After spending a decade building web technology companies, raising millions of dollars of venture capital and ultimately selling those companies, I moved back home to Hawai'i to give to my children the wonder of growing up here. I came home to give back to the larger community for what it provided me.

I know, many kids with big ideas and strong motivations can struggle to find peers or mentors to help them on their journey. I was lucky to have a couple great teachers who allowed me to create some of my own curriculum around computer programming, and a supportive family that told me I could achieve my greatest ambitions. A family that could also afford to buy me an expensive piece of hardware to let me begin that practice.

Nalukai Startup Camp is about trying to support youth specifically in the ways I experienced as the most challenging. A peer group of like minded friends. Expert mentors. Access to professional tools, and a voice constantly and confidently telling me "I believe in you. You can do big things."

Darius "Bubs" Monsef - Nalukai Founder and Instructor

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The Overview

Vision
The Nalukai Academy Startup Camp is a ten-day intensive entrepreneurship, technology, and design camp for high school students hosted with the goal of ushering in the next generation of intelligent, collaborative business professionals. The camp covers a multitude of different subject areas with real world applications, such as management, digital storytelling, design thinking, and large scale digital projects. Campers at Nalukai are driven, clever, and innovative. They are never afraid to push the boundary of what is possible.

Goals
- Provide instruction in:

  • Digital storytelling - branding & marketing, content creation, web design

  • Leadership - project management, collaboration, team dynamics

  • Entrepreneurship - networking, investor pitches, business plan development

  • Design thinking -  prototyping, mind-mapping, iteration

  • Technology - coding, web development, digital business tools

- Create a collaborative cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs that utilize each other to refine ideas.

- Provide students with opportunities to develop startup concepts with guidance from industry leaders.

- Facilitate student creation of products that require the combination of a variety of individual skill sets through teamwork, collaborative design, self-management, etc.

- Forging long-lasting friendships that will extend the reach of Hawaii’s growing tech community.

Plan

- Digital workspaces for students to interact and collaborate on structured assignments prior to the camp.

- An immersive residential life experience that reinforces a culture of learning and camaraderie.

- A rigorous curriculum that balances theory and practice through the application of new ideas and concepts.

- Dedicated maker time for rapid prototyping of products and business models in small teams.

- Sessions on how to pitch an idea, follow up, fundraise, and utilize social media to build a brand.

- Culminating team presentations of business plans and investor pitches with the possibility of seed funding.