Team of UH Hilo, Arizona State, and local high school students wins student category in business plan competition

The team of six won top honors in the HIplan Student Business Plan student competition for creating and building Student Corner, a web platform that perpetuates student projects. The team will share in the prize of four full tuition scholarships for those attending UH Hilo.

By Susan Enright.

George Donev, Morgan Dean, Abby Peterson, Emmeline DePillis and Jason Ueki.
Three of the six members of the winning Student Business Plan team stand with UH Hilo and HIplan officials. (Left to right) Students George Donev, Morgan Dean, and Abby Peterson stand with UH Hilo business professor Emmeline de Pillis and HIplan official Jason Ueki. Courtesy photo from HIplan. Click to enlarge.

A team of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Arizona State, and local high school students won top honors in the student category at the annual Hawaiʻi Business Plan (HIplan) competition. The final round of the 2018 competition took place at UH Hilo on Oct. 27.

The six members of the winning team are two students from UH Hilo, one student from Arizona State University, and three local high school students. The team will share in the prize of four full tuition scholarships for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters for those attending UH Hilo.

The winning team members are UH Hilo computer science students George Donev (Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, 2017) and Peter Rygh (Connections Public Charter School, 2017), Arizona State University student Redwan Ciao (Campbell High School 2018), and current high school students Morgan Dean (Hawai‘i Prep Academy, 2020), Diza Hendrawan (Punahou School, 2020), and Abby Peterson (Hilo High School, 2020). 

Student Corner

The team won top honors in the student category for creating and building Student Corner, a web platform that perpetuates student projects and research for college admissions, professional portfolios, and facilitates collaboration with other students and their educational community. The team has been working on the project for about a year-and-a-half.

In an article in the UH Hilo student publication Ke Kalahea, Donev says the prize is “a really good indicator of their success and potential.”

“We’re planning on expanding this to a professional business venture and applying to startup accelerators,so it’s really awesome to be recognized,” says Donev. “We are currently participating in Y-Combinator’s StartUp School cohort after being selected from a pool of applicants. We have also recently been accepted into Venture Devils, a startup accelerator program. And, of course, we won this year’s HIplan Competition.”  

Each member of the team has an impressive résumé:

  • George Donev, CEO of Student Corner. Kohala County Commissioner, Astrophysics Intern at Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope, TEDx Speaker, featured on Hawai‘i Public Radio.
  • Morgan Dean, Head Development and Engineering, Student Corner. 2018 Nalukai Cohort, SwoopIt co-founder, TutorialDB creator.
  • Diza Hendrawan, Head Operations and Marketing, Student Corner. Nalukai 2018 Cohort, published by Oxford University Press, featured on Hawai‘i NPR.
  • Peter Rygh, Back End Development, Student Corner. Self-taught programmer.
  • Redwan Ciao, Sales and Marketing, Student Corner. Nalukai 2018 Cohort, Arizona State University Grand Scholar, Most Innovative @ E-icon 2018.
  • Abby Peterson, Front-End Development, Student Corner. Nalukai 2018 Cohort, Girls Who Code Organization volunteer, First Robotics Inspiration Award.

“We plan on applying to Blue Startups and other startup accelerators in Honolulu for the upcoming summer term,” Donev says.

 

About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.