NELHA’s Hale Iako Incubator Hosts April AfterHours with Kuleana Green Biz Fair

By Fern Gavelek, photos by Pam Latinis

NELHA’s Hale Iako Incubator Hosts April AfterHours with Kuleana Green Biz Fair

NETWORKING—The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA) and the Chamber’s Sustainability Committee welcomed members of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce to the April AfterHours at the Hale Iako Incubator located at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology (HOST) park at Keahole.

The event sprawled on both floors of Hale Iako to accommodate KKCC’s annual Kuleana Green Business Fair. Attendees browsed among informational green biz booths while enjoying refreshments and product samples provided by a variety of HOST tenants and other businesses: Big Island Abalone, Cyanotech, Blue Ocean Mariculture, Poi Dog Deli, The Feeding Leaf, Body Glove Cruises, Hawaii Kombucha and Jack’s Diving Locker. In keeping with the event’s green theme, party-goers separated their trash at the provided zero waste station and compostable servingware was provided by Sustainable Island Products.

NELHA Business Development Officer Laurence Sombardier told guests the 15,000-square-foot Hale Iako has a small number of larger office spaces available for rental with a waiting list for smaller spaces. The facility includes a conference room, plus collaborative space with outdoor, move-in-ready space available for small-scale technology demonstrations. For info, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Elizabeth Elkjer of Sustainable Island Products and chair of KKCC’s Sustainability Committee announced there are 20 members in KKCC’s Kuleana Green Business Program. KGB is an original recognition and participatory program promoting environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices. Only KKCC members are eligible to apply to the KGB designation and receive its benefits.

“These businesses are recognized for their commitment to a triple bottom line of environmental, social and economic responsibility,” Elkjer shared.

Businesses to date who applied for and were accepted into the Kuleana Green Business Program include Body Glove Cruises, Captain Zodiac, Cyanotech, Fair Wind Cruises, Friends of NELHA, Hawai‘i Forest and Trail, Hawai‘i Outdoors Institute, Hualalai Resort, Jack’s Diving Locker, Ke Kai Ola/The Marine Mammal Center, Keauhou Veterinary Hospital, Kona Brewing Company, PATH, ProVision Solar, Recycle Hawai‘i, Sunrun, Sustainable Island Products, Trans-Pacific Design, Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative and the West Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center.

For information to join KGB, visit https://kona-kohala.com/home/kuleana-green-business-program.html.

The next AfterHours is 5-7 p.m. May 16 and hosted by Honokohau Harbor, Dolphin Journeys and Goose’s Edge. Signup at www.kona-kohala.com or phone 329-1758.

AFTERHOURS HOSTS—Laurence Sombardier and Keith Olson of Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority stand outside the Hale Iako Incubator at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole.