Keiki Business Contest Awards $190K to Schools Statewide

December 24, 2019, 5:00 AM HST · Updated December 26, 11:51 AM
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Maui Waena Intermediate School received a total of $30,000 for winning First Place, and People’s Choice in the Middle School Division. Photo courtesy: American Savings Bank. 

Over 1,000 students from across the state showed off their entrepreneurship in this yearʻs Bank for Education KeikiCo Business Plan Competition.

This yearʻs 14 winning schools received a total of $190,000.

American Savings Bank launched the bi-annual contest in 2015. This year, ASB received more than 300 entries from 33 schools statewide.

“At ASB, we believe that financial literacy and innovation can be both fun and educational for students of all ages,” ASB president Rich Wacker said in a press release.

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“Our KeikiCo contest helps to foster entrepreneurship among youth, which ultimately furthers the growth of Hawaii’s innovation sector.”

Through the competition, students formed teams of two to five to come up with their best ideas for a chance to win cash prizes for their school, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Teachers and advisors are provided with a video curriculum, online resources and mentorship through ASB volunteers.

By participating in KeikiCo, students learn the basics of creating their own business, from coming up with a unique product and service to developing marketing and finance plans to filming a pitch to investors.

The plans and pitches were reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges from Hawaiʻi’s Startup Paradise community.

ASB named first and second place winners in three divisions – elementary, middle and high school, as well as two People’s Choice awards for each division, selected by public voting on video entries via Facebook in late November.

The bank also awarded a County Participation prize to the school in each county that had the highest participation rate.

“The KeikiCo Contest gave our students an opportunity to pursue their passions, learn the fundamentals of business and find solutions to real challenges our community is facing,” said Jennifer Suzuki, teacher at Maui Waena Intermediate School, this year’s 1st Place winner and People’s Choice winner in the Middle School Division.

“We are truly grateful to ASB for putting on this competition, and for providing our students with valuable tools and resources they will use well into their future.”

The winning plans represented a variety of creative ideas, from Kipapa Elementary School’s Velcro Laces, an invention that kids put on their shoes, to Maui High School’s Altrucliq – a volunteer-matching platform for students, which earned first in its division.

Once a school wins a prize from the KeikiCo Contest, they become part of ASB’s Bank for Education Ohana – receiving perks during non-competition years, including opportunities to apply for additional grants, volunteer service projects performed by ASB teammates, as well as priority consideration for scholarships and internships.

Since the Bank for Education program began in 2010, ASB has donated more than $1 million to local schools.

Here is a list of this yearʻs winners:

Elementary School Division:

  • 1st Place ($25,000): Kipapa Elementary School, Velcro Laces
  • 2nd Place ($15,000): Ala Wai Elementary School, Extreme Clean Dream Team
  • People’s Choice ($5,000): Mililani Waena Elementary School, Instafood and Moanalua Elementary School, Solution to Pollution

Middle School Division:

  • First Place ($25,000): Maui Waena Intermediate School, We Can
  • Second Place ($15,000): Highlands Intermediate School, Master Coolers
  • People’s Choice ($5,000): Maui Waena Intermediate School, Appipen and St. Michael School, Un-Forget It

High School Division:

  • First Place($25,000): Maui High School, AltruCliq
  • Second Place ($15,000): Kauai High School, Freight Farms
  • People’s Choice ($5,000): McKinley High School, GKJ and Pearl City High School, Ainaz Worldwide

County Participation Prizes ($10,000 each):

  • Oʻahu: Moanalua Elementary School
  • Hawaiʻi Island: Waiakea Elementary School
  • Maui: Sacred Hearts School
  • Kauaʻi: Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
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