Hawaii entrepreneurs present high tech creations and products

Published On: Mar 05 2014 08:05:42 PM HST   Updated On: Mar 05 2014 08:39:06 PM HST

The second annual Entrepreneur Day at the state capitol gave Hawaii entrepreneurs a chance to highlight their ideas and projects to state lawmakers and the public.

Click here to watch Paula Akana's report.

From high tech creations to products we can use every day, all entrepreneur ideas had roots in Hawaii like Koa Ibarra.

Ibarra is a city and county lifeguard and he has seen countless beachgoers with tents and umbrellas fighting a losing battle against the wind.

"Coming to the beach and I see people bring their house, bring their cinder block, bring weights from stores -- their gyms -- just to hold it down. I feel bad for them when they buy a brand new tent, spend a few hundred dollars and not even five minutes it's gone. It's just twisted metal," Ibarra, a Hawaiian sand anchor inventor.

Ibarra says the anchor uses displacement of the sand to hold your sun shade down. You use it as a shovel, dig down at least a foot, level it in the sand, and then pack the sand back down on it. The ropes included in the kit are then attached to your item.

"With the scale, I can pull it up to about 100 pounds. As I take down the tension, lean back, it's an easy 100 pound pressure. It's only the displacement of the sand that's holding it down," said Ibarra.

And when he tested the product, no matter how hard Ibarra pulled the anchor stayed put. Ibarra says he has tested the product in 20-30 mile per hour winds and it has held up.

Tony Lee and his company Eyegenix hopes to give sight to millions of blind people around the world who need a cornea transplant.

"We've actually grown these corneas in our lab. We used human tissue, cross embedded into scaffold and these scaffolds are implanted into the human patient. The patient's own cells grow into the scaffold and it becomes part of the patient," said Lee.

Eyegenix conducted a trial in Sweden. Ten people who were blind were given Eyegenix corneas. Nine can see again and eight so well that they could drive a car. Eyegenix has now begun clinical trials in Europe and the rest of the United States. Lee says the entrepreneur fair is really helpful.

"Hawaii can kind of get siloed out a little bit. It's fantastic to get to meet the other entrepreneurs, see other things happening, trade notes – kind of be able to work together. We're all king of on the same team," said Lee.

The event was sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.


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