Director of Corporate Development
Director of Corporate Development, Technology Sherpa, Oceanit. Ian Kitajima is the Director of Corporate Development, and is best known as the “Technology Sherpa” at Oceanit – a “Mind to Market” innovation lab of 160 scientists, engineers, technologists, designers, and dreamers conducting advance technology development research for government and private clients worldwide. If you watch James Bond movies, Oceanit is like Q’s lab of scientists and engineers inventing the next great thing to save the world. As Oceanit’s Technology Sherpa, his role is to move science and technology breakthroughs from the lab to the marketplace, which has included opening the South Korean market since 2014, and 3 venture backed Oceanit startups as a co-founder at Hoana Medical, Nanopoint, and Ibis Networks. He is the co-founder of the Design Thinking Hawaii movement beginning in 2010, the “Altino” movement in 2017 to teach 5000 non-technical teachers creative problem solving skills via computer programming so every student in Hawaii can be exposed to Computer Science, and the Aloha AI Network in 2019 to put the future of Artificial Intelligence into the hands of teachers and students now. Prior to joining Oceanit in 2001, he played senior leadership roles in companies focused on wireless warehouse management systems in Los Angeles, global toy marketing, and virtual communities for mobile phones in Helsinki Finland. Recognitions have included “Corporate Intrapreneur of the Year” in 2017 and Social Impact Enterprise of the Year in 2018 by the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, 20 people to watch for the next 20 years by Hawaii Business Magazine in 2015, and as an honoree by several community organizations. He brings an innovation mindset to several boards including PBS Hawaii, the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation, and the Workforce Development Council. He is a proud public-school graduate of Castle High School, Windward Community College, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.