High School Students Sweep 7th Startup Weekend Honolulu


Photo by SWHNL

From the start of Startup Weekend Honolulu, 15-year-old Liam Clive’s maturity and self-awareness gave his competitors two to three times his age a run for their seed money. The annual entrepreneurship competition, sponsored by Hawaii National Bank, took place over Father’s Day weekend in Kakaako with more than 100 participants and guests.

Clive took home first with his winning idea and newly formed startup team Mentorship.link, while Anna Kimata, another 15 year old was part of the 2nd place team Grumble. A total of 12 teams were formed out of rapid-fire pitches, chosen through MeetingSift’s mobileactivated voting system. On pitch night, eight teams presented their pitch decks at ProtoHub Honolulu with the help of Empowered Presentations after 54 hours of nonstop work at BoxJelly.

The winners were handpicked by four local judges: Peter Rowan, most recently the corporate vice president, New Ventures of Coinstar, Omar Sultan, managing partner of Sultan Ventures; Steve Haumschild, serial entrepreneur; and Ben Trevino, president of Bikeshare Hawaii. The winning startups are:

  • 1st Place: Mentorship.link – A subscription-based online platform that acts as a marketplace of internships and apprenticeships for high school students. It enables students to create a portfolio of professional experiences and skills for the real world as a supplement to their education.
  • 2nd Place: Grumble – A social platform where users can “grumble” or make complaints about anything with a backend for analyzing patterns in complaints to generate potential product ideas addressing common user pain points.
  • 3rd Place: All About – The “Tinder” of babysitting, this online marketplace for parents and babysitters handles background, transactions and reviews. It even includes a real-time update feature for parents to know what their kids are up to while they are away from home.

Once the competition is over, teams are encouraged to continue growing their startups and ready them for the next phase, whether its raising funds, seeking investors or applying for an accelerator program. Often times, teams may break up and form new companies with each other or other SWHNL participants. SWHNL organizers will provide a free workshop to participating teams to find out more information about launching a startup. SWHNL will host a second event this year, November 20-22, as part of the Up Global Startup Battle, which was recently acquired by Techstars, one of the largest for-profit accelerators and investment fund. Both SWHNL competitions are being sponsored by Hawaii National Bank as the local title sponsor, Sultan Ventures, mBloom, Blue Startups, HI Growth, High Technology Development Corporation, and Startup Capital Ventures. For photos and social media snapshots of the event, be sure to like the SWHNL Facebook page at www.facebook.com/swhnl and follow along with #SWHNL.

About Startup Weekend

A global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures, Startup Weekend is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs, with over 1,000 past events in 100 countries around the world, starting over 8,000 companies. While headquartered in Seattle, Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 400 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.

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