Maui Kicks Off Global Entrepreneurship Week
Maui Business Brainstormers hosted entrepreneurs and small business owners from across Maui at a special dinner event on Tuesday, Nov. 15, called “Bravissimo Brave Entrepreneurs.”
The event was emceed by David Kapaku and John Tomoso, and featured panelists Pamela Norris of Ice Buddy, Penny Dant of Maui Mini Aloha, Elizabeth Tomoso of Momma Love Baby and Abner Nakihei Jr of Hang Loose Surf Club, who each told the story of their business and lessons learned along the way to success.
Joseph Pluta, president of the West Maui Improvement Foundation Inc. and West Maui Hospital and Medical Center, provided the keynote address.
During the evening over dinner and a no-host bar at the King Kamehameha Golf Club, the panelists and attendees exchanged stories, comments and questions about what it is like to grow a business from idea to reality. About 70 members of the local Maui business community attended the event.
Leading off the panel presentations, Abner Nakihei Jr. of Hang Loose Surf Club talked about strategies to learn from the competition and adopt best practices for success. He emphasized the value of finding “models of success,” even in unrelated businesses that can apply and help you in your own business.
Pamela Norris of Ice Buddy detailed the hard choices that entrepreneurs must often make, including challenges to a core set of values and principles. She urged the audience to “stay true to your values even if at first it seems like it will cost more money.”
Penny Dant of Maui Mini Aloha described her “business in a box” and how unexpected situations such as personal health issues can sometimes lead the business in new directions, such as finding ways to hire staff and delegate. She told the audience that “sometimes you cannot see the next path marker until you reach the first one, so just trust in the path.”
Elizabeth Tomoso of Momma Love Baby described the role of passion and commitment in developing a new business idea. In response to questions, she later stated that she cares first about her clients and their needs, and worries about the business return later, assuring the audience that “success follows from the personal commitment.”
Keynote speaker Joseph Pluta traced his career path from his University of Hawai‘i days to the first emergence of “condo-hotels” on Oahu to the spread of that business over to Maui, and then to successful initiatives such as the founding of the West Maui Taxpayer Association and funding for the West Maui Hospital. The common thread across all of these, he observed, was having a “passion for making things happen even when others say it is impossible – or maybe especially when others say it is impossible. There’s always a way if you keep trying.”
After an energetic question-and-answer session, the audience enthusiastically thanked the panel and speakers and stayed on into the evening for ongoing conversations, including several new ideas for partnerships across the businesses represented in the room.
For the first time, Maui has joined in the nation’s celebration of 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Week and 2016 National Entrepreneurs’ Day. The Maui business community is invited to seven days of free events, from Monday, Nov. 14, to Sunday, Nov. 20, with both local speakers and guests from across the country, in the fields of high-tech, finance and business.
Free daily presentations and workshops are being offered at Maui Research Technology Center in Kīhei, beginning on Monday, Nov. 14, through Sunday, Nov. 20, featuring relevant topics by accomplished speakers. Topics range from startup strategy, to crowdfunding techniques, to usability for entrepreneurs, to going viral with media, to networking for women in business, to public speaking skills.
This week-long event on Maui is an initiative of Maui Business Brainstormers (MBB) to increase the support and resources available to the local Maui business community, specifically small businesses and entrepreneurs. Local businesses have also stepped in to sponsor this new event, underlining the value-add for the business community. GEW Maui sponsors include Grand Wailea Hotel, Kamehameha Golf Club, Microsoft; Office 365; HTDC; MRTC; Richard Kehoe CPA; MBA; HI SBDC Maui Center; SCORE Maui; GEW USA.
The program schedule began on Monday, Nov. 14, at Maui Research Technology Center in Kīhei, the following speakers and topics are offered free of charge to the local Maui business community:
“Going Viral with Media” on Friday, Nov 18, 2016, 10–11:30 a.m. at the Maui Research Technology Center
Dr Letitia Wright
An expert in Entertainment/TV/Film, Corporate/Celebrity Branding, and Media/BizMarketing, Dr. Wright is a celebrity, international speaker, talk show host, author, director and movie producer. She is the host of the Wright Place TM TV Show, now in its 14th season with over 362 shows previously broadcast on television to over 6.5 million homes each week in Southern California on Direct TV Channel 64. She is now seen also nationally on DISH ON DEMAND network in 60 million homes.
