Startup Weekend Maui

    Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Maui

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

MEDB Malcolm Center
1305 N. Holopono Street
Suite 5
Kihei, HI 96753

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No Talk, All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 Hours!

Startup Weekend Maui returns on May 13-15, 2016! Hosted by the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), this empowering event will provide active entrepreneurs with an opportunity to learn how to launch a company in 54 hours. The event will be held at the Maui Research & Technology Center at 590 Lipoa Parkway in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii.

In just one weekend, participants will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. Surrounded by smart, passionate people and with the best tools and approaches at their disposal, they’ll take giant leaps in learning skills to create a business, work on a startup team, and connect with the right people and resources. Ultimately, it will be an unforgettable weekend that will put them on the pathway to success.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: On Friday, anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote); and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates on Sunday with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.  

Don't forget to also register for the two free, related events: Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup Overview on May 5th and Pitch Bootcamp on May 10th.  These events are great ramp-ups to Startup Weekend Maui and will help you have the best Startup experience possible!

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs of various skill sets who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 2,900 past events in 150 countries around the world.

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday May 13th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday May 14th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:00 am
Coaches Arrive
Regroup to meet the coaches. Coaches will introduce themselves to everyone.

11:30 am

12:30 pm
Connect with the Coaches
The coaches will rotate throughout the groups to learn about your team's idea.

1:00 pm
Continue Working
Grab coaches as needed. Coaches are welcome to stay as long as they can. Continue to develop your product.

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday May 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am

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

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Carolee Higashino

As the owner of A White Orchid Wedding, Carolee has a passion for wedding and event design. Rated #1 in the industry, she has been recognized for initiating the growth and formulation of the “Destination Wedding Industry” in the state of Hawai’i. Launching her business in 1990, she was one of the first women to establish the craft of wedding planning on the islands and built her business from the ground up. She was inspired and motivated by the vision that romance was not yet an established market and that this would be her niche. Carolee helped to create a uniformed state-wide effort to encourage visitors to enjoy the romance of the Aloha State, and has since expanded her business to serve all of the Hawaiian Islands. As one of the founding members of the Maui Wedding Association, she served as the first President for two terms (1996, 1997) and was later appointed by the State of Hawai’i to represent Weddings and Honeymoons for the Hawaii 2000 Millennium Campaign. In the years to follow and many weddings later, WOW became notorious for it magnificent events. Carolee’s rapid growth not only brought success winning her numerous national and international awards it also earned local Hawai’i notoriety from the prestigious Pacific Business News in Honolulu beginning with her nomination for the “Businesswoman of the Year” for the State of Hawaii in 2003. This was then followed by her selection as one of the “Fastest 50″ growing companies in the state every year from 2002-2015. Carolee was also awarded the “Women Who Mean Business” award for being one of the 25 women-owned business in the State of Hawai’i for thirteen consecutive years. Many awards followed in the name of WOW and can be viewed in our accolades. Carolee believes in ‘giving back’. She served on the Board of Directors for the Maui Visitors Bureau representng the Hawai’i Romance Division, A Keiki’s Dream Foundation and the Neighborhood Place of Wailuku. Her fundraising efforts include several charities including; The Maui Aid’s Foundation, Raja’s Light of Youth Foundation, A Keiki’s Dream Foundation, Maui Athletic Leagues, The American Cancer Institute and The Neighborhood Place Wailuku. Her present affiliations include being a present boardmember for the Wedding Industry Professional Association (WIPA), where she presently serves as their nationwide director of programs and education.

Gunars Valkirs

Born in San Diego in 1952.  Graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, San Diego, in 1982.  Went to work for Hybritech, Incorporated, one of the first biotechnology companies and invented the first rapid pregnancy test.  Co-founded Biosite, Incorporated in 1988 with seed capital from former Hybritech executives.  Biosite went public in 1997 and was sold in 2007 for $1.7 billion.  Moved to Maui and retired only to come out of retirement in 2013 to start a fully integrated chocolate company, Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate, to make one of the world’s best chocolates, entirely grown and processed on Maui.

Michael Pfeffer

Michael has over 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and venture capitalist. Michael’s strengths lie in his ability to advise, assist, or lead companies from the inception stage through to profitability, to manage growth in medium-sized companies, and to think strategically in an ever-changing, global business environment.  He is passionate, driven, and is leading Ibis Networks towards commercialization and profitability. Michael excels at helping customers meet their goals while building a strong business for early stage companies.

