A web platform co-founded by a student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is quickly gaining traction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Student Corner, a site where students can publicly post projects and research has piqued interests during UH’s historical transition to distance learning.
The online program is the brainchild of UH Hilo computer science student George Donev. “Our user base is growing exponentially and there are hundreds of students using it every day, with a hundred or more added each week,” he said.
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In March, Student Corner was awarded a $20,000 grant by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) program at the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business. The funding is through PACE’s new Liftoff Advisors program. “It’s like an investment but without the equity strings attached, which is really nice,” says Donev. “We’re using the grant to reinvest in the business and help it grow more quickly.”
In an interesting twist, Donev hired one of his instructors, Ted Shaneyfelt, a computer science lecturer. In 1986, UH Hilo awarded Shaneyfelt its first bachelor of science in computer science. UH Hilo business major Althea Kamaliʻi is also on the platform’s development team.
Student Corner saved the 2020 Hawaiʻi State Science and Engineering Fair by enabling submissions from more than 400 participants to go virtual on its platform. All the projects are viewable to the public on the Student Corner site.
—By Leah Sherwood, a graduate student in the tropical conservation biology and environmental science program at UH Hilo