How #TechTuesdays by Hawaii TechWorks Began
On the Big Island, Cody Anderson grew up in Kea’au and Tony Marzi grew up in Pahoa. As kids, they both played on the same soccer team in Kea’au. Years later, after both had spent time away in school and on the Mainland, both returned home to the Big Island, where they reconnected in Hilo, Marzi as the founder of Hawaii TechWorks and Anderson as the owner of Bolo Graphics. Although their interests vary widely, they quickly discovered a shared mission: to bring together the creative and technical community of Big Island. With that shared vision, and with the help of dedicated Hawaii TechWorks staff and volunteers, including Charles Huston, Kent Olsen, and Anoka Jung, they started co-hosting #TechTuesday events in Hilo for programmers, creatives, designers, students, engineers, and anyone they knew to be interested in and invested in science, technology, entrepreneurship, education, and their local community. Since the launch of #TechTuesdays by Hawaii TechWorks, a cohesive membership has formed, new young leaders in the community and in tech have emerged, and #TechTuesday #ProjectGroups have taken shape, all with the shared mission of community economic and educational development.
A beautiful day for an outdoor crowd at #TechTuesday by #HawaiiTechWorks
#TechTuesdays by Hawaii TechWorks
In April of 2013, we hosted our first pau hana, potluck-style #TechTuesday event. We invited friends and colleagues interested in learning, connecting, and utilizing technology in new and interesting ways, and opened up the floor for discussions and networking. Co-hosts Tony Marzi and Cody Anderson shared their vision with the group, and modestly delivered the #TechTuesday concept as a mind-map that they drew on the whiteboard -activities, projects, and events -all in a form to build new friendships and professional collaborations, and to jump-start new tech and small business projects.
In May, our second #TechTuesday event was held at the Pacific Aquaculture Coastal Resources Center (#PACRC). There we hosted a 3D printing presentation and demonstration by Ted Stretham and Gerard Kruisheer.. Also on the agenda, Don Kosak shared his recent experience at the Bay Area Maker Faire, which was attended by well over 80,000 people, and Kent Olsen shared his new role with TEDTalks as marketing director for TEDxHilo.
Our third #TT event was held at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Old Army Reserve Building, in association with the Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES). We had an excellent presentation from PISCES Director Christian Andersen, who shared the projects PISCES has been working on in Aerospace Technology, as well as Mike Purvis and Ryder Donahue (Team Poliahu, University of Hawaii at Hilo), who shared with us the Help Me Help app that made them the 2013 Microsoft Dream Cup U.S. Champions.
We have had individuals across the education, business, and tech spectrum join us in helping to establish #TechTuesday as a monthly meetup in Hilo -enabling Hawaii TechWorks to provide a highly anticipated, new and interesting forum for tech collaboration and opportunity in our community. From high school and college students, design and software engineers, university staff, and local business members, all have been and are deeply engaged, and our first #ProjectGroup, which is being spearheaded by Vahid Ajimine, has already launched. Our next #TechTuesday meetup, for July, is coming up, as well as other, much-anticipated events.
The Future of #TechTuesdays by Hawaii TechWorks
Anderson and Marzi, with the assistance of Hawaii TechWorks volunteers and support staff, plan to continue co-hosting #TechTuesday meetups each month. In the pipeline, along with the formation of #TechTuesday #ProjectGroups, are #CodeJam and #GameJam events that should prove to be both fun and productive. The level of engagement and commitment with #TechTuesdays from our membership is high, and we look forward to continuing to meet our community economic development and STEM education mission with our members as partners. With each #TechTuesday meetup and #ProjectGroup activity, Hawaii TechWorks is fostering and nurturing the crucial exchange of ideas that will lead to new tech, small businesses, and opportunity for everyone in our community.
About Hawaii TechWorks
Hawaii TechWorks is a non-governmental, social enterprise organization working in East Hawaii and surrounding communities. Hawaii TechWorks’ mission, as established by founder Tony Marzi, is to approach the existing and systemic issues we face today with 21st century tools and solutions. The goals of Hawaii TechWorks are: to assist in the development of community-based high growth and high impact businesses; to help entrepreneurs convert great ideas into successful businesses; and, to help companies succeed by providing the technical assistance, business infrastructure, and networking opportunities that will increase their chances of successes. We are focused on fostering the emergence of a next generation of leaders, in facilitating the development of strong community ties through informal networking and relationship-building, in new job opportunities for local residents, and in community-based economic development.
For more information or to become a #TechTuesday by Hawaii TechWorks presenter, please contact us at community@HawaiiTechWorks.org.
To view our #TechTuesdays photo album, please click here:#TechTuesdays by Hawaii TechWorks
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