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The University of Hawaiʻi is offering a new investment opportunity for early-stage ventures affiliated with any of the 10 UH campuses. The Calvin Shindo Student Venture Fund (CSSVF), a program of the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) in UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business, is seeking entrepreneurs for its summer investment round.

The fund is managed by a committee of 12 UH students. All ventures that apply will be considered through a pre-screening process. If the venture is accepted, it will move to the due diligence stage. During this stage, the student committee will evaluate the venture and make recommendations to its board who will sign off on the investment.

All ventures that advance to the due diligence stage, regardless of funding, will receive valuable feedback related to its scalability, concept and feasibility from the student committee’s report. Funding of up to $5,000 is available per venture. A total of $25,000 per year may be awarded, with $133,000 available in the seed investment fund.

Applications must be submitted by May 21, 2021 to be considered for the summer round of funding. Any submissions received beyond this date will be considered for future investment rounds. Apply on PACE’s website.

“Thanks to the generous donation by Dustin Shindo, we have been able to assemble a committee of some of the brightest students at UH, eager to identify and accelerate ventures at UH that may not have the opportunity to receive funding elsewhere,” said Nathan Bek, student chair of CSSVF. “While this happens, we as student participants are extremely excited about the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of both entrepreneurship and venture capital because we all share a goal of helping to diversify and localize Hawaiʻi’s economy.”

Previously called the Hoku Scientific Microloan Fund, the program is made possible by a generous gift from Shindo, the co-founder of Hoku Scientific. The microloan program was revamped into an equity investment fund and named in honor of Shindo’s father, Calvin.

This program is an example of UH Mānoa’s goals of Enhancing Student Success (PDF) and Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), two of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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