Now safely a month out from the conclusion of the 2017 Purple Prize, it’s time for one last round of Mahalos to everyone who made this year’s competition possible. We’ve introduced you to our judges through our newsletter and you got to see them in action at Pitch Day and Finale Day (thanks again guys!), and you’ve probably heard us express thanks to Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng and Uncle Neil Hannahs for the workshops they’ve run. But you might not know about the funders and dozens of volunteers who invested the money and time to make it all happen. MAHALO to… 


Investing in community is the work of true leadership, and so we can’t stress enough how thankful we are to these organizations for collectively directing tens of thousands of dollars of resources into the Purple Prize teams.

Kamehameha Schools Strategy and Innovation, 2017 grant

Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, 2017 grant

Datahouse, cash donation

Consuelo Foundation, cash donation

Amazon, in-kind prizes

Business Legal Corps, in-kind prizes

JBR Business Solutions, in-kind prizes


Aunty Cuddles and Kelela for teaming up and once again serving as gracious, welcoming hosts for our Demo Day guests; have to acknowledge Rachelle for joining Team Awesome and along with Kelela, taking responsibility for counting and announcing the People’s Choice.

Marion for setting up guest internet, staffing our Purple Mai’a table and helping to share with our Demo Day visitors what Purple Mai’a does. Also for bringing Ezra who contributed to the festive and upbeat mood with his energy, laughter, and smile.

Forest for participating on the weekly calls and assisting with the behind the scene things to ensure that Demo Day was a success, including stepping in on timer duty and assisting Ecoponics with breakdown.

Keahi for managing timer duties, and for all the help with logistics, including food prep and clean up. Also thank you to you and PK for helping Ecoponics with their set up.

Bill for spending all day (and night) on Thursday documenting the initial set of pitches as well as Demo Day on Saturday. Also have to acknowledge the work that goes into reviewing the 5000k photos that you took.

David, all the way from Maui, for serving as a mentor for the in-flight winning team. And all the other mentors: Bubs Monsef, Joe Aquino, Robin Campaniano, Dean Levitt, Kevin Hughes, Patrick Kelly, James Pierce, and Derrick Sonoda.

Blaine (our newest board member) for also spending all day and evening with us on timer and coaching on Thursday; also for helping with everything on the logistics side on Saturday.

Nāpali for taking on the last minute duties to design, mockup, and deliver the beeg checks.

Kamu for serving as our emceee and master of ceremonies, and ensuring the authenticity and intent of our organization and event was true and pono.

Aunty Manu for bringing the amazing tea on Saturday, for advocating for and hosting us at UHWO, and for leading and inspiring all of our hearts through words and song.

Olin for managing PP teams and mentors from Launch Day to Demo Day over the last six months, including selecting and matching mentors, guiding and assisting teams via emails and workshops, ensuring that all the pitches were loaded up and ready to go, and continuing to work with finalist teams now that the contest is over.