Maui Business

Hawaiʻi’s Top Entrepreneurs to Pitch Silicon Valley Investors

May 5, 2015, 9:07 AM HST
* Updated May 6, 9:09 AM
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startupBy Maui Now Staff

Next week, five Hawaiʻi start-up businesses will vie for the attention of experienced Silicon Valley investors in front of a live audience at the Third Annual MaiTai Maui Tech Night pitch competition on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapū.

Maui Tech Night, a signature event of Hawaiʻi’s Startup Paradise initiative, is the premier platform for Hawaiʻi start-ups to get face time with Silicon Valley investors.

MaiTai Tech Night 2015.

MaiTai Tech Night 2015.

Maui Tech Night was started in 2013 through the partnership of mbloom, a $10 million Maui-based seed venture capital fund, and MaiTaiGlobal, one of the most prestigious communities of Silicon Valley investors, executives and entrepreneurs, which gathers on Maui every year for a kiteboarding retreat.

This Wednesday, May 6, 10 finalists (see “Finalists Competing for a Spot at MTN 2015” below) will compete at the HonNewTech Pitch Off on Wednesday, May 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Fix in downtown Honolulu for the five spots at the Third Annual MaiTai Maui Tech Night pitch competition.


Among the 10 finalists is Maui’s MorphOptics, which is developing high-quality, low-mass and low-cost optical components for specialized applications.


The five start-ups selected will compete at Maui Tech Night on Wednesday, May 13, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapū.

The winner of Maui Tech Night 2015 will receive free work space at Real Office Centers Honolulu; access to Product Hunt’s exclusive community of tech founders; and most importantly, the attention of Silicon Valley all-stars.

Last year’s Maui Tech Night winner, Vantage Sports, attracted significant interest from investors and, ultimately, a $200,000 investment from mbloom.


After Maui Tech Night 2015, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to continue pitching their start-ups during the Second Annual Maui Startup Weekend from May 15 to 17, 2015, an event hosted by the Maui Economic Development Board.

“Maui is developing the resources to support a dynamic start-up scene,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. “The County of Maui is fully supportive of activities, like Maui Tech Night and Maui Startup Weekend, which help to generate opportunities for our residents to start and grow successful small businesses right from our islands.”

“MaiTai Maui Tech Night has continued to grow in size and attract partners since we hosted the first one three years ago,” said Arben Kryeziu, general partner at mbloom. “Continued support from MaiTai Global, and now this year, Product Hunt–both well known in the national startup scene–is a testament to the recognition of the Startup Paradise brand.”

At the cocktail reception after the MTN pitch competition, entrepreneurs will network with members of MaiTai Global.

“MaiTai Global is excited about the quality of the entrepreneurs and startups that have presented at the Maui Tech Nights,” said Bill Tai, co-founder of MaiTai Global and a partner at Charles River Ventures, one of the oldest venture capital firms in the US. “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with mbloom again to co-host the third annual MaiTai Maui Tech Night, and look forward to our continued collaboration here in Startup Paradise.”

“Real Office Centers opened an office in Hawaiʻi because we want to be a part of the growth and success of Startup Paradise,” said Ron McElroy, owner of Real Office Centers, a co-working franchise that launched in Southern California and recently opened its first Hawaiʻi location in Chinatown, Honolulu. “We are excited to plug Hawaiʻi start-ups into our network of industry experts, mentors and investors.”

“We are excited to be sponsoring a prize for the winner of the MaiTai Maui Tech Night pitch competition, and look forward to seeing more innovative Hawaiʻi tech companies Product Hunt can showcase in the near future,” said Erik Torenberg, one of the founding team members of Product Hunt, a platform known for discovering the hottest new apps, websites and projects.

For more information or to buy tickets for MTN 2015, go online.

For more information about mbloom, go online.

For more information about MaiTai Global, go online.

Use hashtag #MTN2015 to follow the conversation on social media.

For more information  about Startup Paradise, go online.

Finalists Competing for a Spot at MTN 2015

Adnoviv is a cohort member of XLR8UH on Oʻahu specializing in the development and commercialization of intelligent sensors and systems for industrial, security and biomedical applications.

Bathys Hawaiʻi of Kauaʻi manufactures the world’s first true atomic wristwatch featuring a chip-scale atomic clock hosting a cesium-based oscillator that is accurate to one second in 1,000 years.

CandyBAR is a cohort member of Blue Startups on Oʻahu, a custom-branded mobile app platform that improves events, tourism and civic pride using mobile technology that better engages users and deepens brand participation.

FlyWire is a cohort member of XLR8UH on Oʻahu that manufactures line-of-sight HD cameras in modular systems with live capture capabilities and superior audio-video quality.

Huedoku is  a cohort member of Blue Startups on Oʻahu that is pioneering the understanding and enhancement of perception and aesthetic and has developed a therapeutic and addictive color puzzle.

Jun Innovations is a supercooling technology that maintains freshness and increases storage of perishable products.

MorphOptics is a cohort member of XLR8UH on Maui that develops high-quality, low-mass and low-cost optical components for specialized applications.

NaluTrip is a cohort member of Blue Startups on Oʻahu,  a travel activity B2B reservation system specializing in China’s FIT and online booking markets.

Ring of Fire Films is a cohort member of Global Virtual Studios’ GVS Transmedia Accelerator on Hawaiʻi Island that aims to enable audiences to encounter our planet’s most active volcano in 2D, 3D, IMAX, dome and small digital formats.

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

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

The state’s HI Growth Initiative has been a core sponsor of the event for the past three years, and the Startup Paradise initiative continues to gain attention and momentum in Hawaiʻi and beyond.

The continued success of Maui Tech Night is testament to the innovation happening on Maui and in the rest of the state, and to Maui’s growing community of global movers and shakers.

Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information
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