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Altino Coding wins the 2018 HVCA Social Impact Entrepreneurs of the Year Award

Posted March 2, 2018 in

The Altino Coding team was awarded the HVCA Social Impact Entrepreneurs of the Year 2018 on March 1st for their work to spread computer coding to schools throughout Hawai'i.

The team, which includes members from Oceanit & Kamehameha Schools, was honored at the 30th anniversary Hawaii Venture Capital Association (HVCA) Deal & Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. It was the 17th time the Awards Gala was held.

The Social Impact Entrepreneurs of the Year Award honors an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial group/company that makes a substantial contribution to Hawai’i.  HVCA states that the winner will have contributed to non-profit organizations or community & volunteer efforts and will be recognized for showing leadership, innovation and commitment as part of efforts to solve the state's toughest problems. This year, the HVCA received the largest number of nominations to date; a total of 27 Hawaiian companies were honored at the gala.

The Altino Coding team was selected from three finalists by a panel of judges from Hawaii's entrepreneurial community and business, professional, and community leaders. Oceanit engineer Sumil Thapa said, "We are really happy and honored to receive this recognition and are excited to have the community's support as we continue to fulfill our mission to expose more of Hawaii's teachers and students to coding in 2018 and beyond."

Oceanit is a major advocate for bringing coding to students & schools around Hawai'i - and is doing so by training local teachers to code with Altino autonomous robotic cars. The hope is to bring computer coding to as many of Hawaii’s teachers and students as possible.  Oceanit's core Altino instructors are Ian Kitajima, Sumil Thapa, Man Chon Kuok who lead many of the Altino trainings and cohorts throughout the year. Oceanit is supported by Lauren Nahme and Stacy Clayton of Kamehameha Schools along with Keith Matsumoto, Robert Lee, Edwin Ju, Aaron Kagawa, Kayla Diniega, and Cara Phillips.

Partnering with Kamehameha Schools at the start of 2017, the Altino Coding team has now trained nine full cohorts of teachers from all around the state. Drawing inspiration from South Korea, where coding will soon be a required part of students' curriculum, Oceanit hopes every student in Hawai'i can be exposed to computer programming in the future by reaching the teachers now.

By training teachers from all subject areas, Oceanit exposes participants to computer science & coding languages and also helps to build curriculum around coding. This encourages teachers to merge coding into lesson plans in many, diverse subjects beyond STEM curriculums.

Altino was created in South Korea as a tool that manifests written computer code in a practical, understandable way: an autonomous robotic car. Loaded with sensors, the Altino car is loaded with the code that a trainee has written. The car interprets the code and then navigates a path based upon that code. Trainees learn to steer and control the car in basic ways before advancing to navigating courses and mazes autonomously, using sensors. The robotic car brings an element of play to the learning & understanding of coding language.

The HVCA honors finalists in 12 categories, celebrating Hawaii's local entrepreneurs. The 17th HVCA Gala Awards Ceremony was held on March 1st, 2018 at the Waialae Country Club. The nominees and awards winners came from across the spectrum of Hawaii's businesses, startups, and future entrepreneurs. Visit hvca.org/pages/awards to learn more about the HVCA awards. 

To read more about Altino, click here.