Past event…

Event Ended

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Startup Weekends are events designed to provide experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through customer development, product design brainstorming, and business modeling, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night presentations. Participants are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup. The organizer does not profit from hosting Startup Weekend. Ticket sales go directly to Startup Weekend headquarters to pay for program expenses.



Nov 1
  • Registration, Dinner & Networking Starts [Paradise Palms]
  • Welcome Announcements
  • Pitch Fire
  • Attendees vote for ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.
  • Finished for the day. Venue closes


Nov 2
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee [Paradise Palms]
  • Teams continue discussion
  • Lunch
  • Coaches Arrive to help with Business Modeling
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. Venue closes.


Nov 3
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee [Paradise Palms]
  • Coaches arrive to help with Pitches
  • Lunch
  • Rehearse presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & Awards, followed by Judges' Feedback
  • Go home!

Tarik Sultan

Partner, Sultan Ventures   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Partner of Sultan Ventures, a consulting firm offering services to entrepreneurs and investors. Sultan Ventures works closely with innovative startups, providing the hands-on expertise and access to capital needed to accelerate growth. Tarik has worked with, advised, and led several startups. He is currently CFO of Ibis Networks, a venture backed cleantech startup focused on reducing energy consumption, COO of Blue Photo Stories, a Blue Startups venture accelerator company facilitating the conservation of digital media, and Co-Chair of Startup Hawaii, the regional chapter of Up Global (formerly Startup America). Tarik holds a BS from Tulane University with a focus on Neuroscience and Cognitive Studies and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business.

Spencer Toyama

Co-founder, Sudokrew Solutions   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Spencer Toyama is a tech enthusiast and entrepreneur, as the co-founder of the web development agency Sudokrew Solutions, a web development business dedicated to problem-solving with technology. Spencer has a track record of entrepreneurship, opening a record label with the Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning Paula Fuga, developing the business model for one of Hawaii's thriving solar businesses, Bonterra Solar, and founding the Pele Award winning Agency Collaborative. Spencer is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post on matters of technology, startups, and entrepreneurship. He's also been a featured writer for ComicsBeat (AOL publication) for his insights on crowd funding and Kickstarter. As a co-founder of Sudokrew, with his partner Jason Sewell, Spencer is working to develop new jobs in web technology and innovation.

Meli James

Program Manager, Blue Startups

Program Manager at Blue Startups, a Honolulu-based venture accelerator that invests and provides hands-on mentorship to capital-efficient and scalable-technology companies. Meli is a serial entrepreneur with experience in the Internet and mobile app space. Meli has co-founded and contributed to numerous start-ups in the Bay Area and Honolulu, including Nirvino – number one rated wine app on the Apple platform.

Kyle Oba

Co-Founder & Developer, Pas de Chocolat   |  

Since moving to Hawai‘i from the Bay Area, Kyle has become involved with collaborative learning with both professional and student developers. He organizes talks and workshops for local developers, and co-instructs workshops in Introduction to Programming, and iOS Development. Kyle is co-founder and developer of Pas de Chocolat, which specializes in design research, mobile software, and digital art. He has over 15 years of enterprise and startup software development experience. He has built biotech web portals handling over $50 million in quarterly sales, authored iTunes Hall of Fame iOS apps, and founded startups.

Jason Rushin

Marketing Strategy & Demand Consultant

Jason Rushin has over 15 years of experience in technology marketing, consulting, and engineering, including a decade of experience driving marketing at several Silicon Valley software startups. Upon moving to Hawaii in 2010, Jason founded HulaCopter, a mobile marketing platform for the tourism industry and which was eventually acquired by 3D Travel, Inc. Jason holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.


Janet Martin

Beginning her career as a marketing consultant in the specialty field of online brokerage, Janet guided behemoths such as Bank of America, Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Merrill Lynch on their online retail product and marketing strategies. Itching for an overseas opportunity, Janet left New York City for Australia where she challenged the country's traditional online banking operations.

After obtaining her MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies, Janet switched gears and joined Honolulu-based tech start-up Advanced Training Solutions (ATS) where she is now Vice-President and Partner. She has worked in all facets of the business, including customer development, market analysis, B2B sales, online marketing, product design and product development. ATS launched commercially in 2011 and has over 400 organizational clients in the United States and abroad.

Janet holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from The University of Texas and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Melbourne Business School in Australia.

Tracy (Herzik) Cormier

Tracy currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for the online technology company, Advanced Training Solutions (ATS).

Prior to making the trek out to Hawaii, Tracy lived and worked in New York City. Most recently, she held the position of VP, Business Development & Marketing at an investment bank specializing in middle-market mergers and acquisitions. While there, she helped triple the firms’ client acquisitions rate and expand across North America.

