Congratulations to Yuki Kawahara, who recently participated in the UH Breakthrough Innovation Challenge competition held by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) and was one of the winners!
The UH Breakthrough Innovation Challenge is an entrepreneurial competition where participants pitch their innovative business idea to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes. The Challenge pairs competitors with business mentors and teaches students to research market opportunities, seek customer validation, and determine the commercial potential of their idea. Furthermore, students hone their presentation and communication skills.
Yuki, an ELI 80 student, gave a live pitch of her business idea to a judging panel and a live audience. She presented an innovative pitch on “Changing Japanese Higher Education.” The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with the judges.
The results were decided by a judging panel of four, which included Zachary Kim, co-founder and chief technology officer of Float; Jill Nakatsu, director of academic affairs for the UH Mānoa College of Engineering; Cindy Matsuki, SBIR manager with Innovate Hawaii; and Mark Tawara, founder of BrightLight Digital. Each judge was given a thumbs up emoji paddle, which they would use to raise for a “Yes” vote. Each thumbs up was worth $250, giving contestants a chance to win up to $1,000. Every contestant walked away with at least $250.