Wallace Hamada, Mike Purvis, and Ryder Donahue with Rep. Clift Tsuji

Wallace Hamada, Mike Purvis, and Ryder Donahue with Rep. Clift Tsuji

HILO, Hawaii – On Friday, the UH Hilo Alumni and Friends Association held a celebratory reception in honor of Team Poliahu, the university’s own 2013 Microsoft Imagine Cup national Champions.

State dignitaries and university leaders expressed their gratitude for the hard work and talent of these three young men – Mike Purvis, Wallace Hamada, and Ryder Donahue… as well as a fourth – Kayton Summers – who was not present for the event. Recognition was bestowed upon them from the governor’s office, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, state representatives, and the mayor.

The team was victorious in the San Jose, California competition that involved the top 10 U.S. teams pitching their innovative ideas – addressing the world’s toughest problems – to investors, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals.

Team Poliahu’s application entitled “Help Me Help,” which focused on community help for disaster relief efforts, took the top prize.

But the idea for Help Me Help actually evolved from a different beginning… an origin that also serves to explain the team’s name. Here is team member Mike Purvis.

Ryder Donahue had the pleasure of demonstrating the app.

The team now heads to St. Petersburg, Russia for the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in July.