Maui News

Maui Startup Weekend Maui Kicks Off Friday

November 15, 2018, 12:44 PM HST
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On Tuesday (Nov. 13), workshop attendees received helpful advice on crafting a strong 60-second pitch for their startup idea along with the opportunity to practice during a free Pitch Bootcamp. Among the helpful tips was a stretching exercise to alleviate the stress sometimes associated with public speaking.
Photo by Maui Economic Development Board.

Startup Weekend Maui kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, at Maui Economic Development Board’s Malcolm Center in Kīhei.

Participating entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create a startup in just 54 hours. The process includes an effective pitch, collaboration, and learning how to build a product that customers will value.

The weekend culminates on Sunday with five-minute presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders and potential investors.

According to Frank De Rego Jr., Director of Business Development Projects, Maui Economic Development Board, “Startup Weekend Maui is about learning the basics of building a business startup from the ground up – from idea to launch. The foundation of our local economy is built on the passion and innovative genius of our local talent. Startup Weekend Maui will focus the energy of its participants to pitch an idea effectively, to collaborate and work on a team proficiently, and to learn the ins and outs of building a product that customers will value. We invite anyone who has the curiosity and drive to be a part of this dynamic experience to join us.”

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.


On Sunday, participants present their work. This year’s Startup Weekend Maui judges who will provide valuable feedback and decide the winners are: Virendra Nath, President of HDEP International; Michael Powers, former SVP at CBS Interactive; and Teena Rasmussen, Director of the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.


The coaches and mentors are: Gary Albitz, FocalPoint Business Coach and Lecturer at UH Maui College; Rünno Allikivi, Head of Scandinavia at Funderbeam; Debasis Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor at UH Maui College; David Daly, BDC Director of MEO, Inc.; Rebecca Filipovic, Attorney at McKeon Sheldon Mehling; Bobby Jackson, Business Coach of RedRidge Consultants; Jules Kremer, Technical Project Manager at Google; Fred Mabie, Faculty member at UH Maui College, ABIT; Luana Mahi, Owner and Principal Broker of Kismet Natural Foods Brokerage; Keri Mehling, Attorney & Partner at McKeon Sheldon Mehling; Doug Nelson, President of Kinection; Chris Speere, Site Coordinator, UH Maui College’s Maui Food Innovation Center; Wayne Wong, Director, Hawaii Small Business Development Center – Maui Center.

Tickets are available for Sunday night presentations to observe and support all the teams and participants.

For event details and to register, visit


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

The Startup Weekend Maui Series is presented by Maui Economic Development Board. Sponsored by County of Maui, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Hawaiʻi SCORE, HTDC, Maui Brewing Company, The Maui News, Pacific Media Group, Startup Capital Ventures, Sultan Ventures, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, and XLR8HI. Prize sponsors are Focal Point, Linn Nishikawa & Associates, Maui Chamber of Commerce, Maui Printing, and MEO.

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