prototypes suitable for local and state government. To maximize financial leverage for the state, grants require a 50% match from nongovernment sources. The bill is now headed to Conference Committee. We prefer the current SD1 draft. Summary of changes:
The House EDB defected the effective date.
The Senate ETT broadened the scope to include other hackathons and code challenges that occur in Hawaii.
- Reference to Hawaii Annual Code Challenge was changed to App Challenges.
- The definition of App Challenge — “Application challenge” generally refers to events that bring teams together to collaborate and innovate solutions for a given theme or problem set; examples of events include the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge, AT&T Hackathon, and Reboot the Commute.
- The definition of Application — “Application” means the apps or applications that result from the application challenges, including but not limited to the broad categories of web apps, mobile apps, computing devices, sensors, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
- Use the funds appropriated by this Act, along with any matching funds, to issue grants to help convert proof of concepts developed in Hawaii during application challenges into prototypes suitable for local and state government use.
In initial discussions with the legislature, an appropriation amount of $200,000 per year was suggested. Of the $200k, $100k would go to HTDC to support the application challenge events and the development and administration of the program. The other $100k would go towards the grants portion. There would be a matching $100k (or 50% match) raised from private donations that would bring the grant total to $200k.
In speaking with WAM Chair, there was concern that the Proof-of-Concept program in HB1329 was not fully developed and going for the total $200k appropriation would be difficult in this budget climate. Could we do it for less?
Subsequently in speaking with Exec Director of HTDC, the program could get started with $100,000, with $50k going to administrative rule making and program management and the remaining $50k going toward the granting amount. The program would still raise the 50% matching (or $50k) to bring the total granting amount to $100k with estimated grants of $10k – $25k awarded to selected teams.
The program would then return in the 2018 Legislative Session to report the progress and to request an appropriation for 2018 – 2019.
Given the financial considerations of the State, we respect the fiscal considerations needing to be made by the Budget Committees and our reduction in appropriations request seeks to support that.
The innovation, startup community appreciates the continued support for this bill as shown through testimony to the legislators during this session.