Real Experience and Real Lessons
By Noa Schachtel
On day five of the Nalukai O’ahu startup camp, founders were ready to launch the first iteration of their Minimum Viable Products. After several days of coding, marketing, data analysis and more, we invited a few of our youth founders to share with us part of their entrepreneurial process as they hit the half-way mark of camp. Founders were asked what they thought was one of the most important things that helped them create their enterprises.
“One of the most important things in this whole process is my team, because without them, I probably would’ve given up by now. Also, our mentors because they pushed us and they reminded us that it was okay to fail and it was alright if we were having a hard time” said Angel Bacos, Waianae High School Student and Co-Founder of The Athena Project.
Angel and her fellow teammates have created a startup that connects teachers and students with industry professionals in their community to combat a lack of classroom engagement. But, regardless of their wonderful business ideas and impressive skillsets, Angel credits the support of her team and mentors to the success of their launch. Their united passion allowed them to rely on each other through the frustrating times of building a startup.
“Last night we had a talk from Allen Murabayashi (Chairmen and Co-Founder at PhotoShelter) and one of the things he really wanted to push to us was the idea that you have to be very passionate about your business and you have to have a purpose. I think that was one of the things that really made my group reconsider what we were doing, because we started with the idea that we wanted to be this healthy brand that was going to help people get active, but then we kind of lost our focus and started branching out to these other things that we didn’t really care too much about until finally this morning, after the talk, we decided to re-focus on what we started off with. Now I think our brand is much more cohesive!” said Tyson DeCasto from ‘Iolani School and Co-founder of Randevū, a new social media app that connects people with other users who have, or aspire to have, healthy and active lifestyles.
Even though Nalukai is an intense ten-day social entrepreneurial camp, where students learn important skills in entrepreneurship, tech, design and marketing, our founders take away more than just these lessons. The teams they build together and the relationships they create with mentors, industry professionals, and their fellow founders is what will truly help them grow as entrepreneurs, and as human beings.
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