UH accelerator selects five Hawaii startups for Spring 2020 cohort


Five startup companies have been named to the UH Ventures Accelerator spring 2020 cohort, and four of them are addressing challenges associated with COVID-19.

The UH Ventures Accelerator, powered by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), is designed to support early-stage, University of Hawaii-affiliated ventures across its 10 campuses. The program provides tailored mentorship, intensive startup education and seed funding.

“When we selected the companies at the end of last year, we had no idea that our reality would be so different today,” said PACE Executive Director Peter Rowan. “It’s exciting to be able to assist these promising startups scale their solutions to solve real challenges we’re facing because of COVID-19. The team of instructors, mentors, advisors and speakers we assembled bring together a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help this cohort gain traction and realize their potential.”

“During the application and selection process, we were most encouraged by the diversity of startups being built by students, alumni, faculty and staff across the 10 campuses within the UH System,” said Steve Auerbach, Interim Director of the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization. “We look forward to supporting more entrepreneurial activity to help our economy get back on track after the current crisis.”

The companies chosen for the spring 2020 cohort are:

  • Hawaii Innovation Lab – Led by Hawaii Natural Energy Institute post doctoral fellow Arif Rahman, the company develops low-cost, liquid metal, optical coating for flexible mirrors. 
  • Pharmacist First – Led by Shidler MBA alumnus Colby Takeda, the company provides a telehealth service that partners a clinical pharmacist team with primary care providers to better manage chronic disease.
  • Radial3D – Led by Shidler alumnus Evan Young, the company delivers 3D clinical lab experiences to medical schools online.
  • RendezView – Led by PhD computer science student Alberto Gonzalez, the company offers an online meeting platform that helps remote workers collaborate, create and edit in sync. 
  • Selective HA – Led by Honolulu Community College student Zoe Pastorfiled-Li, the startup began in 2019 and aims to utilize fashion waste and other aloha wear fabrics to make reusable, fashionable face masks. 

About the UH Ventures Accelerator

The UH Ventures Accelerator, the University of Hawaii System’s nationally recognized startup accelerator, is now being run by PACE, the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship. The UH Ventures Accelerator is a system-wide resource that is open to faculty, staff and students across all 10 UH System campuses and those with a UH affiliation (e.g. alumni or licensee of UH technology). Companies accepted into the UH Ventures Accelerator cohort will be eligible for equity investment from UH Ventures, LLC and may join the UH Ventures portfolio of companies that UH has been supporting and investing in since 2014. Learn more at pace.shidler.hawaii.edu/accelerator.

About Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship

Founded in 2000 at the Shidler College of Business, the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) is the home for a set of experiential entrepreneurship programs at the University of Hawai‘i (UH). The Center’s 20+ programs offer mentorship, training and resources to all UH students and faculty, and are designed to encourage entrepreneurial thinking across disciplines and inspire entrepreneurs to move their ideas from conceptualization to commercialization. Learn more at pace.shidler.hawaii.edu.

About the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization/Office of Technology Transfer

The Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) is responsible for the management of intellectual property and technology assets developed at all 10 campuses within the University of Hawaii System and the transfer and translation of new technology to broader public use. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) and UH Ventures are housed within OIC. OIC also has oversight of the innovation and entrepreneurial (iE) programs across the UH System, including: UH Ventures Accelerator, iLab, the innovation playground at the center of UH Mānoa campus, and the Mānoa Innovation Center (MIC) incubator. Learn more at www.hawaii.edu/research/oic.

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