The Nalukai Team
DARIUS "BUBS" MONSEF
Nalukai Foundation Founder
Nalukai Startup Camp Mentor and Instructor
For the past 10 years Bubs has built successful digital products and scaled web startups (sold CreativeMarket to Autodesk in 2014 / Sightbox to Johnson & Johnson in 2017). As a Founder & CEO he has sat in every seat and done every role; designing early product & launch strategy, scaling user acquisition and handling customer support.
Born & raised on the Big Island, Bubs and his wife Kaili live on a 43 acre ranch in Waimea, raising their 3 young children in the town they grew up in.
Nalukai Foundation Executive Director
Nalukai Startup Camp FaciliTator
With over 25 years of experience in schools as a teacher, coach, academic dean, assistant head of school, and college counselor, David brings a wealth of knowledge to Nalukai Academy. Since beginning as a teacher and college counselor at the Parker School in Waimea, David has helped thousands of students successfully navigate high school and the college application process. David is a graduate of Punahou School, the University of Southern California, and Columbia University. Before returning to Hawai'i, he worked as the director of college counseling at The Winsor School in Boston, the director of college counseling and the academic dean at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as college counselor and English teacher at the Menlo School in Northern California.
Nalukai Startup Camp Lead Facilitator
Cortney comes to Nalukai with a wide array of experiences and skills. She has been in the tech industry for more than six years and currently works as a senior test engineer and manager at UserTesting. Cortney is the founder of Pāhiki Eco-Caskets, a locally sourced and crafted biodegradable casket company. Weaving her technical abilities with her love of humanity and her reverence for her native Hawaiian roots, Cortney helps facilitate meaningful user experiences in Hawai'i and beyond. When she’s not building at her workshop in Waimanalo, or finding bugs in code bases, she can be found in nature, barefoot and contented.
Nalukai Foundation Program Director
Nalukai Startup Camp - Director
Aaron is a storyteller, craftsman, and a champion for Product-Based Learning. He is focused on creating student-centered systems to authentically tell the story of learning communities. He is the webmaster and a faculty member at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy (HPA). His Digital Journalism and Social Entrepreneurship courses at HPA are centered around Product-Based Learning, the Lean Startup methodology, project management, and building digital brands. The class is supported by mentors across industries working directly with students on their products. Aaron's professional background is in international business, digital storytelling, operations/management, UX/UI, and content creation.
Nalukai Foundation Board Member
Nalukai Startup Camp Mentor and Instructor
Auston is a technologist and entrepreneur with a decade of software engineering, project management and team building experience at Silicon Valley firms such as Apple and Twitch Interactive. As Vice President of Engineering at FinTech startup Xpert Financial, he led the effort to deploy the first fully automated, electronic trading system approved by the SEC for the exchange of private company securities. Auston delivered major updates to Twitch’s iOS and Android clients, growing mobile viewership and propelling the company toward its $970 million acquisition by Amazon. As a mentor, it is Auston’s goal to equip young people with the analytical skills, technical ability, and audacity to meet head-on the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century.
Nalukai Startup Camp Director of Curriculum
Equal parts thinker and tinkerer, Steven loves bringing together teams with diverse skill sets to tackle tech and engineering challenges. Steven began his career as a Software Integration Engineer on Amazon Robotics’ deployment team, where he found his passion for engaging with systems and operations. Steven got his start in education 4 years ago when he moved to the Big Island and began teaching STEM courses at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy. As the curriculum manager for Nalukai, Steven weaves Agile project management into the Startup Camp curriculum, constantly iterating team structures to give students a rigorous and authentic professional experience.
Nalukai Startup Camp Health & Wellness Coordinator and Operations Support
Stephanie David has over ten years of K-12 & higher education teaching experience in California, New York and Hawai'i. She has a B.A. in Sociology, M.A. in Creativity Theory and earned her teaching credential through the Indigenous Center for Education – Kaohiwai. She is in the process of earning an Integrated Health and Wellness Nutrition Coach certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and personal training certification through the National Sports Academy. Currently, she lives on Hawai'i island as a health educator and health coach for local schools and community clinics. She also serves as an online health coach specializing in meal prep and hosts practical nutrition workshops throughout Hawai'i, Los Angeles, CA and Orlando, FL.
NICK WONG '16
NALUKAI STARTUP CAMP PROJECT MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR (2017 Social Media manager), mentor
Nick is a student, a freelance web developer, a creative, and an entrepreneur at heart. As a freshman at Kamehameha Schools, Nick developed and iterated upon a web application used by 1,018 of his peers. His application, hackTheHill, earned him the recognition of Hawaiʻi Venture Capital Association’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2017. When Nick is away from the computer, you can find him eating yakiniku, flying his drone, petting dogs, and surfing on the South Shore of Oʻahu. Nick is returning to Nalukai bringing with him experience as both a Nalukai camper and mentor. In the fall, Nick will be studying Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
AYA CHANG '16
NALUKAI STARTUP CAMP Social media manager, Mentor
Aya believes that storytelling is one of the most important skills you will develop at Nalukai, especially if you want to become a better writer, photographer, videographer, designer, or entrepreneur. Although she is competent in basic coding and a range of computer software, her real passions are photography and writing. Over the past two years, she has refined these skills through journalism, receiving a first-place state award for an investigative story she authored for her high school newspaper Ka Mōʻī and a national award of excellence in news writing at the 2018 National High School Journalism Convention. In the fall, she will be attending Columbia University in New York City as a John W. Kluge Scholar, but, for now, she is honored to be returning to Nalukai as Social media Manager and mentor.