New business plan award honors venture capitalist Billy Richardson

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From left, HiBEAM Executive Director Bee Leng Chua, PACE Executive Director Peter Rowan and HiBEAM board member Piia Aarma.

Winners of a business plan competition organized by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business will benefit from a $25,000 donation from local incubator HiBEAM (Hawaiʻi Business and Entrepreneur Acceleration Mentors) honoring the accomplishments and entrepreneurial spirit of the late Billy Richardson. The award was presented at this year’s UH Business Plan Competition on April 25 to the third-place winners, Okara Kitchen.

“I’m grateful for HiBEAM’s gift in honor of Billy’s contributions to the college. He was an inspiration to many of our students and faculty,” said Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business. “He was deeply committed to mentoring and educating our entrepreneurial students, and in doing so greatly impacted not only the PACE (Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship) programs but the entire entrepreneurial community in Hawaiʻi.”

Richardson passed away in 2017 at the age of 62. He founded and built a series of venture funds that invested in 17 Hawaiʻi companies, two of which went public on the NASDAQ exchange. In recent years, he was deeply involved in educating, mentoring and supporting young leaders in Hawaiʻi’s community.

Read the news release for more.