Kalo

KALO GRANTS

Open to All Majors

Apply for a Grant

Last spring round due: May 31, 2024

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ABOUT

The kalo or taro plant is integral to Hawaiian culture. A staple source of nourishment, it is also known as the root that sustains life. The Kalo Grants program is established with the idea of this life-giving plant in mind, providing small amounts of funding to students who wish to develop an idea and grow a new venture.

The goals of the program include:

  • Giving students the opportunity and encouragement to pursue and develop ideas

  • Supporting lifestyle ideas that may benefit from small amounts of seed funding

  • Developing skills that are required of new founders, including the ability to set short-term, realistic and measurable goals

  • Spurring innovation and entrepreneurial activity at the University of Hawai’i

The program is OPEN TO ALL MAJORS, and provides feedback and pitch consulting to its participants. Students will be encouraged to research market opportunities, identify customer segments, and build a minimum viable product; as well as hone their presentation and communication skills.

Entries for a $500 grant must demonstrate problem-solution fit. Applications are reviewed by a committee that will make awardee decisions and notifications.
Entries for $1,000 grants must demonstrate problem – solution fit and customer validation efforts. A committee will review the entries and make awardee decisions and notifications. Selectees will need to present their idea at a live pitch event. Pitch coaching will be provided to the selectees prior to the live event.
Entries that are selected to present at live pitch events will vie for $1,000 grants. Awardees will be determined by an audience vote in real-time. Votes will be tallied and the awardees are announced at the close of each live pitch event.

PROGRAM DETAILS

  • Individuals and teams of up to 5 people may apply.
  • The individual or at least one member of the team must be a current, classified UH student. The team may include non-UH members. (Note: If a team is awarded a grant, the award can be designated to UH students only.)
  • Applicants may enter a maximum of one idea for each grant level. However, only one idea from the same individual or team will be considered.
  • Entries must be for new ideas, and not ideas that were awarded previously.
  • Entries must be factual and the original work of the applicants.
  • Previous UH Breakthrough Innovation Challenge, UH Venture Competition or Kalo Grants entries that were awarded are not eligible.
  • Students may apply for grants of $500 or $1,000, depending on their stage of development.
  • Applicants must complete the online registration form and consent to the confidentiality and participation agreements by the registration deadline.
  • Participants who submit an application for a $500 grant must describe Problem – Solution Fit in their entry. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Selected grant awardees will be notified and provided with details to receive the grant. Awardees must attend the Pitch Night event for that round to receive their funds.
  • Participants who submit an application for a $1,000 grant must describe Problem – Solution Fit and demonstrate efforts toward Customer Validation in their entry. Applicants will be reviewed by a selection committee. Selected grant awardees will be notified and provided with pitch coaching. Selectees must pitch their idea at a live event to be eligible for grant awards. Awardees will be voted by a live audience.

TO APPLY FOR A $500 GRANT

Note: If selected, applicants are required to attend the live pitch event. Applicants for the $500 grant do not pitch.
Upload a PDF. Other formats will not be accepted.
  • Idea Summary not more than 4 pages, including cover sheet.
  • A cover sheet should include Business Name and Names of all team members, if any.
  • File must be no more than 2 MB in size.
  • Summary font size no smaller than 12 pt.
  • Document margins at least 1 inch on all sides.
Summary should be written in narrative form.
  • OPENING: Start with a compelling description of your product or service. What was the inspiration for the business or how did you come up with the idea?
  • VALUE PROPOSITION: Describe the problem the business solves. What does the business do to solve the problem? What makes the business’s solution attractive to its customers?
  • MARKET OPPORTUNITY: Describe the existing market. Explain how the company fits into the market and the company’s ability to capture part or all of the market.
  • CUSTOMER DISCOVERY AND SEGMENTS: Describe the business’s customer(s) and how the business will discover customers.
Optional: In addition to the summary, you may submit a video to the review committee.
  • Video must be no longer than 2 minutes.
  • Video must incorporate verbal explanation (not just subtitles).
  • A link to your video should be uploaded in the online application form.

TO APPLY FOR A $1,000 GRANT

Note: If selected, applicants are required to pitch at a live event.
Upload a PDF. Other formats will not be accepted.
  • Business Summary not more than 6 pages, including cover sheet.
  • A cover sheet should include Business Name and Names of all team members, if any.
  • File must be no more than 2 MB in size.
  • Summary font size no smaller than 12 pt.
  • Document margins at least 1 inch on all sides.
Summary should be written in narrative form.
  • OPENING: Start with a compelling description of your product or service. What was the inspiration for the business or how did you come up with the idea?
  • VALUE PROPOSITION: Describe the problem the business solves. What does the business do to solve the problem? What makes the business’s solution attractive to its customers?
  • MARKET OPPORTUNITY: Describe the existing market. Explain how the company fits into the market and the company’s ability to capture part or all of the market.
  • CUSTOMER DISCOVERY AND SEGMENTS: Describe the business’s customer(s) and how the business will discover customers.
  • PRODUCT MARKET FIT: Describe how the business knows that it has successfully identified the target market for its product or service. Describe insights gained from customer validation activities (ex: interviews). Would customers pay for the business’s product or service to meet their needs?
  • COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: Describe the company’s competitors and what sets the company apart from the competition. What is the company’s timeline for reaching the market? Explain factors that provide the company a competitive advantage. Examples of factors could include market volatility (ex: local, national or global events), intellectual property that the company is developing (ex: new technology, trade secrets, etc.).
Optional: In addition to the summary, you may submit a video to the review committee.
  • Video must be no longer than 2 minutes.
  • Video must incorporate verbal explanation (not just subtitles).
  • A link to your video should be uploaded in the online application form.