Tracy’s first foray into private company acquisitions was with Van Pool Transportation, a middle-market transportation company. Tracy was brought on by the original owners to prepare the company for sale by assuming day-to-day operations and standardizing procedures that would preserve operational efficiencies under new management.

Earlier in her career, Tracy was a Senior Analyst at a consulting firm in Manhattan. While there she focused competitive analysis and marketing tactics employed within the online brokerage industry.

Tracy is a summa cum laude graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Larry Rodriguez

Most recently, Rodriguez served as the executive vice president and chief financial officer for Central Pacific Financial Corp./Central Pacific Bank. Rodriguez was with Ernst & Young for 40 years. He served 29 years as partner and over 15 years as managing partner of the Hawaii practice. His 40-year career in the accounting profession included serving companies in the financial services, healthcare, airlines, retail, hospitality, real estate, and insurance industries. In addition to his work in audit-related matters, Rodriguez also provided services that covered taxes, internal control system evaluations, and other operational activities for local and mainland companies with global locations.
While at Central Pacific Financial Corp./Central Pacific Bank, Rodriguez assisted with the Corporation’s recapitalization. Today, Rodriguez operates his own consulting firm to help organizations in Hawai‘i with financial, organizational, and other business matters.

Viraphanh Sananikone

Viraphanh Sananikone has experience in the areas of banking, investments, technology and telecom startups and consumer products. He has worked in companies ranging from Fortune 500 companies (JP Morgan, Sony) to technology and media startups. He also has his MBA (Finance and General Management) from Columbia Business School. He has co-founded two consumer products companies whose products are in almost 200 stores (in the US, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore) including a major big box retailer. He can advise students who are starting their business on various areas such as financial analysis, strategy, business development and other operations related to launching a consumer brand (design, sourcing, wholesale, ecommerce, etc.)

Evan Leong

Evan Leong is a Hawaii born and raised entrepreneur with businesses ranging from bubble tea beverages to media. His specialty is lifestyle businesses and social entrepreneurship. Evan Leong is the co-founder and CEO of two distinguished companies in Hawaii: Greater Good Inc and Bubble Tea Supply. In July 2005, Evan co-founded the highly acclaimed, community-orientated radio show Greater Good Radio. In 11 months the site has received visitors from 90 countries, 11 million hits and close to 660,000 page views. Mayor Mufi Hannemann declared the month of September, Greater Good Month, in recognition of Greater Good Inc.’s mission. Greater Good Month recognizes professionals and business leaders who not only strive for career and business success, but also endeavor in giving back to the community. In 2001 Evan co-founded Bubble Tea Supply which launched the national bubble tea drink craze. Run by Evan and Kari, the company distributes product throughout North America, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. This makes the Leongs one of the nation’s largest suppliers of the bubble tea product. Under their direction, Bubble Tea Supply has for four consecutive years, won the prestigious Gold Medal Taste Award from the American Tasting Institute.

Glenn Boulware

Glenn is currently the VP/COO of HIE Holdings and Hawaiian Isles Enterprises, a pair of family businesses within the manufacturing and wholesales/distribution industry. Businesses include Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co., Hawaiian Isles Water Co., and Hawaiian Isles Distributors with customers mainly in Hawaii as well as select markets in the Continental US and Asia. Current experience in customer development, product design, and operations management includes the introduction of the only Kona blended type of single serve coffee on the market today in the country along with the expansion of the Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee brand into the continental US into markets across the country. In addition to working for his family’s business, he has had brief experiences working with companies such as Xerox, Novartis AG, and North American Breweries on various engagements. Glenn is also a graduate of the University of Rochester with an MBA as a member of their early leaders program.

Matthew Ing

Ka'anani'au LLC

Martin Loui

Martin S. Loui practices intellectual property (IP) law at the Honolulu law firm of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP, with an emphasis on the strategic development of IP portfolios for the protection, leverage, and monetization of technology assets for pre-IPO and publicly-traded businesses. His practice also includes the management of IP portfolios and the enforcement of IP rights, including negotiating settlements of disputes concerning IP rights. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Loui is a graduate of McKinley High School. He gained industry experience as an engineer for IBM. Later, he entered government service as one of a small group of attorneys serving as Patent Examiners and as Trademark Examining Attorneys at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In private practice, Mr. Loui worked with businesses to build their IP portfolios, first as a Washington, DC lawyer with the international firm of Coudert Brothers LLP, and later as a Silicon Valley lawyer with Fenwick & West, LLP. While in-house as Corporate IP Counsel for Dutch-based ASM Lithography (ASML), a spinoff of Royal Philips Electronics, Inc., Mr. Loui managed IP matters domestically and internationally across corporate functions.

