Pahoa Bee Company Wins $25,000 in 2016 HIplan Competition

A Pahoa based bee company was awarded $25,000 today at the University of Hawaii Campus Center for their business plan they entered in the 2016 Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition.

Ono Queens LLC owned by Christopher and Wendy Klepps won the grand prize beating out 49 other Hawaii Island Business Plans.

Wendy and Christopher Klepps of Ono Queens LLC accept a check for $25,000.

Wendy and Christopher Klepps of Ono Queens LLC accept a check for $25,000.

49 original competitors were trimmed down to 8 finalists and today they presented 15-minute PowerPoint Presentations to judges Howard Dicus, Murray Clay, Jared Kushi and Chuck Erskine.

hiplan-judgesAfter the judges listened to the 15-minute power point presentations, there was a short break and then the companies followed up with a 2-minute “Elevator Pitch” to try and win the judges over.

The overall judging was weighed in their two presentations given today as well as their submitted 7-page written plans.

The Finalists were (in order of presentation):

  • Aloha Nui Family Practice
  • Big Island Wasabi, LLC
  • Dam Fine Farms
  • Easybotics
  • Hawai’i Ulu Producers Co-op
  • Hawaii Family Health
  • Ono Queens, LLC
  • The Spoon Shop, LLC

The third place runner up was Big Island Wasabi LLC:

Sara Phillips authored the business plan for Big Island Wasabi LLC

Sara Phillips authored the business plan for Big Island Wasabi LLC

The second place runner up was Hawaii Family Health:

Michelle Mitchell was the author of the Hawaii Family Health business plan.

Michelle Mitchell was the author of the Hawaii Family Health business plan.

After the winners were announced, there was a short reception held for the folks and sponsors that were in attendance.

Some of the sponsors mentioned were, Ulupono Initiative, University of Hawaii Hilo, Big Island Toyota, HTDC, DeLuz Chevrolet, Darren T. Kimura, HIGROWTH, NELHA, Hilo Brokers, Marine Genetics and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce.  The Official Media Sponsor was Pacific Media Group.

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