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Do you have a business concept that’s been rolling around in your head for a while, or scratched out on napkins, and you just don’t know where to start?  Well – here’s an idea->  Startup Weekend and mbloom, Hawaii’s first startup incubator and technology fund, are teaming up to bring the Startup Weekend event to Maui for the first time ever. The event gives local techies, designers, marketers and business people an opportunity to learn how to launch a company in a weekend.

Maui Startup Weekend will take place at the Maui Research and Technology Park between 6:30pm on Friday, May 16 and ends Sunday, May 18 at 9pm.

To register and see the weekend’s schedule – click here – . Tickets are $99 for the event, with discounts for students.  The public may also attend the final presentations on Sunday afternoon and view the judging for $25.

What is Startup Weekend?  All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: 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 weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Event organizers also recently announced that the winner of the Maui event will receive an equity-crowdfunding campaign on new crowdfunding platform CrowdAlliance , and the opportunity to raise up to $50k in startup investments.

Participants will receive guidance from Startup Weekend Coaches including Doug Nelson, CEO of Kinection, Keith Powers, Managing Partner with Engaged Partners, Jeanne Skog, President and CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board, Tina Fitch, mentor with Blue Startups  and Sara Smith, CEO of Wrappily (a Maui Made Fave).

Sara Smith attended Startup Weekend in Honolulu last April, at the urging of a close friend and mentor, where she presented her Wrappily concept (which ended up being the winning idea!). “The whole process invigorated the Wrappily concept and kickstarted my commitment to launch,” she explained. “It was a shot-in-the-arm that I really needed. Winning was nice, too.”

Although she’s still just launching her own company, Sara agreed to join the Maui Startup event as a coach, at the urging of one of the event organizers, Peter Liu. “Having just been though Startup Weekend, and basically still in the trenches of launching, my coaching angle is more as someone who is just freshly through this initial stage. The other coaches are much more seasoned and successful, I don’t have their start-up wisdom, but I do have insight as to what these teams are going though and what lays ahead.”

The team of Maui judges includes Arben Kryeziu, co-founder of mbloom and award-winning creative digital agency Bump Networks, Jamie Dinckelacker, the Maui-based Director of Engineering for Google’s Niantic Labs, Kevin Jardine, CEO of Jardine Capital whose current portfolio includes Off Planet Digital, Canadian Cartel and Sharper Image, and Eric Nakagawa, co-founder of


More info about Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.   The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 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.

More Info about mbloom:

Closing its first fund at $10m at the beginning of 2014, mbloom is an accelerator and co-working office for startups in the Hawaii tech space. Located among palm trees, green pastures, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean, the company is the first organization of it’s kind on Maui, Hawaii. mbloom is run by two successful entrepreneurs, Arben Kryeziu and Nick Bicanic, who mentor select startups to help build their products, create strategic business plans, and get to the next milestone in their journeys.


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