Ian Kitajima, technology sherpa and design thinking advocate, was presented with the Intrapreneur of the Year award at the 17th Annual Hawai’i Venture Capital Association (HVCA) Gala in February. A staunch supporter of technology industry growth in Hawai‘i, HVCA fosters entrepreneurial development through networking, education, and access to venture capital.
Intrapreneur is a new, but felicitous title for Ian. Referred to as “inside leaders,” intrapreneurs are capable of implementing policies, technologies, and applications to increase a company’s brand and productivity.
Ian Kitajima is consistently implementing innovative approaches to energize creative thinking among Oceanit staff. Whether he’s hosting a Design Thinking workshop or coordinating an improv lunch gathering, Ian shares innovation as a process, one that has effectively influenced Oceanit’s mindset as a company known for delivering breakthroughs by developing solutions that are unconventional, but evolutionary.
Responsible for corporate development and commercialization of Oceanit’s award-winning products and services, Ian strives to balance Oceanit’s culture to create, fund, incubate, and transition new technologies to market with a community mission to create a more prosperous Hawai’i.
Ian’s personality and consistent push to think “out-of-the-box” was evident to HVCA, an association that seeks to celebrate the innovative business leaders of this island’s unique cultural environment and transnational ties at their annual awards event. A natural leader, with a childlike curiosity and the courage to try new things, Ian’s management skills in and out of the company is fitting for his award.
“Ian, aka ‘the wizard,’ brings energy and intellect to the migration of disruptive technology to humans and society,” says Dr. Patrick K. Sullivan, founder and CEO of Oceanit. “The way he sparks ideas is contagious, and we cannot wait to see these sparks turn into magic, especially during these times.”
Click here for more information about the HVCA award winners and finalists.