Meet the 25 Hawaii innovators that are blazing new paths in the local startup industry

June 17, 2022

Pacific Business News is pleased to introduce its first-ever Inno Fire awards, celebrating the startups and innovators driving progress in Hawaii.

The honorees were selected from a combination of nominations that PBN received and reviewed and innovators chosen by the newsroom based on our coverage and familiarity with their work. This week we share the names and categories of our 25 honorees. Watch for July 22 cover story, in print and online, where we'll tell you more about their accomplishments — and name one top "blazer" in each of the five categories.

Click through the above gallery to see the 25 companies that have been selected for their roles in sparking innovation, launching new products, and coming up with new solutions to old problems, all while sustaining themselves, and helping other companies, through the pandemic.

Meet the honoree companies


Elemental Excelerator — A Hawaii-based nonprofit organization that funds climate technology products, and market-driven solutions to climate change.

Kupu — A nonprofit that specializes in conservation and education, with a mission to "empower youth to serve their communities through character building, service learning and environmental stewardship."

Parklinq — A public parking app that seeks to reduce carbon emissions while finding spaces for parkers, and generating income for those with extra parking spots.

Shifted Energy — A software company that utilizes advanced machine learning to provide utilities and distributed energy providers a path to rapidly deploy and easily manage thousands of demand response and thermal energy storage assets.

WAI: Wastewater Alternatives & Innovations — A nonprofit based out of Honolulu that works to protect water quality, reduce sewage pollution and restore healthy watersheds by providing innovative, affordable and eco-friendly solutions to waste and wastewater management.


Common Ground Kauai — A a marketplace for curated products from a new generation of Hawaii-based businesses.

Kuehnle AgroSystems, Inc. (KAS) — A biotechnology company that researches, develops and produces specialty chemicals and raw materials.

Piko Provisions — A baby food company that sources sustainable, locally grown ingredients with no additives, preservatives, or artificial flavors.

Pono Pacific — Founded in 2000, Pono Pacific is Hawaii's first and largest private natural resource conservation company providing land management, restoration services, and sustainable agricultural development for large and small-scale projects throughout the state.

Smart Yields — A Honolulu-based agricultural technology firm that uses data to advise farmers.


Hawaii Theatre Center — A nonprofit that provides a broad range of entertainment, cultural and educational experiences in an effort to enhance the quality of life in Honolulu.

Hub Coworking Hawaii — A co working space with a mission to create spaces that empower people to "do well and do good for Hawaii."

'Iolani School — A co-educational, college preparatory school for more than 2,100 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Mana-Up — A Hawaii-based product accelerator that works to help advance and grow Island businesses on a local, national and international scale.

Shaka Guide — A tourist information travel app that offers location-based tours using storytelling and music by local artists.


AlohaCare — A non-profit health plan founded in 1994 by Hawaii's Community Health Centers.

Bright Light Digital LLC — A Honolulu-based full-service AV and technology company that provides digital signage solutions; audio visual systems design, integration and installation; and information technology support and consulting services.

Hawaiian Telcom — A telecommunications provider in Hawaii that services high-speed internet, phone, wireless and other services for homes and businesses.

Hawaii State FCU — a federally chartered credit union headquartered in Honolulu that is regulated under the the National Credit Union Administration, and is the largest credit union in Hawaii.

The Sommelier's Box — A wine club and subscription service that offers the average wine lover access into the world of a wine industry insider.


AI.Fish — Electronic Monitoring powered by the latest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision.

DataHouse Consulting, Inc. — Hawaii's largest and longest-standing IT consultancy.

Nalu Scientific LLC — A software company that specializes in advanced mixed signal integrated circuits with applications in particle tracking and time of flight measurements.

Oceanit Laboratories Inc. — Founded in Hawaii in 1985, Oceanit is a “Mind to Market” company that creates disruptive technology from fundamental science.

TurnoverBnB — A cleaning service app that helps customers schedule, pay, and find Airbnb vacation rental cleaners and Airbnb cleaning services.

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