Ulupono Initiative


Keep up to date with Ulupono’s latest updates,
announcements, and press releases.

February 22, 2016

One week left to submit applications for the Mahiai Match-Up Agricultural Business Plan Contest

Categories: Food | Press Release

Download pdf version

Honolulu – In one week, Kamehameha Schools and the Pauahi Foundation will close the application period for the 2016 Mahiai Match-Up – an agricultural business plan contest dedicated to finding farmers to grow food, and decrease the state’s dependence on imports. Teams are asked to complete a short application by Monday, February 29, 2016.

Two winning teams will receive an agricultural land agreement for up to five years of waived rent from Kamehameha Schools and a prize pool totaling $35,000 in start -up money from the Pauahi Foundation to help increase the probability of long-term, sustainable success.

“Our past Mahiai Match-Up winners continue to grow and carry forward what they’ve set out to accomplish,” said Sydney Keliipuleole, senior director of statewide operations for Kamehameha Schools. “Last year’s winner, Mala Kaluulu has completed phase one of their land development management plan. Their 3.7-acre parcel located in Keei is fully planted with more than 100 mature ulu (breadfruit) trees, coffee, and over 150 various fruit trees such as lychee, avocado, newly planted mountain apple and olena.”

Contest sponsors Hawaii Farm & Food Magazine and Ulupono Initiative – a Hawaii-focused impact investing firm –  are excited for what Mahiai Match-Up can do for Hawaii’s food sovereignty movement.

“We are pleased to continue supporting Mahiai Match-Up for its third consecutive year helping to grow Hawaii’s agricultural industry,” said Murray Clay, managing partner of Ulupono Initiative. “Connecting enthusiastic, visionary farmers with local agricultural land and access to capital is integral to achieving Ulupono’s goal of making Hawaii more self-sufficient.”

The contest is open to all farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural entrepreneurs with dynamic ideas are encouraged to submit an application by the deadline of February 29.

2016 Mahiai Match-Up contest parcels:

  • Paalaa – North Shore, Oahu – 3.25 acres
  • Pahoehoe – Hamakua Coast, Hawaii island – 9.5 acres

For the next five-weeks, Kamehameha Schools and the Pauahi Foundation will review the applications and select teams to advance. The teams will then attend a business planning workshop led by Hiilei Aloha – a non-profit dedicated to identify, promote, develop, and support culturally-appropriate, sustainable opportunities. Teams will have seven-weeks to further develop and submit their business plans for review.

To apply for the Mahiai Match-Up contest or for more information, visit www.pauahi.org.

Important Mahiai Match-Up dates:
February 29, 2016 – Applications due
April 1, 2016 – First round finalists notified
May 20, 2016  – Business plans due
Mid-June 2016 – Finalists notified
July 2016 – Presentation to judges
July 2016 – Winners announced
July 30, 2016 – Prize placings announced at Mahiai Match-Up Gala

The Kamehameha Schools’ Strategic Agricultural Plan, completed in 2009, lays a vision and strategy for management and use of over 181,000 acres zoned for agriculture.  Through the plan, Kamehameha is committed to increasing market share of locally grown produce, meat and other food products; investing in agricultural support facilities and infrastructure like irrigation systems; restoring and revitalizing traditional agricultural systems like loi, loko ia, and dryland field systems; and contributing to a sustainable, clean energy future by supporting projects like solar and wind energy.

The mission of the Pauahi Foundation is to support the mission of Kamehameha Schools by seeking and developing new and diverse sources of income to support the ever increasing educational needs and goals of people of Hawaiian ancestry. The Foundation accomplishes its mission in a number of ways including alumni support, endowed scholarships, early childhood education and literacy, charter school support, land stewardship and advancing the Hawaiian language. 

Ulupono Initiative is a Hawaii-focused impact investing firm that uses for-profit and non-profit investments to improve the quality of life for island residents in three areas – locally produced food; clean, renewable energy; and waste reduction.  To learn more, please visit www.ulupono.com or follow @ulupono on Twitter.