Maui Business

Hawaii Community Foundation Seeks Innovation Grant Proposals

August 8, 2011, 12:45 PM HST
* Updated August 8, 2:13 PM
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By Sonia Isotov

Starting September 1, 2011 local nonprofits can submit their innovative ideas for grant awards of up to $100,000 provided by the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Island Innovation Fund (IIF).

The Island Innovation Fund was established in 2010 as part of the $50 million commitment from Pam and Pierre Omidyar to the Hawai’i Community Foundation. Pierre is a celebrated entrepreneur and innovator who spent many years in Silicon Valley, and is best known as the founder and chairman of eBay.

Starting September 1, 2011 the Island Innovation Fund will begin accepting applications for its second round of funding. The statewide initiative is a three-year, $3 million project offering grant awards of up to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations.

Innovations that best meet grant criteria will be invited to submit full proposals and grant recipients will be announced by February 2012.

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“We look forward to building upon the success of our first round of grants and working with local nonprofits to spur thoughtful ideas and solutions that can change the lives of many within our island community,” said Kina Mahi, senior program officer at the Hawai’i Community Foundation in charge of the Island Innovation Fund.

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In its first round of grants, a total of $461,119 was awarded to five recipients for projects that will: promote group buying with socially-responsible businesses, with proceeds benefiting partner nonprofit organizations; organize the harvesting, collection and processing of excess food in rural communities to distribute back to its residents; create a shared database of real-time information of Hawai’i’s native forests to coordinate and promote conservation efforts; establish a shared registry of electronic medical records that will improve the quality of care for diabetes patients; and launch a mobile phone application.

Details on the Island Innovation Fund are available at www.islandinnovation.org and the Hawai’i Community Foundation website, www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org.

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