UH entrepreneurship program awards $40K to three student startupsUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Program Manager, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship
Three University of Hawaiʻi startup companies were awarded a total of $40,000 in grant funding by a new program in the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) in UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business. Through PACE’s new Liftoff Advisors program, Hawaiʻi Innovation Lab, Manaola Innovations and Student Corner received funding.
Liftoff Advisors program companies:
Hawaiʻi Innovation Lab—an engineering firm that develops innovations in microfluidics, radio frequency and biomedicine, founded by UH Mānoa College of Engineering students Kareem Elassy, Arif Rahman and Jordyn Maeda
Manaola Innovations—an engineering company that designs and produces products in healthcare, founded by a multi-discipline team of UH Mānoa students Austin Yoshino, Kendra Horvath, Everett Amundson and Jason Chan
Student Corner—a web platform designed to showcase project-based work of students, founded by a multi-discipline team of UH Hilo students George Donev, Althea Kamali'i, Morgan Dean and Ted Shaneyfelt
The companies, founded by UH students, were selected in October 2019, based on their potential and commitment to the new venture. Each company was matched with a thoughtfully curated board of advisors who mentored the founders for several months.
Founders established business development milestones and reported on their progress at monthly meetings. The mentors advised the founders at each meeting by providing feedback, recommending different markets to explore and asking the teams to consider different strategies to reach their business goals. The advisors made the final grant award decisions based on the progress the companies made and their ability to achieve their milestones during the program. All three teams plan to use the grant awards to further develop their companies.
“We’re fortunate to have the support of the UH Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation that allows us to offer this program. Our goal is to lengthen the runway for promising UH companies by providing them with dedicated mentorship and funding to keep them going in a forward trajectory,” said Peter Rowan, executive director of PACE. “We didn’t know what to expect with this inaugural group, and are extremely impressed with the outcome and progress that each company made during the program.”
For more information about the Liftoff Advisors program, visit pace.shidler.hawaii.edu/liftoff.