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MEDB announces its 2018 Startup Weekend Maui Series

By Staff | Oct 18, 2018

Startup Weekend Maui is an empowering 54-hour weekend event where participants pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas and work to develop a working prototype, demo or presentation by Sunday evening. PHOTO BY MAUI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD.

KIHEI – Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) announces the return of its empowering Startup Weekend Maui Series: three optional lead-up events culminating with the much-anticipated 2018 Startup Weekend Maui.

Entrepreneurs interested in jumpstarting their new business or fine-tuning their existing business are encouraged to attend.

Startup Weekend Maui will be held on Nov. 16-18. In just 54 hours, participants will experience the highs, lows, fun and pressure that make up life at a startup. They will learn how to create a real company and meet the very best mentors, investors, cofounders and sponsors who are ready to help them get started.

With the best tools and approaches at their disposal, they will take giant leaps in learning skills to create a business, work on a startup team and connect with the right people and resources.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model. On Friday starting at 6:30 p.m., anyone is welcome to pitch a startup idea and receive feedback from 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. Coaches and mentors, successful in various areas of business, are available to provide feedback and to guide the teams through the process.

The weekend culminates on Sunday with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders and potential investors with another opportunity for critical feedback. Winning teams receive a prize package of an estimated $1,000 value.

“At the Startup Weekend Series, potential entrepreneurs can learn valuable skills, network with like-minded, motivated individuals, and achieve making a startup business concept a reality. The series provides a great opportunity to discover and nurture your own entrepreneurial spirit,” said Frank De Rego Jr., director of business development projects at MEDB.

“If you are an experienced entrepreneur, rediscover your passion and share your wisdom. If you are the least bit curious about what it takes to create a startup, come and join us. It won’t be easy, but it will be fun.”

Last year’s ideas included a digital smart lock; leadership program; a GPS-integrated wrist-ware for search and rescue operations; and Hawaii on-the-go baby food.

Erik Blair, an entrepreneur and startup weekend coach, said, “It inspires me to see everybody coming forward with their ideas, trying to find ways to achieve their goals and then validating their business concepts. Everyone who participates in Startup Weekend Maui walks away a winner having gained something from this experience.”

Three lead-up events are offered to give everyone valuable tools for their startup idea. Attend one or attend all!

“Pinching your Pennies: Finance for Entrepreneurs” will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Learn how to run your business more profitably and avoid mistakes that cause businesses to fail.

Led by Gerry Smith, MEDB’s director of business development, attendees will learn valuable tips and tricks to ensure that whatever product or service they offer is profitable for their business.

“It’s a must-attend, especially if your business involves manufacturing,” said Smith. “People forget to pay themselves and often overlook substantial hidden costs.”

This workshop will address these important questions: are you covering ALL of your costs? How much should your product sell for? Should you offer your product wholesale? What is break-even analysis? What is cash flow and why is it so important? What are fixed vs. variable costs?

The cost is $20 per person.

“Lean Startup Canvas” is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6. The lean startup business model canvas is an important tool that people can use to help bring clarity to this question: “How will my business succeed?” Learn about the canvas and immediately apply your knowledge in this hands-on workshop.

Led by Sultan Ventures and XLR8HI, attendees will learn to develop a new or existing business model; outline your firm’s or product’s value proposition, customers and finances; and align and evaluate your business activities by recognizing potential tradeoffs in a much easier and effective way.

The cost is $20 per person.

“Pitch Bootcamp” is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 13. Prepare for Startup Weekend! Attendees will receive helpful tips on crafting a strong 60-second pitch for their startup idea. Get feedback from peers and mentors and hone presentation skills through PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

This event is free.

Startup Weekend and the lead-up workshops will be held at MEDB’s Malcolm Center and the Maui Research & Technology Center, both located in the Maui Research and Tech Park in Kihei. Meals are provided for all events.

For event details, and to register for any or all of the Startup Weekend Maui Series, visit www.startupweekendmaui.com.

Reservations are required for all events, and space is limited. Early bird and student rates are available for Startup Weekend.

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 and sponsored by the County of Maui, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Hawaii SCORE, HTDC, The Maui News, Pacific Media Group, Sultan Ventures, University of Hawaii Maui College, and XLR8HI.