Maui Business

TerViva Wins MaiTai Maui Tech Night Pitch Competition

May 14, 2015, 6:09 PM HST
* Updated May 15, 2:28 PM
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Maui Tech Night - Winner of Pitch Competition with Judges

Maui Tech Night – Winner of Pitch Competition with Judges. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Judges crowned Hawaiʻi startup TerViva as the winner of the Third Annual MaiTai Maui Tech Night pitch competition on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapū.

Maui Tech Night - Team members of mbloom. Courtesy photo.

(Left to right) mbloom Entrepreneur-In-Residence Lauren Primiano, mbloom General Partner Arben Kryeziu and mbloom Director of Operations Peter Liu. Courtesy photo.

TerViva, a cohort member of Energy Excelerator on Oʻahu, is developing and commercializing new crops that grow sustainably on under-productive agricultural land.

TerViva was one of five Hawaiʻi start-ups selected for the MaiTai Maui Tech Night pitch competition from a pool of 30 applicants.

TerViva was awarded:

  • one month’s free workspace at Real Office Centers Honolulu
  • $1,000 from Startup Capital Ventures towards travel expenses to work out of their Silicon Valley Office for one week
  • access to Product Hunt’s exclusive community of tech founders
  • and a kite and board from Naish.
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The kite and board are symbolic of the recognition from MaiTai Global, the community of Silicon Valley investors and executives that visits Maui every year for a kiteboarding retreat and that has been partnering with mbloom to host Maui Tech Night for the past three years.

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MaiTai Maui Tech Night is mbloom’s signature annual event and is part of the statewide Startup Paradise initiative to build an innovation economy and ecosystem in Hawaiʻi.

The Hawaiʻi venture capital fund mbloom then announced that it raised $10 million from a private investor in China, bringing the fund to a total of $20 million. With this infusion of capital, the fund is expanding its operations, including increasing its staffing and opening an office in Honolulu.

has been hired by mbloom as its first entrepreneur-in-residence. She will work out of Real Office Centers in Chinatown in Honolulu on Oʻahu.

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The fund’s general partner, Arben Kryeziu (cree-eh-zee-you), broke the news to a crowd of more than 300 Silicon Valley investors and Hawaiʻi entrepreneurs at the MaiTai Maui Tech Night event.

“This $10 million private investment enables mbloom to offer trans-Pacific networks, expertise and capital,” said Kryeziu. “The mbloom fund was created to help build up the startup ecosystem on Maui and throughout the state. New investments like this one affirm the attraction of Hawaiʻi’s Startup Paradise for the rest of the world and give our community the momentum to bring in even more resources and create more success stories.

“I’m excited to welcome Lauren to the mbloom team as our first EIR,” said Kryeziu. “She brings extensive experience in venture capital, entrepreneurship and the local start-up community that will help mbloom to advance its mission to support the Hawaiʻi innovation sector. We also see tremendous potential in her own entrepreneurial vision.”

The new $10 million investment marks the second round of financing for mbloom. The fund closed its first round in January 2014 with $5 million raised from the Hawaiʻi Strategic Development Corporation and $5 million from a private investor.

To date, mbloom has invested $2 million in tech start-ups, or about one-fourth of its investable assets, including $1.5 million in Hawaiʻi tech start-ups.

The event is widely supported by local stakeholders, including all four of the state’s accelerator programs (Blue Startups, Energy Excelerator, XLR8UH, GVS Transmedia Accelerator), the Hawaiʻi Angels, Hawaiʻi Student Entrepreneurs, Hawaiʻi Venture Capital Association, HiBEAM, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), the University of Hawaiʻi Shidler College of Business’ Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), ProtoHUB Honolulu, Sultan Ventures, and Startup Weekend Honolulu and Maui.

The state’s HI Growth Initiative was a core sponsor of the event.

Launched in 2014, mbloom is a $10 million technology investment fund, capitalized by a $5 million investment from the State of Hawaiʻi’s HI Growth Initiative and matched by a private investor. As a Maui-based fund, mbloom’s mission is to identify Hawaiʻi’s most promising technology companies, and surround them with seed capital, hands-on mentorship, and access to a network of industry experts and strategic partners, all necessary ingredients to build a successful high-growth company.

For more information, go online.

 

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