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2023 UH Venture Competition finalists, judges and organizers

A startup company helping water sport athletes grow their brand is the winner of the 2023 University of Hawaiʻi Venture Competition (UHVC). Motion Management, led by UH Mānoa students, won a prize package of more than $36,000.

person speaking to a crowd
PACE Executive Director Sandra Fujiyama served as the event’s emcee.

Motion Management is a management firm that represents water sports athletes to propel their brands and careers with the intent to create impactful change in the athletic industry and Hawaiian community. The team’s prize package includes $10,000 from title sponsor American Savings Bank, and more than $26,000 in in-kind prizes. Team members are Juliana Rogers (entrepreneurship at UH Mānoa), Joane Yu (entrepreneurship at UH Mānoa), Heather Jung (entrepreneurship at UH Mānoa), Richard Jegers (entrepreneurship at UH Mānoa) and Devon Baldwin (entrepreneurship, finance at UH Mānoa), and their coach is Masato Itoh of Brookfield Properties.

Motion Management was one of four finalist teams that presented to a group of judges at UHVC’s final event held on May 6 at the American Savings Bank Campus branch. The event was in person and streamed virtually via Zoom.

UHVC is hosted annually by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) in UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business to support budding entrepreneurs by providing hands-on education, mentorship and resources to students from the 10-campus UH System who wish to start a new business.


people standing and talking
Members of Motion Management made their pitch to judges at the UH Venture Competition.

Zingipop Sodaworks—a 100% locally-sourced craft soda company dedicated to supporting agriculture in Hawaiʻi—won the second place prize, which includes $5,000 from Hawaiian Electric Industries and Hawaiian Electric and $20,800 in in-kind prizes. Team members are Amelia Stucker (entrepreneurship and accounting at Kapiʻolani Community College) and Adam Sullivan, and their coach is Janelle Bremer of Good Clean Food Hawaiʻi.

The third place winner was LocaLinQs, which is a social and academic platform and one-stop-shop powered by crowdsourced information that is aggregated and combined with data from multiple websites and research (publications and dissertations) of faculty and students. The third place prize totaled more than $17,800, including a $2,500 cash prize sponsored by HiBEAM in honor of pioneer Billy Richardson. Team members are Stanislava “Stasha” Gardasevic (communication and information sciences at UH Mānoa), Valerie Iinuma, Colleen Milbury (business administration at UH Mānoa) and Milan “Miki” Cvetic, and their coach is Shidler College of Business Assistant Professor Caroline Fry.

The Anywhere Squeegee—a compact, easily transportable tennis court squeegee that enables the consumer to remove rainwater from outdoor recreational courts, improving safety and the quality of the playing experience—won fourth place and a prize package. Team members are Alex Oshita (finance, international business at UH Mānoa) and Eddie Shepherd-Johnson (finance at UH Mānoa), and their coach is Mike Seper from the National Security Innovation Network.

person speaking to a crowd of people
Shidler College of Business Dean Vance Roley addressed the venture competition crowd.

These four teams reached the finals after beating out 40 other teams in earlier rounds of competition. Among the teams were representatives from three UH campuses and more than 20 disciplines.

“The Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship is proud of all of the teams for their progress throughout the competition and we congratulate the winning team and finalists,” PACE Executive Director Sandra Fujiyama said. “Since its inception in 2000, the UH Venture Competition has become one of the most exciting, feature events of the UH entrepreneurial ecosystem. All of the opportunities provided to these teams would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors, partners and volunteers.”

In addition to cash prizes, each winning team will take home a carefully curated prize package of support services. Prize sponsors include Blue Logic Labs, HiBEAM, Hub Coworking Hawaiʻi, New Venture Pro, Pineapple Tweed and Vantage Counsel.

Outstanding student entrepreneur

Fujiyama also presented Daniella Pasion with PACE’s outstanding student entrepreneur of the year award for her exceptional contributions to entrepreneurial activities at the university and in the community. The marketing and entrepreneurship major has managed an ecommerce shop since November 2021. Last year, she joined PACE as one of the first PACE student leaders. Pasion also revived the Hawaiʻi Student Entrepreneurs organization, was a semifinalist in the 2023 UHVC and works as a web development intern at HouseMart.

—By Marc Arakaki

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