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Venture capitalists honor Sopogy founder, others

January 25, 2013

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 25, 2013

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association on Thursday presented its 2012 “Deal of the Year” award to Darren Kimura, the founder and CEO of a Honolulu-based company that pioneered the concept of micro-concentrated solar power systems.

Kimura’s Sopogy Inc. has deployed its technology at facilities in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. The company’s MicroCSP systems use mirrored troughs to generate heat that can be used in a wide array of applications, including power generation and air conditioning.

HVCA also presented awards to local entrepreneurs in a variety of other categories at its annual luncheon.

The Young Entrepreneur award went to Scott Mercer of Volta Industries, a company that makes vehicle charging stations used by many shopping malls on Oahu. Volta uses an advertising-based model that allows it to provide electricity from its charging stations for free.

Dan Leuck, CEO and founder of Ikayzo, won the Software Entrepreneur award. Ikayzo is a software development and interactive design firm servicing customers such as Bank of America, Nomura Securities, PIMCO, Sony and Oracle.

Ken Berkun, founder of Labels That Talk, won the Inventor Entrepreneur award. Berkun’s invention, Soundpaper, lets users record sound on everything from labels to greeting cards.

Winner of the Socially Responsible Entrepreneur award was Elyse Petersen, founder of Tealet, a social enterprise that connects tea drinkers with small tea growers around the world.

David Watamull, co-founder of Cardax Pharmaceuticals and former CEO of Hawaii Biotech, received the Legacy Entrepreneur award. Wata-mull has raised more than $12 million for Cardax since 2006, and he has been awarded 24 patents.


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