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Inaugural conference explores technology, innovation in Hawaii

Hundreds gathered at Hawaii Convention Center this week to learn about the future of technology in Hawaii.

A two-day forum was held as part of the Hawaii Innovation Initiative. The event tackled issues like energy and cybersecurity in order to build Hawaii's technology and innovation sector, and diversify the economy.

"The idea was there are great federal resources that are available, and there are great local companies, startup companies, entrepreneurs that are doing a lot of great work," said Gary Kai, executive director, Hawaii Business Roundtable.

There were presentations, panel discussions, and workshops where officials could share news about upcoming technology across the U.S.

"The idea was to connect people," Kai said. "We had one of those morning situations where we asked the participants what they were trying to do here and the main word that came out of that was connect."

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, D, Hawaii, supports the inaugural conference.

"I believe small businesses are the drivers of our economy and when small business succeeds, America succeeds. This summit brings together a cross-section of the business, banking, military, and startup communities to discuss how to increase economic opportunities for Hawaii," he said.

The event was hosted by the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Business Roundtable.

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