Murray Clay

Murray Clay serves as managing partner of the Ulupono Initiative. Prior to joining Ulupono, Murray served as deputy chief investment officer of SDS Management LLC in Connecticut. He has more than a decade of experience in managing hedge fund and private equity portfolios. He led due-diligence as well as negotiated and structured direct investments in many industries, including energy, natural resources and biotechnology. Prior to his finance career, Murray served as an intelligence officer for U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces for five years. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs, with a minor in Japanese. Murray earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business (now Booth School of Business). He serves on the Oahu Economic Development Board and is an active member of his church. He and his wife Jodi have five children.

Omar Sultan
Managing Partner at Sultan Ventures

Omar is a founding partner of Sultan Ventures and the cofounder and Managing Partner of XLR8UH, Hawaii’s Proof of Concept Commercialization Center. Additionally, Omar is Vice President of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawai’i, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps great entrepreneurs become great philanthropists, VP of Ala Wai Pharma, a drug delivery company focused on increasing the bioavailability of polar drugs, and also helps manage the UPSIDE Fund, a venture fund focused on commercializing University of Hawaii intellectual property. Omar has over 15 years of experience in information technology, business, and life sciences. He holds a BSM in Finance from Tulane University’s AB Freeman School of Business and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business.   

Coaches and Mentors

Beth Holiday
Business Coach, Master Trainer, Leadership Expert, Beth Holiday’s Hawaii Business Training

Thirty-seven years of results-oriented managerial, sales and business skills experience across industry, age, dollar volume and cultural backgrounds. Twenty-four years of results-oriented Real Estate Sales and Training Experience, including:
-- CEO: Wai Wai Nui, Inc, dba Inner Dynamics Inc.and Hawaii Business Training, a Hawaii Corporation formed in 2001, focused on training, development and productivity coaching for real estate agents and and small business management teams.
-- Hawaii Association of Realtors® Facilitator for the first state wide Leadership Academy from  2009-2012
-- Maui Economic Business Development, training Maui business owners.
-- Registered Corporate Coach; World Association of Business Coaches
-- National Association of Realtors® Quadrennial Code of Ethics Trainer 2008, 2012 (Instructed more than 1500 Realtors®)
-- Keller Williams Realty International, Leadership and Agent Productivity Coach (Coached more than 100 real estate company owners)

Cara Crimmins
Managing Director for CrimmCo LLC

Specializes in moving businesses through the process of start-up to successful marketing.  
-- Database set up
-- Identifying target markets and sphere of influence
-- Targeted Email marketing Campaigns
-- Brand Development and integration through web and print
-- Website building and integration with marketing to ensure lead capture.
Our goal at CrimmCo is to laser focus people on how to market for success and help keep them away from the potential financial pits of overspending.

Chris Speere
UH Maui College’s Maui Food Innovation Center

Chris Speere is the Site Coordinator for UH Maui College's Maui Food Innovation Center.  His current focus is to provide entrepreneurial  consulting and  educational programming to Maui Nui's food entrepreneurs.  These efforts support Hawaii's food future which is  linked to the development of  a vibrant value added food manufacturing  community that produces authentic, high quality and culturally significant  food products.  

Doug Nelson
President, Kinection

Doug is an entrepreneur, producer, designer and publisher with a deep background in education / training, interactive media, and digital games. He enjoys solving training problems with innovative approaches through his eLearning company Kinection, and leveraging technology and the network to connect, empower, and enliven people around social issues. He's an advocate of lean startup methods and has coached Startup Weekend on multiple occasions. 

Erik Blair
Owner - The Accidental Consultant

Erik operates a consulting firm on Maui called, The Accidental Consultant. He helps professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses focus on creating fresh content, actionable growth strategies and innovative solutions using digital media assets and social channels.    "I have a passion for finding fresh ideas that make sense, and simple solutions that help people save time, spend less and avoid obstacles, so they can focus on what really matters" -- Erik Blair 

Jamie Dinkelacker

Jamie Dinkelacker previously served as Director of Engineering for Google's Niantic Labs. He previously served an engineering manager for Google Maps, Google's Launch Team, and Google's Enterprise Group. Jamie has deep expertise with lean and agile development, leading highly technical teams, new product development, and product management. Jamie is also a co-chair of the Maui Software Initiative, a private enterprise group focused on evolving Maui into a software technology center for the Pacific Rim, and he is a member of the University of Hawaii Maui College Advisory Board for their Applied Business and Information Technology program.

