The Hawaii shift to clean / renewable energy objective had me stoked. When hearing about the business process obstacles encountered to achieve this goal, I wanted to provide possible solutions and expand the realm of possibilities.

What it does

GEM$ 2.0 adds communication, automation, and innovation to the HGIA GEMS loan application process. This is done on both the applicant and underwriting / processing end, enabling simple forms and user tools, while integrating "no-code" tools and applications for content management.

How I built it

This contains two portals: external and internal. Both portals take UX into high consideration. The external portal is for general users such as applicants and contractors. The internal portal is for the HGIA staff who process the loan applications. The internal portal was first set up, then the external portal was built as a web-app with a login system.

To add some extra features on the external portal, an "eligibility" form and amortization calculator was added. A simple form was created using Typeform. Typeform can also enable attatchments and digital signatures on its form with its premium feature. Once I got the form to appear as a new list item within the internal portal, the possibilities were substantial. Workflows triggered different things to be done with that initial list item. Calculated columns were configured like excel functions where list columns would automatically be calculated.


1.) Getting the internal and external portals to talk to each other. 2.) Site permissions on SharePoint: Not being a site collection administrator on the SharePoint site meant limitations to certain features like RSS feeds, site sharing, and adding my own web-parts for site customization. 3.) Time: I wanted to do so much more with this but between an already busy and structured schedule, I could not spend extra cycles on one or two features.


1.) Got it done 2.) Networked and made connections 3.) Was able to come up with and execute a solution. At minimum, I would hope that this expands the realm of possibilities there are to improving a business process.

What I learned

HTTP can talk to HTTPS, but not vice versa.

What's next for GEM$ 2.0

Immediate action: Complete the full version with full functionality utilizing out of the box (OOTB) tools for further automation.

For the impactful, long-term win:

  • Adopt and integrate into an inter-agency basis and establish partnerships (such as with the Hawaii Information Consortium (HIC) and the portal) for user profiles, payment processing, and so that a "government UID is captured and users can fill out other government loans.
  • From the administrative perspective, integration will allow use of government data as a part of the loan underwriting process or assist case managers better advise on government services the citizen can benefit from.
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