Congratulations to the Kīpuka Competition Finalists!

Kipuka Innovation Competition Hero Image
Written by Jack Solomon
August 10, 2020

To all of the students who entered the Kīpuka Youth Innovation Competition


We want to express a big, huge mahalo to all of the students who entered the competition! Your ideas for a better Hawaiʻi are inspiring and very impressive. While we wish that all applicants could have progressed as finalists in the competition, we could only advance 10.

We are excited to announce that the following 10 finalists will advance in the Kīpuka competition:


Ho’okai’kua’ana with KPAL (Keiki Play Along LIVE)

Team Lead: Elena, Middle School — Oʻahu

KPAL is a virtual Play Date through IG Live. As a daughter to the ‘ohana who has created this idea, I would like to contribute my role as an older sibling to this ‘āina based cause. I would like to use the KPAL platform to help other older siblings learn why and how to be in the same role as me.


Team Lead: Kea, Junior — Hawaiʻi Island

Huli is a web platform that unites teams of youth with diverse skill sets and backgrounds to solve the problems within their education. Students are taken through the design-thinking process to create various end-products that spur real change in their learning environment.

Hydropower Generators in Fishpond Mākāhā

Team Lead: Joshua, Senior — Oʻahu

Environmentally-safe hydropower generators to provide renewable energy for Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishponds) and Loʻi (Farms) restoration efforts.

Invasive Algae & Taro-based Bioplastic

Team Lead: Kelly, Senior — Oʻahu

Bioplastics, or biodegradable plastics, are recognized as the “future of plastics.” This project would use invasive algae and taro to create a bioplastic and educational website addressing global warming, coral reef damaging, and plastic pollution issues.


Team Lead: Natalie, Senior — Oʻahu

Kruze is a carpooling app initiative. A cost-effective alternative to rideshare services, kruze allows the user to have the option to either drive or ride with people already going your way. kruze will establish partnership placements with local businesses and college campuses.


Team Lead: Liʻuakalaʻikamakua, Senior — Oʻahu

An interactive app and website that serves as a database for native plants and animals. Users can get out of the house and “catch” certain plants and animals (similar to Pokemon GO) that are spread out around the island in different places where each is from i.e. finding pāpio around fish ponds or māmaki in the mountains. Capturing these plants and animals will allow you to unlock information about the plant or animal such as its uses in old Hawaiʻi and even how they can be used today.

Nā Lima Kōkua

Team Lead: Jessica, Senior — Hawaiʻi Island

A platform with the goal of connecting conservation groups with individuals in the community. It would function as a hub for community members to find and commit to conservation work where they live. We want to create a virtual space that encourages people to become involved in invasive species removal while also bonding as a community.

SEEDS of Honua – Seed and Serve

Team Lead: Tyler, Sophomore — Oʻahu

SEEDS of Honua, a branch of Seed and Serve, is a youth-led Seed Bank. Our goal is to formalize a process and methodology to start and continue a youth led seed bank coalition & movement.

Tongen o Aina

Team Lead: Melody, Senior — Oʻahu

Biodegradable products created locally using ocean plastic.


Team Lead: Gordon, Junior — O’ahu

Virtruss is a 3-part social-emotional learning program that aims to support students at various levels of wellbeing, through consistent and continuous intervention.



All Kīpuka finalists will refine their ideas and submit a final pitch video. Judges will choose the top three to receive a cash prize and business mentorship from STEM Works. The winner will be invited to pitch at the Purple Prize 2020 Kilo Hōkū virtual pitch event alongside the 2020 cohort.

Mahalo to all of our partners and ʻohana who spread the word to our community’s youth.

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