A hub for young entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate is going up in Manoa

A new student housing project near the UH-Manoa campus will bring young entrepreneurs together under one roof.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 4:08 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 5:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new student housing project near the UH-Manoa campus will bring young entrepreneurs together under one roof.

The old Atherton YMCA next to UH Manoa is getting closer to becoming the University of Hawaii’s RISE facility.

And it just got a big financial boost.

Ben Godsey, CEO of ProService Hawaii, and his wife contributed a $250,000 to the project.

“Hey, the building is great. But what’s going to be amazing are the people and the programs in it,” said Proservice Hawaii CEO Ben Godsey.

That’s where the Godseys are targeting their donation.

The Residences for Student Entrepreneurs will be a live-learn-work site for budding small business owners studying at UH.

“It really is the best practice. It’s the gold standard globally, for bringing people together who have this entrepreneurial mindset,” Godsey said. “They get to live together. They get to ideate in the dorm rooms. They get to go downstairs and work on projects together.”

Rose Wong graduated from the Shidler College of Business.

She owns Kolohe, a handmade jewelry boutique business with two stores in Waikiki.

“UH did so much for me and my business. I think the main part is it provided opportunities for someone like me that I otherwise would not have had,” Wong said.

Wong sees greater opportunities for young people when RISE opens its doors with dorm rooms, classrooms and a state-of-the-art maker’s space where students can work on their products.

“You’re going to be able to do it there and mock it up and change it as you need to under the guidance of all the professionals, mentors and speakers that are going to come with the RISE project,” she said.

The Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship will oversee RISE. Godsey chairs the PACE board of directors.

He’s anxious to see what comes out of the new facility.

“I truly believe it’s going to be a long-term asset for the whole state,” he said.

UH broke ground on the RISE project in January. Completion is scheduled for next year.

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