LIVE PITCH EVENT RULES

  • Finalists will give a pitch of their business idea to a live audience.
  • All members who were included in the application must be present for the final pitch.
  • The audience will follow with questions after each pitch.
  • Awardees will be selected based on audience votes. Votes will be tallied at the end of all pitches, and grant awardees will be announced at the end of the program.
If selected in the $1,000 grant category, applicants are required to pitch at a live event.
  • Selectees will give a pitch of their business idea to a live audience. All members who were included in the application must be present for the final pitch. If there are non-UH students on the team, the UH students must present a majority of the pitch.
  • Each presenter will do a pitch (maximum of 10 minutes). Presenters must use slides. Other visual aids or props should be approved by the program organizers in advance.
  • Presenters much provide their slides in advance to the program organizers.
  • The audience will follow with up to 5 minutes of questions after each pitch.
  • Awardees will be selected based on audience votes. Votes will be tallied at the end of all pitches, and grant awardees will be announced at the end of the program. Voting forms will include Judging Criteria that is listed on the website.

$500 GRANT JUDGING CRITERIA

The review committee will consider the following:
  1. Product or service is clearly described with passion.
  2. Strong understanding of the product or service’s value that it offers its customers.
  3. Deep knowledge of the identified target market and confidence in filling a gap in the market.
  4. Solid identification of potential customers based on research, and a strategy to reach various segments.

$1,000 GRANT JUDGING CRITERIA

The review committee will consider the following:
  1. Product or service is clearly described with passion.
  2. Strong understanding of the product or service’s value that it offers its customers.
  3. Deep knowledge of the identified target market and confidence in filling a gap in the market.
  4. Solid identification of potential customers based on research, and a strategy to reach various segments.
  5. Evidence that the product or service is something potential customers would pay for.
  6. Explanation of the company’s ability to offer more value to its customers than its competitors.

LIVE PITCH JUDGING CRITERIA

The review committee will consider the following:
  • PRESENTATION QUALITY: Did the pitch grab your attention? Was the pitch clearly articulated?
  • CONTENT: Did the pitch clearly define the problem-solution fit? Did the pitch clearly define the market opportunity and competitive landscape? Did the pitch highlight efforts toward customer validation? Did the pitch demonstrate a strong understanding of their customer segments?
  • OVERALL IMPRESSION: Did the applicant express passion? Did the applicant demonstrate credibility? After hearing the pitch, what is your level of confidence in the success of the venture? Did you have more questions than answers after the pitch?
  • The University of Hawai‘i Honor Code applies to all participants of any PACE activity. While every effort will be made to preserve the confidentiality of each submission, it is suggested that highly sensitive material be excluded from the entry if a team is concerned about the confidentiality of such material. Note, however, that teams will be making final presentations to an open audience. Of course, technical drawings and formulae need not be shown at this presentation, or even included in the pitch.
  • The University of Hawai‘i and the organizers of the program cannot take further responsibility to protect the intellectual property or other rights of the applicants. Protection of such rights is ultimately the responsibility of each applicant. Applicants are urged to mark as “CONFIDENTIAL” any portion of their entries, which they consider to be confidential. The organizers, reviewers, and other affiliates of the program will NOT enter into non-disclosure agreements with applicants.
  • All competitors agree to allow the University of Hawaii and the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship to record all public sessions. Entrants understand that recordings may be copied and distributed for the purpose of marketing the competition in future years.
  • Each person who is included in the application must be an active participant in the live pitch event or risk forfeiture of grant awarding.
  • Grants will be disbursed in accordance with university policies.
  • All federal and state taxes are the responsibility of the awardees.

2024 SCHEDULE

DATE ACTIVITY DETAILS
January 31 Application Deadline (Round 1)
Time: 11:59 PM
Application Closed
February 12 Coaching Session
Time: 3:00 to 5:00 PM @ RISE 2nd Level
Private Registration
February 15 Live Pitch Event at RISE
Time: 4:30 pm @ RISE 2nd Level
Registration Closed
February 29 Application Deadline (Round 2)
Time: 11:59 PM
Application Closed
March 11 Coaching Session
Time: 3:00 to 5:00 PM @ RISE 2nd Level
Private Registration
March 14 Live Pitch Event at RISE
Time: 4:30 pm @ RISE 2nd Level
Registration Closed
March 31 Application Deadline (Round 3)
Time: 11:59 PM
Application Closed
April 9 Coaching Session
Time: 3:00 to 5:00 PM @ RISE 2nd Level
Private Registration
April 11 Live Pitch Event at RISE
Time: 4:30 pm @ RISE 2nd Level
Registration Closed
April 30 Application Deadline (Round 4)
$500 Grant Only
Time: 11:59 PM
Apply HERE
May 31 Application Deadline (Round 5)
$500 Grant Only
Time: 11:59 PM
Apply HERE

THE KALO GRANTS ORGANIZING STUDENT TEAM

2023-24

Kalo Grants team
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in Partnership with
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phone: (808) 956-5083
fax: (808) 956-5107
email: pace@hawaii.edu
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in Partnership with
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phone: (808) 956-5083
fax: (808) 956-5107
email: pace@hawaii.edu
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University of Hawaiʻi
An Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Institution.
© 2020 Shidler College of Business. All rights reserved.
2404 Maile Way, Room E-402, Honolulu, HI 96822
Website by Blue Logic Labs
Intranet • Credits
uhm logo@2x
University of Hawaiʻi
An Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Institution.
© 2020 Shidler College of Business. All rights reserved.
Website by Blue Logic Labs
2404 Maile Way, Room E-402, Honolulu, HI 96822
Intranet • Credits