FoundHer accelerates growth for women-founded businesses in Hawai’i. The program is especially designed for historically overlooked and unsupported AAPI and Native Hawaiian wāhine. No other accelerator program in the state is specifically for women, and no other accelerator in the U.S. has FoundHer’s unique combination of capital, family care, mentorship, and skill-building for AAPI and indigenous women. As founders, mothers, and caretakers ourselves, we are committed to removing barriers to women’s success in early-stage business start-ups.

To help you put your best foot forward, here are six tips to prepare for your Hawai’i FoundHer application:

1. Dig Deep on Your Mission Statement We care about the WHY just as much as the HOW. Reflect on the core mission of your business. What drives you? Why did you start this journey? A strong mission statement not only guides your business decisions but also resonates with the FoundHer ethos.

2. Gather Some Customer Feedback Feedback is invaluable. Whether it be at your next mākeke, through your website, or via emails, gather insights from your customers. Understanding their needs and improving your products based on their feedback is key to your growth and success.

3. Think About Your Value Proposition Why would someone choose your product over another? Your value proposition is your unique selling point. Clearly articulate what sets your brand apart from the competition. Points of differentiation are crucial in a saturated market.

4. Brush Up on Your Financials We want to know that you understand the numbers of your business. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should have a grasp on the basics. Financial literacy is fundamental to running a successful business, and demonstrating this understanding is essential in your application.

5. Get Clear on Where You Need Help Everyone needs funding, understandably! But we also want to know why you are interested in FoundHer versus other startup programs out there. Be specific about the unique support you are seeking from FoundHer and how it aligns with your business goals.

6. Be Intentional with Your Answers Fully formed thoughts over two-word answers or incomplete sentences show you took care in your application. Thoughtful, intentional responses reflect your dedication and seriousness about the opportunity.

Preparing for the Hawai’i FoundHer application is a chance to reflect on your business's journey and future aspirations. By following these tips, you can create a strong application that showcases your vision, commitment, and readiness to grow with FoundHer. 

Darien Siguenza