A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa engineering student took top honors in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Hawaii (EO Hawaii) fifth-annual qualifier Global Student Entrepreneur Award (GSEA) competition.
Austin Yoshino, an undergraduate majoring in mechanical engineering, founded Manaola Innovations, Inc., inspired by his younger brother, Brandt, who has cerebral palsy. The company is developing medical technology products including a technologically-enhanced walking assistant device.
“We are a medical tech startup aiming to develop disruptive and innovative products to ‘power a higher quality of life,’ ” said Yoshino, who recently turned down a lucrative job offer in technical sales to grow the company. “I am extremely excited for the future.”
“The judging panel was impressed by the vision and drive behind Manaola, and we see strong potential for its products to positively impact the lives of people with a range of medical conditions,” said Matt Heim, president of EO Hawaii. “We look forward to the national competition.”
The U.S. national competition in Redwood City, California, February 10–12, 2020, will coincide with the annual global Startup Grind Conference. Each state winner receives complimentary access to attend the conference as part of their prize package.
The Hawaiʻi prize package is valued at more than $5,000, including a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet and full scholarship for the eight-week Dale Carnegie flagship course; a Birkman Assessment and Brief by Simon Leadership Group; and a life-planning session with Business Consulting Resources Hawaii.
The national champion will attend the GSEA Finals in Johannesburg, South Africa, in spring 2020 to compete with 50 of the world’s top student entrepreneurs and have a chance to win a prize package valued at more than $40,000.