The Pitch: Makaha Studios

October, 2008

The Pitch:

Makaha Studios LLC is the for-profit spinoff of the award-winning Searider Productions media education program at Waianae High School. We are foremost a social enterprise, committed to improving the Waianae Coast by creating jobs for young adults in growing digital media industries, providing internships to college and high school students and financially supporting Waianae Coast media education programs.

Makaha Studios’ edge in the media market is that it can craft honest, heartfelt audiovisual messages by combining expertise in video production and postproduction, motion graphics, animation, Web programming and traditional graphic design with the exuberance and savvy of some of Hawaii’s most creative youth. Our production values are as good as those at large ad agencies, but the content and style of our products are very different. We don’t speak “marketese” and our stories sound like they come from real people and not from some large, impersonal, corporate department.


Makaha Studios


Ric Gresia



We can also deliver media across multiple platforms, such as TV, radio, DVD, Web and mobile devices. In the latter part of 2008, Makaha Studios will expand its business from work-for-hire to include the production and distribution of original content. For our work-for-hire services, our customers include Hawaii businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and Mainland and international organizations with a presence in Hawaii. Some high-profile names include HMSA, University of Hawaii and Kamehameha Publishing.

To provide necessary capital for this expansion, Makaha Studios is seeking one or more private loans, or possibly, equity investments from angel investors interested in fostering social entrepreneurship in historically depressed communities.

Expert Feedback:

Valerie Koenig, Founder, Business Plans Hawaii 

Nice try, needs work. This pitch reads more like an application for a grant than a bank loan. Forget the social benefits and your nonprofit side! What is the loan for and how will you repay it? Why do clients hire you? Hint: Hawaii production companies with compelling messages are not in short supply. Remember the secret tip — follow the money. Most important of all, who stands behind this company, what are their credentials, experience and commitment?

Adam Gray, VP/Senior Consultant, Dlei Consulting

A pitch should communicate who you are, your passion, vision and expertise in a way that piques investors’ interest enough to want to hear your complete pitch. Makaha Studios accomplishes this by establishing its local roots and describing its areas of expertise and plans for the future. The verbiage is well chosen to give a sense of vibrancy and excitement. The first sentence of the final paragraph is probably the most important. It communicates a vision that tells the investor that this is a growth opportunity.

Caroline Kim, Director, Hawaii SBDC Network

Pitches need to be very catchy. The concept is to grab someone’s attention immediately with your first words or sentence. The Makaha Studios’ first line does not persuade the reader to seek out more information.

Positives: clearly gives company background; identifies program and 
its potential; lists clients for references; strong words: exuberance, savvy, compelling; and explains company’s uniqueness.

Negatives: needs to be more exciting; needs stronger hook/snag line; not clear on who the target market is.

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