MEDB hosts Project Weekend

MEDB Director of Business Development, Gerry Smith takes Ka Ipu Kukui fellows through their pitches in preparation for Project Weekend

MEDB Director of Business Development, Gerry Smith takes Ka Ipu Kukui fellows through their pitches in preparation for Project Weekend.

This weekend a small group of community-minded leaders will be taking their project ideas from seed to pitch through Maui Economic Development Board’s Project Weekend. Based on the Startup Weekend model, the Project Weekend focus is on community projects.

The participants are 2018 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows going through the year-long program designed to train community-identified future leaders. A Decisions Maui and Focus Maui Nui initiative, the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program was conceived to address planning for Maui Nui’s future.

Each month, the program’s content focuses on the multiple perspectives of Maui’s different challenges. Through these monthly learning opportunities known as Halawai, participants develop a holistic appreciation and understanding of these unique challenges, ultimately arriving at a more informed framework and a more enhanced network to better address Maui Nui’s challenges in the future.

The preparation for this weekend began with a Pitch exercise during last month’s Halawai. “We wanted to give the Fellows some tips and rehearsal for their 60-second Pitch,” said Gerry Smith, Director of Business Development at MEDB who facilitated the exercise. “First thing Friday night, everyone will be expected to give a 60-second Pitch for their project.”

“Project Weekend aligns with Ka Ipu Kukui’s program goal of developing future community leaders and serves as December’s Halawai or meeting,” says Amber Hardwick, Ka Ipu Kukui alumna and Project Assistant at MEDB. “MEDB is thrilled to guide the Fellows through this engaging and experiential event as they navigate the many layers of project development. The intention behind Project Weekend is to give the Fellows the tools and inspiration to pursue future community-oriented aspirations.”

There will be a team of coaches, some of whom are former Fellows, to assist the project teams on Saturday with their background as business & community leaders and in the fields of marketing, legal, manufacturing and finance.

The weekend culminates on Sunday afternoon with all teams presenting a 5-minute Pitch to a panel of judges comprising of accomplished Maui Nui decision makers and influencers. A winner will be announced though the emphasis of the weekend will be on the learning process and for the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows to get an immersive understanding of project development.

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