Startup Weekend Maui A Success for Local Entrepreneurs
By: William M. McKeon
This past weekend, from May 15-17, 2015, Maui’s most aspiring entrepreneurs rallied together for the second annual Upstart Weekend Maui, hosted by the Maui Economic Development Board. Over the course of 54 frenzied hours, approximately 80 local residents and visitors pitched their ideas, formed teams around the top ideas, and created, tested, designed, validated, and launched a start-up business.
Partner Keri Mehling and Rebecca Filipovic of McKeon Sheldon Mehling provided mentoring and coaching to the entrepreneurs throughout the weekend.
Working with others coaches and mentors, Mehling and Filipović gave the startup teams legal advice relating to starting a business, business models, intellectual property rights, finding and leasing commercial space, State and County permitting requirements and insurance.
Mehling and Filipovic found working with the talented entrepreneurs of Maui exciting and rewarding. Mehling said: “Unbelievable! To take a concept and in 2 ½ days create a functioning company speaks volumes to the hard work of the participants, good advice from the coaches and MEDB leadership skills in putting the event together. Some of them have already outgrown their original concepts, a great problem to have!”. Filipović added: “The energy and enthusiasm among the teams and by the individual participants was contagious. This event shows that Maui is rich in entrepreneurial spirit. It was very inspiring.”
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of entrepreneurs with various skills sets who come together to learn the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.
The event kicked off on Friday, May 17, 2015, with 60-second open-mic pitches from individual participants. Teams then form organically around the top ideas, as determined by popular vote, and over the course of 54 hours, teams created, coded, designed and received market validation of their ideas. The weekend culminated with teams pitching their ideas in front of local entrepreneurial leaders. The top team, Board.Vote – a web app for voting geared towards non-profit boards – received a prize package valued at over $3,400, which included 3 hours of legal advice from McKeon Sheldon Mehling.
Event supporters included many local venture capitalist firms, including heavy hitters, Peter Liu of mbloom, and Sultan Ventures.
Partner Shannon Sheldon and Filipovic also supported the MaiTai Maui Tech Night 2015 held on Thursday May 14, 2015, which launched the first Startup Paradise Product Hunt Meetup Pitch Fest on Maui.
For more information, see this article in MauiNow.com.
MSM wishes all the participating entrepreneurs success with their startups.