Eight finalists selected for HIplan competition

The eight finalists were chosen from 15 semifinalists based on presentations they all made Saturday at UH Hilo to local business people serving as judges.

hiplan logo with leaf and water graphic.The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports eight Hawai‘i Island entrepreneurs remain in the HIplan competition. The competitors are vying for a $25,000 prize in venture capital to launch a new business. The start-up money will come from the Hawai‘i Island Business Plan Competition or HIplan, a competition for the best business plan, hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and administered by the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce.

Eight businesses on Hawaii Island are finalists in a competition called HIplan, which will award $25,000 to the best plan for growing their enterprise.

Two of the competitors are Hilo physicians, Stefan Harmeling and Michelle Mitchell, seeking to expand their respective local family practices.

Three others are farmers: Kristen Kunzer-Adair of Dam Fine Farms in Hilo, which grows organic vegetables for restaurants; Sara Phillips of Big Island Wasabi LLC in North Kona, which cultivates the popular Japanese horseradish; and Dana Shapiro, organizer of the Hawaii Ulu Producers’ Cooperative in South Kona, who seeks to encourage ulu (breadfruit) cultivation and develop new food products from it.

The remaining finalists are: Easybotics in Hilo, led by Chester Lowrey and his sister, Emma, manufacturers of robotics kits for school-age children; Puna-based husband and wife Christopher and Wendy Klepps of Ono Queens LLC, who raise queen bees for export to mainland beekeepers; and Tracey Ackerman, who seeks to expand her The Spoon Shop LLC in Kailua-Kona from retail kitchen equipment to a certified teaching kitchen.

The eight finalists were chosen from 15 semifinalists based on presentations they all made Saturday at the University of Hawaii at Hilo to local businesspeople serving as judges.

Watch all 15 presentations via YouTube:

 

Read previous posts on UH Hilo Stories about the competition: