The Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship

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Breakthrough Innovation Challenge


  • 1st Place - Cloud Catcher
  • 2nd Place - Organ Assembly in Vitro
  • 3rd Place - Fly-Sailing

Cloud Catcher
Namib beetle inspired building material

An energy-saving, water-harvesting wall that employs hydrophilic and hydrophobic relationships to remove water from outside air and pass clean, fresh air to building occupants.

Team members: Francis Newton Parks III and Monica Umeda

Organ Assembly in Vitro
Human cell and cellular microenviroment inspired organ assembly technology

A microbubble robot system that assembles single living cells to form tissues and organs outside of the body.

Team members: Qihui Fan, Wenqi Hu and Aaron Ohta


Basilisk lizard inspired hydrofoiling catamaran

A high-speed sailboat inspired by the Jesus lizard to provide more stability and make it more usable for a broader range of markets including personal, commercial and military applications.

Team member: Jon White




PACE is looking for fresh ideas that are inspired by nature—innovative solutions (products, designs, services or processes) that mimic nature to solve human problems.

Phase 1: Submit your idea in a 2-minute video.
Phase 2: The best videos receive feedback from mentors.
Phase 3: Finalists pitch in front of a live audience for cash prizes.

What is Biomimicry?
“Biomimicry is learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable designs. It’s studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell or a coral reef to make a resilient company. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, benign chemistry, transportation, collaboration, and more. Mimicking these earth-savvy designs can help humans leapfrog to technologies that sip energy, shave material use, reject toxins, and work as a system to create conditions conducive to life.” - Janine M. Benyus, co-founder and Biomimicry Institute board president

To learn more about biomimicry and for an inspiring list of biomimetic examples, read A Biomimicry Primer.


The Breakthrough Innovation Challenge is organized in partnership with the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Engineering and the William S. Richardson School of Law.