POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 20, 2010
The Hawaii Venture Capital Association has announced the winners of its third annual Entrepreneur of the Year award.
"Being an entrepreneur, especially in Hawaii, is a daunting challenge," said Bill Spencer, HVCA's president since 1999. "The lack of meaningful amounts of venture capital, the difficult business environment and Hawaii's isolation from major markets requires creativity and perseverance," he said.
Winners were recognized in five categories:
» Clean Tech Entrepreneur, Cully Judd, owner of Inter-Island Solar Supply. Formed in Honolulu in 1975, Inter-Island Solar Supply has become one of the nation's largest distributors of renewable energy products and packaged systems, including solar hot water and photovoltaic systems. The company has outlets on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
» Serial Entrepreneur, Peter Cannon, owner of Hawaiian Resources Co. Ltd., a local publishing firm that produces calendars, greeting cards and other materials. Cannon also is co-founder of Franko Maps, a series of laminated guide maps of visitor destinations with details on dive sites, surfing spots, trails, historical sites, scenery, cultural facts, activities and other attractions.
» Inventor Entrepreneur, Dr. Peter Schneider, founder of Innovasc, a biotechnology company developing alternatives to stent technology. Stents are widely used to treat blood vessel blockage, but complications from stents have prompted doctors and patients look for safer treatment options. Alternative treatments being developed by Innovasc include balloon angioplasty for blood vessel blockage.
» Young Entrepreneur, Justin MacNaughton, co-founder of Green Car Hawaii, a car-share service that allows visitors to rent cars by the hour via a kiosk in hotel lobbies. The service, launched by MacNaughton and business partner Warren Doi, is available at the Grand Hyatt Kauai; the Hyatt Regency Waikiki will become the second location in early 2011.
» Social Entrepreneur, John Dean, founder of the Entrepreneurship Foundation of Hawaii. The nonprofit provides several ways for entrepreneurial companies to give back to the community. Under one of its initiatives, EF Hawaii accepts donations of company stock. If the company is sold or goes public, the stock is sold, and EF Hawaii gives part of the proceeds to a corporate charitable fund.