Maui News

MBB Partners with Maui Prep to Bring Businesses to the Classroom

Listen to this Article
4 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Maui Prep Student Senate president (Class of 2019) Rebecca Geng consults with faculty members Keenan Reader and Tara Burk on the upcoming workshop

Maui Business Brainstormers is partnering with Maui Preparatory Academy during 2019’s National Entrepreneurship Week to bring local businesses into the schools.

The featured event is an all-day business workshop to be held on the Maui Prep campus on Feb. 21, 2019.

As one of the initial events leveraging the new Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, the workshop will bring Maui Prep alumni and associated local business owners into the classroom to share their start-up and business experiences, along with prominent members of the local community who will provide feedback and coaching as part of the day’s program with students.

L to R: Maui Prep students Wilson Tinkler, Madison Perry, Chloe Chin, and Harrison Cramond working on a project in the new Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Featured business owners will be on campus for the all-day workshop with students, including serial entrepreneur Jim Bozich of Home Run Auto Group (also President of Maui Prep Board of Trustees); Ravosh Samari of Maui Escape Room; and Lorrie Nielson of Unveiled Hawaiʻi.

Additional businesses are providing materials to be used in the workshop, based on actual business scenarios and product offerings, which the students will evaluate and incorporate into short pitches and business plans. Businesses contributing their materials include Nathan O’Hanlon of Ono Moa Candies, James Boote of West Maui Cycles, Qiana and Michele Di Bari of Sale Pepe Pizzeria e Cucina, and Jurg Munch and Arnulfo Gonzalez of Lahaina Grill.


Head of School Robert Landau said, “As Maui Preparatory Academy continues to prepare our students for a challenging and unpredictable future, we see the ever-increasing need to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship. Our goal is to incorporate these concept and skills into our curriculum. This effort starts with amazing events like Entrepreneurship Day. We believe that fostering entrepreneurship attitudes and skills raises awareness of career opportunities, as well as of ways young people can contribute to the development and prosperity of their communities.”

Faculty members Keenan Reader and Tara Burk reviewing the workshop format with MBB organizer Lori Fisher


Tara Burk, Director of Innovation and Strategic Programs at the Academy said, “We think the Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship is the ideal setting for this workshop, enabling the partnership between MBB and Maui Prep to challenge our students across the High School to a new level of insight and learning. By spending a day with local business owners, we hope our students will walk away with a new understanding of applied knowledge and what it takes to move beyond the campus to the real world.”

According to MBB workshop facilitator Lori Fisher, “the activities are designed to help students practice business and market analysis based on actual business problems, while developing creative and innovative business ideas. Teamwork will be a key skill, as well as clear and concise communication of ideas under time constraints. They will also have a chance, in a supportive environment, to both give and receive constructive feedback from the judging panel.”

Kai Pelayo, of Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, will serve on the judging panel and bring a focus on community and culture to the day’s activities. He describes the final workshop activity, in which all high school students are participating, as “an ideal chance to think about ‘giving back’ to the community in a business context, looking for the intersection of business and personal success while practicing both creativity and analytical skills.” Paula Hegele, President, Maui Wine, Ltd and Nicole Fisher, owner of Skywriting by…nico, a small business social media marketing company, will also serve on the judging panel, contributing their local business experience in sales and marketing, from wholesale to retail.


Dr. Gene Coulson, Executive Director of EntreEd, The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, is calling this year’s nationwide campaign for National Entrepreneurship Week “From Maine to Maui,” in reference to local events happening in partnership with Maui Business Brainstormers locally on Maui in February.

Other 2019 N.E.W events in Maui County will include business community forums focused on “Mom-and-Pop” retailers and services, being held at multiple locations across the County including Hāna. MBB initiated Maui’s first-ever participation in National Entrepreneurship Week in 2017, with 3 days of educational events end-to-end across the island that began in Hāna and concluded at Montage Kapalua Bay.

National Entrepreneurship Week, a congressionally-chartered week dedicated to showcasing entrepreneurship throughout the United States, is being held February 16-23, 2019. It was founded in 2006 by the National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship and engage communities across the US in activities to promote and support entrepreneurship in their communities.

Local sponsors are providing support for the event, as well as contributing recognition incentives for the participating students. The supporters who are making this inaugural workshop possible include EntreEd; Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce; Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi; and The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.

Since 2012, Maui Business Brainstormers has been creating a landscape of opportunity for Maui individual, micro and small businesses. MBB is a non-profit volunteer organization, and has built its reputation by providing business educational events and opportunities at no cost and with no sales pitches for the benefit of the local Maui business community.

You can learn more about National Entrepreneurship Week here:

For more information on this year’s student workshop, follow Maui Business Brainstormers on Facebook or Twitter. To join MBB at no cost, go to

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Mahalo for Subscribing
Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments