Business

American Savings Bank awards over $145,000 to winners of KeikiCo Business Plan Competition : Maui Now

Student entrepreneurs across the state presented their best ideas in American Savings Bank’s 6th annual Bank for Education KeikiCo Business Plan Competition. From a sustainable waste management system to a mental health app for parents and kids to stay in touch, over 100 teams submitted game-changing ideas, developed valuable business skills and received a chance to win up to $25,000 for their school.

“Every year, KeikiCo participants impress us with their creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit – qualities that are key to diversifying Hawaii’s economy” said Ann Teranishi, president and CEO at ASB. “This year, we were inspired by the students who presented ideas to help those on Maui recover from the devastating wildfires. American Savings Bank is proud to support these young leaders and entrepreneurs with mentorship and financial education resources.”

Students formed teams of up to five members and created business plans and video pitches that were reviewed by judges from the business community. First-place teams in each division won $25,000 for their school and each member of the winning team also received an individual cash bonus of up to $500. The public was also invited to vote for their favorite team, with the top three teams in each division receiving the People’s Choice award. 

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“Students explored their business ideas, honed real-world skills and developed effective collaboration and customer service expertise,” said Joseph Halfmann, principal at Pearl City High School. “Their realistic solutions to better our community showcase their dedication and ingenuity. We thank American Savings Bank and partners for making this program possible.” 

To help them develop their business plans, KeikiCo participants benefit from a comprehensive program, including a video curriculum, online resources and mentorship designed to foster entrepreneurship, marketing and critical thinking skills crucial for building a successful business in Hawaii.

“Last year, we used our $25,000 KeikiCo award to buy cardboard shredders for schools on the west side to help manage the influx of cardboard due to ecommerce,” said Michelle Pieper, Hawaiian language teacher at Nanakuli High & Intermediate School. “This year, our team built on that project with a plan to use shredded cardboard to create eco-friendly oil change boxes. I’m proud of the students for using their winnings to make a difference in their communities. When people ask me what I teach, I say I teach kuleana.”

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2023 KeikiCo Contest Winners

Winners join ASB’s Bank for Education Ohana, an exclusive group of schools that receive special benefits such as priority consideration for grants, volunteer service projects, scholarships, internships and exclusive event invitations.

The KeikiCo Contest is a cornerstone of ASB’s Bank for Education program, contributing over $1.5 million to Hawaii’s schools since 2010.

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