David Root

David spent over 30 years in the electronics interconnect industry, most of which involved assignments in Asia Pacific. Prior to retiring and moving to Hawaii he was Executive Vice President and Global Commercial Products Division President at Molex Incorporated, a 75 year old public company headquartered in Lisle, Illinois. Based in Singapore the division developed and produced interconnect solutions for a client base that included Apple, Cisco, Nokia, EMC, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Hua Wei, IBM and others. With product development in No Am, SE Asia, Japan, and Europe and manufacturing facilities in more than 20 different locations around the globe this assignment employed 10,000 people and generated revenue of $1 billion per annum. Through his various assignments David developed skills in business planning, developing new markets, defining new product strategies, talent development, green field manufacturing site development, and developing cross licensing agreements and enterprise joint venture contracts. David has served on the board of directors of Sheldahl, Inc. and was an member of the Molex Global Leadership Team for many years. David is a graduate of Cal Poly and has attended numerous management certificate programs.

Dawn Lippert

Senior Manager, Energy Excelerator

Before joining PICHTR in 2009, Dawn was a management consultant with Booz Allen’s alternative energy team, and worked on clean energy projects in Washington DC, India, Africa, and Latin America. In addition to leading the Energy Excelerator, at PICHTR Dawn founded and is president of WiRE (Women in Renewable Energy), a not-for-profit organization with over 150 members that is designed to build technical expertise, trust, and relationships that advance clean energy transformation. She is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the 2012 Class of Pacific Century Fellows, and was named one of Hawaii Business Magazine’s 20 for the Next 20: People to Watch in 2012. She graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in environmental studies, and received her Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Management.

Omar Sultan

Partner, Sultan Ventures

Partner of Sultan Ventures, a consulting firm offering services to entrepreneurs and investors. Sultan Ventures works closely with innovative startups, providing the hands-on expertise and access to capital needed to accelerate growth. Omar has over 15 years of experience in information technology, business, and life sciences. Currently, Omar is CEO of Protekai, a biotech specializing in near infrared fluorescent proteins, and VP of Ala Wai Pharma, a drug delivery company focused on increasing the bioavailability of polar drugs. In addition, Omar helps manage the UPSIDE Fund, a venture fund focused on commercializing University of Hawaii intellectual property. He holds a BSM in Finance from Tulane University's AB Freeman School of Business and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business.

Luke Tucker

CEO, Blue Photo Stories, Inc.

Luke is the CEO of Blue Photo Stories, Inc., a Blue Startups venture accelerator company facilitating the conservation of digital media. Previously, Luke worked at Central Pacific Bank as AVP and Mobile & Social Media Strategist where he was responsible for the development, management and strategic direction of the Bank’s mobile channels and was the primary author of the Bank’s Social Media Policy. Luke is also the founder of Iokepa, LLC providing marketing and financial consulting services for small to medium sized businesses. Luke was the pitch guy and business team member of 26 ideas, a social network for ideas, which got 2nd place at Startup Weekend Honolulu in September 2012. Luke is active in the local community as a Treasurer for State House Representative Lauren Cheape Matsumoto, a contributing member of the Young Professionals of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, a Social Media Club Professional, and is active in ministry roles at his Church One Love Ministries. He has lived in Hawaii for 10 years.

Russel Cheng

Russel Cheng is an entrepreneur, startup mentor and advisor with 16 years experience in Japan and Asia. He is founder of Dev Leauge, StartupHui and co-director of Founder Institute Honolulu chapter. In 1995, he co-founded XM Asia, establishing Asia’s first interactive agency later acquired by advertising network WPP Group and founder of Organic Inc’s Singapore operation which had a successful Nasdaq IPO in 2000, now owned by advertising network Omnicom Group. Russel has held executive management positions at Microsoft, Beacon Communications/Leo Burnett Japan, CS First Boston Japan and has worked with C-level customers at Philip Morris, P&G, Coke, GM, ESPN, Disney, Nokia, SingTel Mobile, Heineken, Visa, HSBC and many other Fortune 500 companies. In 2005, Russel was awarded a patent for identify and age verification on a mobile device and was awarded a Cannes Gold Lion, the advertising industry’s top creative award, for his P&G mobile application.


Meet Your Facilitator

by swuofhawaii

Meet our Startup Weekend Facilitator Joey Aquino tonight at a pre-event hosted by Hawaii Student Entrepreneurs and the UH Entrepreneurs Club. Joey […]

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