The Power of Passion

Nalukai founders in the early stages of product development with their new teams

Nalukai founders in the early stages of product development with their new teams

By Noa Schachtel

“What drives you as a human being? What do you run towards and what do you run away from?” –Auston Stewart (Nalukai Mentor, Board Member, and Instructor) 

On day 1, the atmosphere was filled with excitement and anticipation. Founders arrived on the Kamehameha Kapālama campus seeing brand new faces, whether they were students from other islands or industry professionals they’ve seen only on the internet. The afternoon consisted of ice breaker exercises, such as ‘the maze’ game, which not only allowed our founders to bond through active problem solving, but also allowed them to uncover the hidden values that are fundamental at Nalukai. Later in the evening, the new cohort had the chance to present their pre-work pitches, which the founders have been working on for 10-days prior to the beginning of camp. Here, each student had a chance to indirectly share what they’re passionate about, what kind of skills they possess, and who they are as rising entrepreneurs. 

On day 2, it was finally time to formulate teams and generate innovative solutions to local and global problems. Unlike in a classroom, founders were given an opportunity to go out and generate their own teams, which opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the students and their visions. Initially, students utilized what they learned yesterday as listeners during the pre-work pitches and approached founders that had certain skills that would benefit their own company. But, after several minutes of mixing with their fellow entrepreneurs, and with the help of embedded mentors, founders realized a crucial aspect of team-building. Even though it is important to have a team comprised of a variety of skillsets, founders and mentors, together, came to the conclusion that it is truly the people and their passions that are the foundation of a successful team. 

“We try and get a deeper level of ‘what lights someone up’, or ‘what makes them passionate’, ‘what makes them angry about something’ and ‘what makes them willing to work hard for something’. If we can put them together with other people that share that pursuit, then we can get some really compelling projects out of it” said David Clarke, Nalukai Foundation Executive Director and Nalukai Start-up Camp Facilitator. Having an aligned passion drives determination and fosters a drive to create solutions that will change the world. 

David Clarke