Keri Mehling
Attorney & Partner - McKeon Sheldon Mehling

A partner at McKeon Sheldon Mehling, Ms. Mehling practices in the areas of commercial and business litigation, business formation, insurance defense, real estate, construction defects and administrative law. Ms. Mehling assists clients in creating business entities and structures for new and growing ventures, whether it be a non-profit or for-profit corporations or limited liability companies.  She has engaged in complex real estate and business transactions involving the selection, acquisition, documentation, use, development, management, leasing, and conveyance of land for a range of clients, including land and building owners, brokers, and investors.

Meli James

Meli is the President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. Born and raised in Honolulu, Meli lived in Silicon Valley for over 10 years, where she co-founded numerous start-ups, including Nirvino – #1 ranked wine app and Apple Platform Top 100 App (during its time). In 2015 she was recognized by Hawaii Business Magazine as one of its 20 to Watch for the Next 20. She has recently been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 5 Women to Watch in 2016. She is an alumna of and EIR at Cornell University. Meli focuses on new ventures and opportunities at Sultan Ventures and is the Program Director and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at XLR8UH.

Peter Liu
Director of Marketing at the Maui Academy of Performing Arts

Peter Liu is a Swiss Army Nerd who moved to Maui from the Silicon Valley in 2006 to expand his horizons after a 25-year career in the computer industry, where he gained extensive experience in software development, customer service, marketing and management. He was a professional photographer on the island for a while, but eventually found himself pulled back into the high tech world as a digital technology and marketing consultant. He co-founded the Maui Social Media Users Group, which gave rise to a whole generation of savvy digital marketing professionals, and served as a core team member of TEDxMaui. Currently, he is the Director of Marketing at the Maui Academy of Performing Arts.

Rebecca Filipovic
Attorney - McKeon Sheldon Mehling

Rebecca is currently licensed to practice law in the State of California and is working towards becoming licensed within the State of Hawaii.  Ms. Filipović’s experience has been predominantly in the areas of corporate governance, business formation, and commercial litigation. Since joining McKeon Sheldon Mehling, LLLC, Ms. Filipović has expanded her practice to specialize in Intellectual property.  Specifically, she has assisted clients in selecting and prosecuting trademarks with the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office, filing copyright applications with the U.S. Copyright Office, and enforcing clients’ rights in trademark and copyright infringement cases. Previously, Ms. Filipović worked at Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg, LLP, a large commercial law firm in Toronto, where she practiced extensively in the area of corporate governance and securities regulation.

Refugio Gonzalez

Refugio Gonzalez has started numerous businesses, audited national banks under the US Treasury, and is currently trading investment real estate for thirty plus years as well as teaching business courses at UH Maui College in the Applied Business Information Technology program.  

Tarik Sultan
Managing Partner at Sultan Ventures

Tarik is a Founding Partner at Sultan Ventures, a boutique venture firm focusing on early-stage startups and the 2014 Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s (HVCA) Investor of the Year. Additionally he is the Founder and Managing Partner of XLR8UH, the University of Hawaii’s (UH’s) proof-of-concept commercialization center focused on mentoring and investing in UH affiliated innovations and IP; Chair of Startup Hawaii, the regional chapter of Up Global (formerly Startup America); and Treasurer of the HVCA, a non-profit which seeks to foster entrepreneurial development through networking, education, and access to venture capital. Tarik has worked with, advised, and led several startups, most recently as Interim CFO of Ibis Networks, a venture backed Cleantech Startup focused on reducing energy consumption. Tarik holds a BS from Tulane University with a focus on Neuroscience and Cognitive Studies and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Maui 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.


Organizing Team

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

  • MEDB
  • Jessica
  • Gerry
  • Frank
  • Maui


Bryan Butteling

Associate Product Manager at Team Praxis, and Startup Weekend Organizer and Facilitator for UP Global. A problem solver first, web developer second. Obstacles and challenges drive me to learn more as I never want to be the smartest person in the room. I look to build and create solutions to problems that exist within markets that have inefficient workflows. I practice and preach both lean and design thinking methodologies. Foundational language is Javascript with a new focus on React. Team and product are important cores I look for when joining a company. Hustle isn't a buzz word, it's my DNA. Tell me a joke and I'll listen with a smile. 

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