Photo via Anthony Marzi
Left to Right: Holland Wood, Rod Hinman, Robbie Melton, Meli James, Tarik Sultan, Don Kosak, Anthony Marzi, Anoka Jung
The Big Island had their first Demo Day event this past Saturday, May 10 and it was a huge success! Tickets to the event were sold out with over 100 people showing up to see what was people were working on.
This event was organized by Hawaii Tech Exchange (HITX) and Hawaii TechWorks and sponsored by the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) and Nalukai Foundation.
Read below for a copy of their press release.
MILESTONE FOR HAWAII ISLAND TECH STARTUP COMMUNITY
Hawaii Island Demo Day Draws Sell-out Crowd, Winner Announced
On May 10th, in Hilo, Hawaii the inaugural Hawaii Island Demo Day was held. The event showcased seven new high-tech businesses founded on Hawaii Island. The businesses ranged from Robotics Kits and Inspection Drones to Mobile Apps that save energy. Each business gave a ten minute pitch to the community, demonstrating their technology and explaining how the business will grow.
“Hawaii Island Demo Day is all about exciting entrepreneurial and innovative start-ups and doing business entities that will help improve our quality of life and creating jobs and a future for Hawaii,” said Senator Malama Solomon, Hawai’i Senate District 4, Hilo, Hamakua, Waimea, Kohala, Waikoloa, Kona.
The winning pitch was from Ikehu who demonstrated their Drive™ application which helps residential customers conserve electrical power through incentives. As the selected company, Ikehu will have a chance to pitch at the upcoming Maui Tech Night where they will compete for $500,000 in funding.
The event was organized by Hawaii Tech Exchange (HITX) and Hawaii TechWorks with
sponsorship from High Tech Development Corporation (HTDC), Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) and Nalukai Foundation.
“The event was exciting and well organized. I’m glad I attended Hawaii Island Demo Day, as I was able to witness ﬁrst-hand new technology entrepreneurship in action. This is so important for our island’s employment force; local community-based economic development,” stated Representative Clift Tsuji, Hawai’i District 2, Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea. Representative Tsuji was the House Conferencing Chair that passed HB858 / Act 127 which provided the funding for the HSDC’s HI Growth Initiative, one of the sponsors of the event.
“I was impressed with the tremendous support of the local community and the assistance provided by State agencies like the HTDC and HSDC,” said Don Kosak, founder of HITX and co-organizer of the event.
“As someone that grew up on Hawaii island, I am so proud to see world-class tech startups being formed right here in our own back yard,” added Anthony Marzi, founder of Hawaii TechWorks and co-organizer of the event.
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