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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Honolulu start-up hotU eliminates six positions

By John Duchemin
Advertiser Staff Writer

Honolulu software developer hotU is eliminating six positions from its staff of 34, a move made necessary by the downturn in the U.S. economy, officials said yesterday.

HotU founder and chief executive officer Walter Roth characterized the move as a "small reorganization" and a temporary reduction that will help the start-up survive until the business outlook improves.

The company, which was established last year, subsists largely on several million dollars in seed money, much of it provided by local backers. But a cautious capital market, caused in part by the stock market's yearlong decline, means the financial outlook is uncertain for firms that require further financing.

"The main point is, everyone is looking at how much time they have until returning to the market (for financing)," Roth said. "You want that to be as long as possible."

HotU programmers are developing an online scheduler and communications platform for college students. The company's first clients include the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

The company received $6 million from venture funds including HMS Hawai'i Management Partners last August and hired several dozen programmers. This year, hotU moved from the Manoa Innovation Center to an office suite in downtown Honolulu's Harbor Court.

John Duchemin can be reached by phone at 525-8062, or by e-mail at jduchemin@honoluluadvertiser.com.

Correction: Wally Roth is founder and chief executive officer of Honolulu software company HotU. Because of a reporter’s error, his title was incorrectly described in a previously posted version of this story.