At This Cafe, The Main Dish Is ‘Pro Action’
Cultivating ideas always is easier (and sometimes better) when immediate feedback and constructive communication is involved. This concept is something Pro Action Cafe, put on by co-working space ProtoHUB Honolulu, understands well.
“It allows you to bounce your idea, project or business idea off of the community that is attending,” explains ProtoHUB community coordinator and director of operations George Yarbrough. “You get feedback from different sections and corners of the community that you might not have thought of.”
Community members who attend these events, to pitch an idea or share their perspective, come from all walks of life. Some are business owners, some are aspiring business owners; some make a living in the sustainability sector, while others put their focus into the food industry.
“You have the ability to get a very well-rounded amount of feedback,” Yarbrough adds.
Each Pro Action Cafe has a similar format, led by trained hosts.
(Yes, event-host training is a thing, and yes, it’s vital to each Pro Action Cafe running smoothly. Two Bay Area-based experts visited ProtoHUB Honolulu last year to offer sessions in leading meetings.)
After check-in and a brief bout of networking, presenters pitch their ideas to a crowd.
“We provide them (people pitching) with a format, certain points they need to hit about their business or idea,” explains Yarbrough.
Think of it like speed dating. But instead of the idea pitchers changing crowds, the crowds move to different presenters every 20 minutes.
For the presenter staying put, they are faced with different questions and topics while addressing each new crowd. This enables each presenter to get the maximum amount of feedback about many aspects of their project.
At the end of the event, presenters have time to decompress and let all of those comments sink in.
“We give them a sheet of paper and a pen, and they start writing,” says Yarbrough. “They just start gathering all the notes they’ve accumulated and all the ideas.”
It’s definitely a different kind of environment, but one that seems to work well.
“There’s a lot of cool stuff happening in Honolulu,” says Yarbrough. “It’s great to see people engaged in helping support other businesses and other entrepreneurial programs here in Hawaii.”
There is a small fee to attend or pitch at each event. Costs vary. To keep up with Pro Action Cafe