Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship benefits from $100,000 donation

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dolly Omiya, (808) 956-5645
College of Business-External Relations Office
Posted: May 27, 2014

PACE exec. dir. Susan Yamada, Shidler Dean Vance Roley and First Insurance CEO Allen Uyeda.
PACE exec. dir. Susan Yamada, Shidler Dean Vance Roley and First Insurance CEO Allen Uyeda.

First Insurance Company of Hawai‘i, the oldest and largest property and casualty insurer in the state, has given $100,000 to the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business. First Insurance’s gift will benefit the five-year PACE initiative that was launched in February 2014. The goal is to raise $2.5 million to create new programs, grow existing programs, and renovate a new and larger location in the Shidler College of Business.

The new center will enable PACE to create a vibrant co-working space for entrepreneurial activity at the University, double the number of entrepreneurial programs it offers, introduce an entrepreneurial curriculum to other UH Mānoa colleges, train key faculty on current entrepreneurial pedagogy, play a pivotal role in the commercialization of UH technology and innovation, and establish a presence in Asia as a leader in entrepreneurial education.

Said Allen Uyeda, CEO of First Insurance and Vice Chair of the PACE Board of Directors, "Every business must think entrepreneurially or risk falling behind. In this competitive business climate, First Insurance has made entrepreneurial thinking a priority. We have launched operating programs focused on new ideas, increased collaboration, and open communication with an emphasis on change. Our support of PACE ensures more graduates are acquainted with these concepts. These virtues benefit not only our business but our entire state."

Under the leadership of Shidler Dean Vance Roley and Executive Director Susan Yamada, PACE has become the training ground for future entrepreneurs and business leaders as well as the bridge between the academic and business worlds. PACE has expanded to include 15-plus programs to cultivate new entrepreneurs, encourage entrepreneurial thinking, spawn new businesses, and rekindle ties with Hawai‘i’s business community.

Yamada said PACE is grateful to First Insurance for its gift toward the entrepreneurship initiative. "Moreover, Allen’s dedication of time and advocacy for entrepreneurship at the University and in the business community is critical in bridging the two worlds and moving the initiative forward in great leaps," she said.

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