Purple Maiʻa

Demo Day Recap

Aloha mai! For this post we asked one of our instructors, David, to write about demo day. He teaches on Maui and was on the team Kukui Hele Pō.

David writes:

Well the Purple Prize demo day is over and I’d say it was a huge success. I greatly enjoyed the venue, the incredible food, and especially the passionate demos from participating teams. I’m both a Purple Maiʻa instructor as well as a Purple Prize team participant – so it was awesome to watch the event unfold from a nascent idea to a full fledged competition and also work with an energetic Maui-based team. In the beginning I was worried that we wouldn’t find enough participating teams, but the experience at the Demo Day showed me the incredible drive from community members around the islands for solving ambitious problems in innovative ways.


As a participant on a team, I was definitely nervous for our presentation. Even though we had poured work into the project, into creating the pitch, and practicing – I didn’t know what to expect. What I found though was that everyone at the event was really welcoming and interested in helping each other out. I actually didn’t end up feeling like I was in a high-pressure competition, but more like sharing what we’d been working on over the summer with a big group of friends. I think this is essential for helping the community as a whole to propel each other forward. Particularly as a team coming from Maui – I think we all felt very supported and encouraged by the community based on Oʻahu. Competition is a great motivator, but collaboration is how to achieve greatness in the long run. –David


First Place: IoT for Wetlands
Prize: $13,000
A system that uses censors to capture data that would track and help you monitor the health of a piece of ʻāina or the growing condition of your loʻi or garden.

Second Place: Eia Ka Wai
Prize: $8,000
An app built for children ages 28 that will allow exploration of the water cycle as seen in a typical ahupuaʻa, including hidden challenges and practical knowledge of our natural resources and the cultural practices of our kupuna that sought to cultivate and innovate within natural environments and systems to feed our people and care for the ʻāina.

Third Place: Ka Leo ʻĀina
Prize: $3,000
Inherent in the value and practice of Aloha ʻĀina is to be in tune with the ʻāina. We seek to build that first step through this wearable technology. Our hope for Ka Leo ʻĀina is that creates everyday opportunities for its users to
build and maintain a meaningful and stewardship oriented relationship with the ʻāina.

Runners up received $1,000.

Community Partnership and Resource Connector

Platform for connecting nonprofits or mission-driven organizations with those who share their mission or are in need of services.

Kukui Hele Pō

We will create a system of processes and technological planning tools around organizing mentorship, apprenticeship, and youth community work events to help make it easier for community members to plan events, participate, and build relationships on an ongoing basis. Additionally the interactive resume/portfolio for youth of a non-traditional background to document their work ethic and skills (based on the history of our programs) to potential future employers doesn’t exist today.

Garden Hui

GardenHui will provide a matching service to connect potential growers with homeowners who may not have the time or energy to garden. GardenHui’s mission is to connect people who want to be growers (e.g., condodwellers) with people who have garden space near them. GardenHui will also connect new growers with other resources such as mentors, friends, services, and supplies to develop the growing experience and skills in our young people that we will need to someday eliminate our dependence on imported food.


Thanks to jurors, Laurie Au of Islander Institute; Jon Iwatani, Investment Manager at KS; Daniel Leuck of Ikayzo; and Keola Rapoza of Fitted.

Mahalo nui loa to the sponsors of the event: Kamehameha Schools, Kaimana Hilana, the Danile K. Inouye Institute.

Mahalo to Nā Mea Hawaiʻi for donating gift prizes to all teams.