Hilo pediatric clinic wins first prize at business competition

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KAILUA-KONA — Sunshine Pediatric Clinic is getting some help to continue growing and serving the families of East Hawaii from a $25,000 prize after winning the 2017 Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition on Saturday.

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KAILUA-KONA — Sunshine Pediatric Clinic is getting some help to continue growing and serving the families of East Hawaii from a $25,000 prize after winning the 2017 Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition on Saturday.

Daniel and Dr. Shallon Craddock opened the clinic earlier this year. The clinic was one of 43 entries submitted for the competition, now in its second year.

Located in downtown Hilo, Sunshine Pediatric is focused on tackling a shortage of primary care doctors — including pediatricians — in the area.

“Sunshine Pediatric Clinic is a solution to this,” Shallon Craddock said during her “elevator pitch,” one of three parts of the competition’s final round Saturday. “Since opening in February of 2017, we have increased our enrollment by over 800 patients and on average we add 10 patients a day.”

The Craddocks already personally invested their savings and 401ks into the enterprise and the $25,000 prize will go toward purchases that would allow them to expand the clinic’s services, such as medical equipment, computers and air conditioning.

“Our keiki are our most valuable and vulnerable population,” she said. “They are our investment in our future.”

Last month, 15 finalists, including Sunshine, got a chance to pitch their business plans to a group of judges. In the end, just eight of the competitors made it to the final round: a business “triathlon” in which finalists were scored on their business plans, a 15-minute presentation to judges and a final two-minute elevator pitch to sell their vision.

The entrant with the top combined score from all three events was the winner.

Kelly Moran, HIplan co-chairman, said after the competition that he’s seen a lot of progress between last year and this year in the professional evolution of the businesses taking part in the contest. And the quality and variety of participants, he added, speaks volumes about the potential the island’s business community has to grow and develop.

“I think the Big Island has a reservoir of resources and talent that, given the proper venue, can blossom into some very effective businesses,” he said.

The Craddocks said the experience of the competition exposed them to other businesses that are growing around the island and the sheer potential entrepreneurs here have.

“We may be on an island, but we can have a global reach,” Daniel Craddock said.

They also acknowledged the support they received from other entrepreneurs such as Hawaii Jiu Jitsu, which donated $600 to the clinic after being inspired by the work Sunshine Pediatric is doing in the community.

“There’s so many people who want to make a difference, who want to have an impact,” Daniel Craddock said. “Sometimes, it’s just knowing that there’s somebody doing something about the problems that we face around the island.”

He said taking part in the contest “certainly shows you what you’re made of.”

“It pushes you beyond your own limits,” he said. “So we’re thankful for that.”

Shallon Craddock echoed that point, saying the event pushed her out of her comfort zone.

The competition also pushed them to come together and really detail and analyze their vision, Daniel Craddock said, which strengthened their efforts to achieve what they set out to accomplish.

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“So I think whenever co-founders have the opportunity to take the time to dig deeper into the planning side, there’s always an extra level of benefit,” he said.

Email Cameron Miculka at cmiculka@westhawaiitoday.com.

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