The program, patterned off traditional mainland "Entrepreneur In Residence" ("EIR") programs, is designed to align young, hungry entrepreneurs with Koa's strategic investors. Koa sees this as a unique way to incubate the future leaders of Hawai'i's small business community, something sorely lacking in the Hawai'i business landscape.
The EIR program gives young, tenacious Kama'aina the opportunity to run an existing Hawai'i business with the chance of real ownership (equity). That is not an easy opportunity to find in the Hawai'i business environment.
Selected EIR's will office at Koa's headquarters for up to 12 months as they search for a suitable business to buy. In that time they receive a salary and are given all the guidance, stewardship and equity funding they need to diligence and transact a deal; in effect, the full resources of the private equity firm.
The ideal EIR candidate has already, early in their career, proven themselves as a standout operator, manager or leader and has the desire for greater responsibility. They think like an owner and are motivated by performance goals that lead to equity ownership not simply a salary.