Public invited to virtual UH Venture Competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Krystal Lee, (808) 956-5092
Program Manager, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship
Posted: Apr 30, 2021

UHVC Marketing Asset
UHVC Marketing Asset

For the first time in the 21-year history of the University of Hawai‘i Venture Competition (UHVC), the public is invited to watch and participate in the final event as three promising UH startup teams vie for more than $60,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The live-streamed event, on Wednesday, May 5, 4–7 p.m., will be interactive allowing participants to share their comments, respond to polls and vote for their favorite in the wild card round. Viewers must register to receive the link on the venture competition website

The UHVC, which is presented by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business, is open to students from all 10 UH campuses. The UHVC has grown to become one of the most exciting signature events of the university entrepreneurial ecosystem and is made possible thanks to title sponsor American Savings Bank. In addition to cash, each winning team will take home a carefully curated prize package of support services. Prize sponsors include Blue Logic Labs, Business Consulting Resources, HiBEAM, Hub Coworking Hawaii, Pineapple Tweed, ProService Hawaii and Vantage Counsel. 

The finalists are: 

  • Nimbus AI LLC
    Team: Kyle Hart (UH Mānoa computer science graduate student), Peter Sadowski (UH Mānoa information and computer sciences assistant professor) and Giuseppe Torri (UH Mānoa atmospheric sciences assistant professor)
    Nimbus AI LLC is a company that provides machine learning powered solar forecasts for utilities and individual PV customers.

  • Polū Energy
    Team: Tate Castillo (UH Mānoa law and business student) and David Ma (College of Engineering interim associate dean)
    Polū Energy offers reliable renewable ocean energy technology that balances wind and solar while making seawater desalination cheaper and cleaner.

  • Pulse Utility, LLC
    Team: Craig Opie (UH Mānoa information and computer sciences student), Yosef Ben Gershom (UH Mānoa executive MBA student), Anthony Lopez (UH Mānoa electrical engineering student), Joshua O’Neill (Honolulu Community College computing, security, and networking technology student), and Isaac Rodrigues (Hawaiʻi Space Flight Laboratory engineer)
    Pulse Utility, LLC is a utility location service using ground penetration radar with improved location accuracy.

The judges are: 

  • Ben Godsey, president and CEO of ProService Hawaii

  • Alvin Miyasato, retired region head, finance leadership development, Intel Asia

  • Tony Mizuno, senior vice president, commercial real estate, American Savings Bank

  • Wendy (Kuwamoto) Peterson, general counsel of Knobbe Martens

More about the UHVC

The UHVC is an intense, experiential program that provides a platform for UH students and faculty who seek to learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur and start a business venture. Through the competition, participants test the feasibility of a business idea, develop a business plan and pitch to investors.

The UHVC is one of more than 20 programs offered by PACE. PACE offers mentorship, training and resources to all UH students and faculty, and its programs are designed to encourage entrepreneurial thinking across disciplines and inspire entrepreneurs to move their ideas from conceptualization to commercialization. Learn more at PACE’s website.

For more information, visit: