Replay – Opportunities for Women and Minority Small Business Owners

Sep 3, 2022

24 local entrepreneurs and small business owners attended the May 9 Maui TechOhana and were wowed by the inspiring work and technology of the Maui Food Innovation Center (MFIC). Ian Stewart, Entrepreneurship & Business Development Specialist, Pā‘oihana Program, and Douglas Paul, Chef Instructor gave an engaging presentation of the Center’s work including a video tour of the facility and samples of their success stories. 

Maui TechOhana meetings are organized by the Maui Economic Development Board, Inc., and supported by the County of Maui. They provide an informal networking opportunity open to anyone interested in Maui County’s technology industry with guest speakers presenting on a relevant topic in business or technology.

The MFIC is Hawai’i’s first in-state business incubator which serves to foster and accelerate the growth and education of agribusinesses and food entrepreneurs. Some of the products featured during the presentation were tortillas made from taro, a chocolate-like confectionary made from ube and coconut crème; ulu hummus; cocktail kits; and more.

Ian Stewart’s current role sees him focused on supporting entrepreneurship as part of a U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency grant, the aim of which is to cultivate a vibrant diversified economy and increase minority business enterprises through entrepreneurship training and coaching.

When he’s not working at UHMC you’ll find Ian championing local food systems and fresh produce either at Napili Farmers Market, which he helps to organize, or volunteering his time to help maintain a 26-acre tropical fruit farm in Kula.

With a resume that includes Roy’s Restaurant, Spago Restaurant in both Las Vegas, and Maui, as well as his own food trailer called “My Office,” Douglas Paul demonstrates a commitment to honing his craft in various culinary settings. He says, “My passion for exploring and trying new food items from around the world aligns well with my current role in the Maui Food Innovation Center. This move indicates a strategic step toward entrepreneurship, suggesting that I aim to not only create but innovate within the culinary industry.”

Standing L to R – Chef Douglas Paul and Ian Stewart present the work of Maui Food Innovation Center at Maui Economic Development Board’s Maui TechOhana

Attendees participate in an interactive exercise at Maui TechOhana on May 9

Candance Shaw of Astute Consulting who has attended several jdb电子夺宝官方 workshops commented on the presentation, “It was an excellent program and really gave everybody the opportunity to see that innovation doesn’t just exist inside of technology or medical spaces. It is definitely all around in everything including agriculture and food production.”

“I had a great time,” said Justin Dietrich, Essential Builders on the experience. “I’m really encouraged to see all the innovation here in Hawaii and in Maui.”

The Maui Food Innovation Center offers a number of programs to support entrepreneurs with manufacturing their food concepts, including how to launch a successful food business; an incubator program to teach food industry best practices for taking a recipe idea from concept to consumer; and applied studies in Fundamental Food Manufacturing. The facility is also available for kitchen usage for established value-added food entrepreneurs ready to scale up their production.

Learn more about programs at http://maui.hawaii.edu/foodinnovation/ and keep posted on future Maui Techohana at www.mauitechohana.com

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