Kent Tsukamoto, Managing Partner of Accuity LLP (left) and Ty Uehara, UH Computer Science student and creator of the helmet. UH courtesy photo.
A UH computer science student claimed the top prize of $2,000 at the 2019 University of Hawai‘i Breakthrough Innovation Challenge for his helmet design called ConTekt.
Ty Uehara created the helmet, which immediately calls for 911 emergency services when a rider is involved in an accident.
The challenge was hosted by Shidler College of Business’ Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), and was sponsored by Accuity, LLP, one of the state largest CPA firms.
Prior to the final event, participating students submitted a two-minute video explaining their innovative idea and market potential before a preliminary judging panel. The finalists were paired with mentors from the local business community to help them identify commercial opportunities for their idea and develop a five-minute presentation.
“The success of this particular challenge, for PACE, has been engaging students from technical fields of study and introducing them to business and entrepreneurial concepts,” said Peter Rowan, executive director of PACE. “I am continually impressed by the creative and ambitious ideas of our students, and am excited to be able to help them in their entrepreneurial journey that’s just beginning.”
The other finalists in the Breakthrough Innovation Challenge included:
- Auctor—software that helps to sort waste for recycling;
- Hawaiʻi Innovation Lab—a vest that keeps the body cool with liquid metal;
- Hempire—eco-conscious clothing made from hemp
Hawaiʻi Innovation Lab captured the 2nd prize of $1,000 and the $1,000 Audience Choice award.
The finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges including Len Higashi, interim director of Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation; Julia Okinaka, president of Accuity Consulting Services; and George Yarbrough, co-founder of Impact Hub Honolulu.