More than 325 University of Hawaiʻi students have become the first residents to move into the new state-of-the-art Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) student housing facility for the fall 2023 semester. The state-of-the-art building opened in August 2023 on the site of the former Atherton YMCA and is expected to transform the entrepreneurial ecosystem at UH’s flagship campus.
“This has been a groundbreaking project several years in the making and we are extremely excited to welcome students into the brand-new complex,” said Sandra Fujiyama, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) executive director. “Last week, we kicked off the semester with a summit for our 50+ PACE leaders and a welcome reception for the RISE residents. Our PACE team and PACE leaders have lined up a variety of programs and events for our new space at RISE to inspire, empower, convene, connect and support students across all 10 UH campuses.”
PACE, housed in UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business, is expanding its footprint to the innovation center on the second floor of RISE and will manage the center and activate the space with its innovation and entrepreneurship program. RISE and PACE are open to students from any discipline and any UH campus, including the community colleges. The inaugural group of RISE residents represents every college and school at UH Mānoa.
RISE’s student residents will experience a transformative housing community with like-minded students, and proximity to the wealth of UH entrepreneurship programs in the classroom, makerspaces, meeting rooms and co-working spaces on the floors below.
“It was super cool to be able to move into the newest housing facilities as a freshman. The amenities RISE offers were a large draw for me,” said Briena Du, a UH Mānoa botany and tropical plant and soil sciences student. “On moving day it was extremely busy, but everyone was incredibly friendly and excited to meet new people. I was invited to many different rooms and floors for get-togethers and tours, as everyone was (and still is) making use of the communal spaces in the halls and kitchens.”
Joshua Galeria, a UH Mānoa computer engineering student, added, “I could feel the excitement from the other students. Everyone was eager to meet one another and make that connection. I could hear a lot of conversations and laughter throughout the hallways. I’ve also noticed an active use of the amenities such as the outdoor deck and collaboration space. All of my friends and classmates not living in RISE have been wanting to come by and hang out.”
More about RISE
RISE is fully funded with private, non-taxpayer money under a public-private partnership (P3) between UH, UH Foundation and Hunt Development Group Hawaiʻi, and was completed on time. PACE and UH Foundation have received several private gifts totaling more than $5 million to pay for the cost of furnishings and equipment, and to cover the cost of operations and scholarships in the first few years of operation.
Moss is the general contractor on the project, and B.HOM Student Living is managing RISE, the university’s first externally managed student housing complex.
Current and prospective students at any of the 10 UH campuses are still welcome to apply. For more information and to apply, visit the RISE website. All RISE student spaces have opened. The Atherton wing, which will house office space for UH Foundation and additional ideation space for PACE, is expected to be completed by January 2024.
—By Marc Arakaki