Reward Offer for Best Biz Plans for Locally-Produced Food

August 12, 2014, 5:21 PM HST
* Updated August 12, 5:26 PM
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In three days, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation say they will close the application period for the 2015 Mahi‘ai Match-Up – an agricultural business plan contest dedicated to finding farmers to grow food for Hawaii’s market.

Teams are asked to complete a short application by Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

“With more than 80% of our food being imported, and about 80% of Hawai‘i-grown products being exported, we’re looking for people whose hearts align with our vision for a more sustainable Hawai‘i,” said Keawe Liu, executive director of Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation, in a joint press release with Kamehameha Schools.

Three winning teams will receive an agricultural lease for up to five years of waived rent from Kamehameha Schools and a prize pool totaling $50,000 in start-up money from Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation.

Kamehameha Schools is ranked as the third-largest landowner in Hawai’i, according to state data.


2015 Mahi‘ai Match-Up contest parcels:

  • Pa‘ala‘a – North Shore, O‘ahu – 5.0 acres
  • Ke‘ei- Kona Coast, Hawai‘i island – 3.7 acres
  • Pāhoehoe- Hāmākua Coast, Hawai‘i island – 9.5 acres

For the next six-weeks, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Aliʻi Pauahi Foundation will review the applications and select teams to advance. The teams will then have two months to develop and submit their business plans for review.

All experienced farmers, aspiring farmers, entrepreneurs and anyone with fresh, innovative ideas are encouraged to submit an application before the deadline.

To apply for the Mahi‘ai Match-Up contest or for more information, visit


Important Mahiʻai Match-Up dates:

  • August 15, 2014 – Applications due
  • September 30, 2014 – First round finalists notified
  • November 30, 2014 – Business plans due
  • January 2015 – Finalists notified
  • February 2015 – Presentation to judges
  • February 2015 – Winners announced

The stated mission of Ke Ali‘i 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 says it 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.”

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