Startup Weekend Maui

November 16-18, 2018

This event is completed.  Read the review here.
In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. As you learn how to create a real company, you’ll meet the very best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started. Your community is here to help you.
With the best tools and approaches at your disposal, take giant leaps in learning skills to create a business, work on a startup team, and connect with the right people and resources. Ultimately, it will be an unforgettable weekend that will put you on the pathway to success.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model:

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. 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.
What do you need to bring? 
Lots of energy! You’ll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.
Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you’ll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You’ll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely!
Startup Weekend Maui is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:

  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner over the course of the weekend
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Be in the running to win prizes valued over $10,000.
Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired Register for Startup Weekend Maui now!

(Click here for full schedule and to see the list of coaches and judges)

Presented by: Maui Economic Development Board
Sponsored by:
Maui County      County of Maui OED                            

Past Winners

2018 – Taking Care of Tutu – Online resource to help senior citizens protect their assets and plan for long-term care.

The Taking Care of Tutu team captured 1st place. Pictured from left: Frank De Rego Jr. (MEDB), Leslie Wilkins (MEDB), Ralph Thomas, Meg Obenauf, James Tolley, Gerry Smith (MEDB)

2nd Place – Be Aloha
3rd Place – The Dance Garden

2017 – Poi Belly – Hawaiian on-the-go baby food using locally-sourced ingredients.

Startup Weekend Maui

MEDB’s Jeanne Skog (far left) and Frank De Rego Jr. (far right) with first place winner, the team of Poi Belly (from left): Jody Yoshida, Lauren Burgess, and Naomi Glass.

2nd Place – Motor Pig
3rd Place – Life Search

2016 – The Original Face-Guard (now called The Barrier Method)

The team of the Original FaceGuard captured their first place win with a selfie. Their startup offers a trendy and fun anti-microbial facemask for travelers. Pictured from left: Julie Lewis, Lorayne Lipps, Danielle Travis, Molly Palmer, and Austin Kozaki.

2nd Place – Maui Buzz Kill
3rd Place – Catalyst

2015 – Board.Vote

2015 Startup Weekend Winners – Board.Vote – L to R: Danny Macias, Philip Heath, David Fry, Craig Wheeler, and Tahi Reynolds.

2nd Place – Ticker
3rd Place – Waikapu Pickles

2014 – TabTops


Is this event for me?

If you are interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most likely yes. Techstars Startup Weekend attendee backgrounds are roughly 50% technical (developers, coders, designers) and 50% business (marketing, finance, law). Check the winners above, and event news to get an idea of who participates. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas you’ll fit right in.

Do I have to participate all three days?

Apart from Organizers, selected Coaches, Speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to preserve the ‘vibe’ of the weekend (“no talk, all action”) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams. A “Sunday Presentations Only” registration option is available for those wishing to only view the teams’ final presentations.

Do I have to pitch an idea to attend?

No, but we encourage you to! You can pitch an idea you’ve been thinking about for years, or something last minute you think of during the event. It’s a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.

What types of ideas can I pitch?

Any business ideas are eligible (whether for profit, ‘social’ businesses, nonprofit organizations, etc.), however the event is strongly tech-oriented. Approximately 95% of all ideas are mobile or web focused, and given the short time-frame, we strongly recommend that even non-tech ideas focus on a tech-related deliverable (i.e., website) by Sunday.

Can I pitch more than one idea?

Depending on the number of ideas pitched and the schedule, you may or may not be able to pitch multiple ideas. Prioritize your ideas: pitch your best idea (and the one you have most prepared for) first.

Can I pitch my existing business?

No. Techstars Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. A key facet of the weekend – and a central value for participants – is the spirit of complete collaboration, buy-in, and ownership. We’ve found that having existing businesses in the mix undermines this spirit, in addition to creating an imbalance between those ideas that are truly ground-level.

How do I protect against people stealing my idea?

The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information.The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident your idea is a ‘key-in-hand’, easy-to-implement innovation that hasn’t been thought of yet, the advantages gained from getting broad-based feedback and a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the remote risks of someone stealing and executing on your idea. The truth is that over 90% of ideas pitched at any given Techstars Startup Weekend have already been pitched – probably many times – in the past. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one, but rather that what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea. “One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion”

What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

The purpose of the Friday voting and crowd-sourcing isn’t to exclude certain ideas, but simply to highlight the most popular and high-potential pitches and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds and skills. If your idea isn’t selected but you’ve formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend. If you decide to do so, however, please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.

What can I win?

The prizes for the 2018 Startup Weekend Maui Winners are:

  • Chamber of Commerce – One Year Membership
  • Linn Nishikawa – Design Business Cards
  • Malcolm Center  – One Day Rental
  • Maui Printing Company – Rack and Bus Cards printing
  • MEO Core 4 Business Planning  2 passes + $140 for books
  • Gary Albitz, Focal Point Professional Business Coaching- 6 months of Business Coaching
  • SCORE – Check $250

Still have questions? Feel free to reach us at “”.
Return to Top