Many of us dream of going viral when we use social media to tell the world about our business. How and why does “viral” happen? Can you plan to go viral? Some people think it is an accident. But you can learn some simple techniques to increase the chances that your communication will get the exposure and publicity you dream of. Creating high-quality viral-ready content is a challenging task, especially when we are just starting out. In this seminar, attendees will learn about effective ways to use radio, tv, magazines and blogs, with both online and offline ways to go viral.
“Women Entrepreneurship Day” on Saturday, Nov 19, 2016, 3–6 p.m. at the Maui Research Technology Center
Learn how to network at this Networking Day for women! The event will include informative Web videos and shows, as well as a potluck and opportunities to mingle with business owners from across Maui and the state of Hawaii.
“Fearless Entrepreneur: You were Born to be a Public Speaker” on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, 3–6 p.m. at the Maui Research Technology Center
David Kapaku, a.k.a. “Kahu,” is a coconut basket weaver, ordained minister, Hawaiian activist, musician, teacher, planter, Hawaiian consultant, storyteller and poet. Other interests include writing children’s books and stories. Kahu is a Distinguished Toastmaster mastering the art of communication coupled with public speaking and leadership skills.
In this interactive and humorous session, David Kapaku will teach you to overcome your fear of public speaking, with 21 tips to improve your public speaking skills. You will learn how to create a knockout presentation, and techniques to “make your voice count”.
For more information and to RSVP for each of the remaining sessions this week, go online.
“Evaluating Your Idea,” on Monday, Nov 14, 2016, 11 a.m.–2:00 p.m. at the Maui Research Technology Center
David B. Fisher
David has more than 20 years of experience in Hawai‘i helping over 3,000 entrepreneurs resulting in over $100 million in economic impact on Maui and in the State of Hawai‘i. He served as director for the Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center and was honored in 2006 as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Financial Services Champion for the State of Hawai‘i.” David Fisher is principal consultant with Maui Venture Consulting LLC.
Think smartly and focus on strategy when you want to grow your startup. In this workshop, attendee will learn the process of evaluating if a business concept is good. Get the basic model for analyzing the feasibility of a business with special focus on market research and economic analysis. Use this method to approach investors and other stakeholders. Learn about resources available to start and grow businesses.
“Crowdfunding and Alternative Finance,” on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016, 2:30–4:30 p.m. at the Maui Research Technology Center
Dr Letitia Wright
Dr. Letitia Wright teaches crowdfunding for the Small Business Administration in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and teaches for California State University in San Bernardino’s MBA program. She has been on the list of the top 100 Crowdfunding experts in the nation for the last 3 years. She has helped business owners raise over $750,000 collectively and enjoys teaching people how to successfully raise money using Crowdfunding.
Financing platforms continue to disrupt the traditional financial structures, expanding and changing very quickly to offer attractive alternative forms of financing for small to big businesses. Crowdfunding has been used to fund a wide range of for-profit entrepreneurial ventures. Speed and strong cybersecurity are key components when choosing a crowdfunding approach, or when looking at other new online alternatives for financing. This seminar will teach you how to optimize for these characteristics. In this seminar, attendees will also learn about the 6 different kinds of crowdfunding and how each one works, and the steps to a successful campaign to raise funds.
“Usability for Entrepreneurs,” on Thursday, Nov 17, 2016, 2–3:30 p.m. at the Maui Research Technology Center
Lori Fisher is an experienced executive, manager, author, lecturer, presenter and mentor in the technical communication and user experience fields. She brings expertise in analyzing organizational behavior, building organizational capability and growing organizational credibility. Her areas of specialization are clear and effective communication, creating and delivering powerful business presentations, and aligning communication with business strategy. Her professional background includes 30 years in the software business as an executive at IBM, managing usability, design and technical communications. She also taught writing and business communications at UC Santa Cruz for over 20 years.
Ease-of-use is a key success factor in today’s marketplace—for your product as well as services. Designing for ease-of-use is important, but only by validating through simple usability testing techniques can you ensure you have achieved your goals. Usability testing is not just something for big business – even the smallest entrepreneur can benefit from applying some simple techniques. Learn how you can improve your product or service through awareness of key ease-of-use concepts.
Maui to Participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week