Startup Weekend Honolulu

    Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Sponsors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Honolulu

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Kaka'ako Agora & BoxJelly Coworking
441 Cooke St. & 307A Kamani St.
Honolulu, HI 96813

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Startup Weekend presents Global Startup Battle

Got an idea? Want be a part of a startup? Hustle and Get Stuff Done? Get it all done in 54 hours!

Global Startup Battle (GSB) puts your startup idea on the stage with over 200 participating cities around the world. Local ideas for global impact!

For one weekend in November, more than 150 people are expected to gather at Kaka'kao Agora & the Box Jelly Coworking in Kaka'ako for a nonstop collaborative competition for the 8th annual Startup Weekend Honolulu (SWHNL).  From November 13-15, participants will work around the clock to pitch business ideas to a room of strangers, vote for the best ones, form teams and bring a business to life in just 54 hours.

The event kicks off Friday evening on November 13th at Agora when attendees pitch their ideas in “rapid-fire” style: each person only has sixty seconds to introduce their idea!  They will cover the market opportunity for their potential business and entice other participants to vote for their idea.  The top 15 ideas are then selected and teams develop around each concept.  Throughout Saturday and Sunday, teams will build their products and business plans at BoxJelly with the help of expert mentors, then prepare for their pitch on Sunday evening before a panel of judges back at Agora.

While the annual event typically attracts a mix of programmers, graphic designers, engineers and entrepreneurs, SWHNL encourages anyone of any professional background to participate including students, marketing and PR professionals, accountants, teachers, lawyers, retirees, active duty military or veterans, to turn an idea into a business.  SWHNL provides an easily accessible entry point for participants to launch or join a startup, equipping these young teams with valuable ideas, tools and expertise without the average $50,000 initial invest required of most startups when they launch.

Early bird tickets launched online, starting at $75 per person for general admission.  Ticket prices will increase to $99 beginning November 2nd.  Current high school or college students may contact SWHNL for more information on tickets.  Fee includes participation in the three-day event, meals for each day and expert coaching.  

To register, visit

Head to
 to register for the free workshops.  

Find SWHNL on Facebook at, follow along at Twitter @swhnl, and hashtag #swhnl.

A global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures, Startup Weekend is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs, with over 1,000 past events in 100 countries around the world, starting over 8,000 companies. While headquartered in Seattle, Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 400 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend-long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams and start companies. 

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 13th

6:00 pm
Registration, Dinner & Networking
Arrive at the venue and get checked in. Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:45 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:15 pm
Pitches Start!
Got an ideas? Here's your time to pitch

8:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Begin Work
Make way to Box Jelly. Got your team? Take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

10:00 pm
Wrap Up!
You may stay and work all night! 24/7

Saturday November 14th

9:00 am
Breakfast & Begin Work
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee. Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend.

10:00 am
Check-In & Coach Meeting
Team's check-in and meet coaches for one-on-one help.

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help.

6:30 pm

10:00 pm
Wrap Up!
You may stay and work all night! 24/7

Sunday November 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Check-In & Coach Meeting
Coaches continue to help teams one-on-one.

12:00 pm

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Starting at 5pm @ Kaka'ako Agora. Come early to get your seats.

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Kwame Jackson

Kwame holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan- Flagler Business School and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.

 His professional experience includes co-founding several Internet start-ups during his time at Harvard, sales and marketing roles at Procter & Gamble, and most recently, on Wall Street as an Investment Manager for Goldman Sachs. It was his no nonsense attitude and ability to be a team leader that made him stand out on "The Apprentice" and it is his affable nature and street smarts that make him stand out in life.

True to Kwame’s entrepreneurial training at Harvard, Kwame has founded Krimson by Kwame – a luxury lifestyle and Men’s Accessories Brand whose executive neckwear is currently retailing in flagship Macy’s, Dillard’s,, and Belk department stores across the US in 140+ markets, and Kwame Inc. a personal brand management firm focused on his multi- media efforts as a professional speaker, budding author, and television personality. 

Robbie Melton
CEO and Executive Director

CEO and Executive Director of the High Technology Development Corp (HTDC), a state agency charged with developing and retaining high tech in Hawaii.  HDTC provides strategic expertise for technology incubation and business growth.  Managing state and federal funds to support skilled workforce development and technical assistance.

Chenoa Farnsworth
Managing Partner

Chenoa has more than 15 years experience in business strategy and private equity investing.  Farnsworth is the managing director of Blue Startups and the Hawaii Angels.  In 2006, she co-founded Kolohala Ventures, a Hawai’i-based venture capital firm that has invested $50 million into Hawai’i-based technology start-ups.

Luke Tucker
Venture Associate

Luke is a Venture Associate at Sultan Ventures, a Hawaii-based venture firm focusing on early stage startups and investments.  He is the Program Manager for the award-winning XLR8UH Venture Accelerator, one of the first University-based investment programs of its kind.  Luke is also the founder of a boutique men’s accessory company,, producing made in Hawaii pocket squares of hawaiiana and surf-culture inspired designs.  

Allison Izu

Allison Izu Song is the owner and designer of Allison Izu Denim.  The brand, which focuses on clothing for petite women (5'6" and shorter) was started because Allison couldn't find clothing to fit her 5'2" frame.  She realized, while attending design school at FIT, that clothing didn't fit her shorter frame because clothing was created for a fit model who was 5'8"!  She returned home to Hawaii to create the perfect clothing company which focused only on the petite customer.  After a lot of manufacturing road bumps and perfecting the fit of her pieces, Allison Izu Denim is now a petite clothing company that is 100% Made in Hawaii.  With Allison Izu Song at the forefront of her brand, she is always creating pieces that she wants for herself and she is always listening to the needs of her petite customers.  It is her love of fashion and her entrepreneurial spirit that has brought her brand to where it is today (five years later).  Featured in Oprah Magazine, Lucky Magazine and carried at Nordstrom Hawaii, and nationally at, it is what she lovingly calls, her first child.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Honolulu team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Signature Sponsors

State agency tasked with promoting the state's innovation economy through investments and entrepreneurial development with initiatives like HI Growth.

Visit Website





Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Honolulu is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Kenneth
  • Jessica
  • Justin
  • McKay
  • Richard
  • Kent
  • Melissa
  • Christine
  • Dominic
  • Cindy
  • Dolgorjav
  • Bryan


Rechung Fujihira

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