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MidWeek Staff

Kalani Entrepreneur Rakes In The Grants

BY CAITLIN BASILIO

Grant Takara is living up to his first name as the recent Kalani High graduate is raking in the grants for college. Among them is $1,000 from the National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation, which rewards teens with entrepreneurial skills critical to the nation’s private enterprise sector.

“I could not be more impressed with the caliber of Hawaii’s applicant for the award,” said Hawaii’s NFIB director Melissa Pavlicek. “If Grant is any indication, the future of small business is in good hands.”

To qualify for a YEF award, Takara had to run his own business and write an essay describing his experiences and future goals. Takara’s small business began three years ago, as a member of Kalani’s Robotics Team 3008, which launched a fundraiser called Bristlebots. During his high school years, he and his teammates revised the business and the design of the products that they sold.

“By 2011, we had sold more than 20,000 educational robotics kits to countries including USA, Switzerland, New Zealand and France,” said Takara. “In June 2012, we spun off to create Bristlebots LLC and look forward to releas- ing our next product revi- sion this fall.”

He was quite surprised when he received the YEF award. “I applied for it online, and the data on the scholarship’s website showed that there would be a lot of competition,” he explained.

Takara plans to major in mechanical engineering and minor in business administration this fall at UH Manoa — and continue Bristlebots LLC and create more spinoffs that specialize in developing technologies or processes in health care, mobile device apps and renewable energy.

“I already have many ideas I would like to pursue,” he said.

Takara also won the UH Manoa Regents Scholarship, the UH Chancellor Scholarship and the Burger King Scholarship.

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