“Reboot The Commute” Seeks Teams To Compete In Hawaii Urban Mobility Challenge


Entrepreneurs, developers, designers and problem solvers are sought for the first “Reboot the Commute” urban mobility challenge on May 22 and 23 at ProtoHub. Solutions and opportunities for smart applications that can help solve some of Hawaii’s most pressing transportation problems will be at the heart of this two-day, hackathon-style event where teams will compete to take their idea to prototype.

Participation is open to individuals and teams based in Hawaii, including professional and student developers. Companies, organizations, meetup groups and technology clubs are also welcome. Sponsor Energy Excelerator is awarding three $1,000 cash prizes in each challenge category with winners also having the chance to present at Startup Paradise Demo Day, joining other major companies who are pitching to investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers.

To help inspire teams to develop these innovative solutions, speakers and mentors will outline current challenges in transportation, including data in transportation, parking apps and bikeshare system rebalancing. Among the featured speakers are Blake Burris, founder and CEO of The Cleanweb Initiative, a chief hacktivist and vice president of developer relations at Vinli; Chris George, community catalyst at The Cleanweb Initiative and director of evangelism at Vinli; Harrison Rue, community building and TOD administrator at the City and County of Honolulu; and Ben Trevino, president and COO of Bikeshare Hawaii.

“Companies, state and city agencies, and many organizations are embracing the idea of a software-first future,” said Burris, whose company is among the organizing sponsors of Reboot the Commute. “This greater collaboration among developers, government officials and industry experts will help get the ideas flowing and ideally result in some solutions.”

To help the teams with developing potential solutions prior to Reboot the Commute, organizers are providing two other opportunities to stimulate discussion on the challenges and opportunities within Hawaii’s transportation system. Beth Osborne from Transportation for America, Eric Sundquist from the State Smart Transportation Initiative and David Nebinski of Transit Screen are national experts in sustainable transportation policy and program development. Along with Mark Wong, director of the Department of Information Technology at the City & County of Honolulu, the three will lead a discussion on tomorrow at ProtoHUB around critical transportation data gaps and how we, in Hawaii, may be able to fill these gaps.

“We hope that some of these innovative ideas can continue to the Energy Excelerator program where we can help them with funding, partnerships and implementation,” said Jonas Vibell, who heads up pipeline strategy and partnerships at Energy Excelerator.

On May 16 at the Unconferenz, Hawaii’s longest-running grassroots technology gathering using an open-grid format to foster sharing and interaction and to spark change, there will be a session topic dedicated to innovative solutions for commuter needs. Reboot the Commute attendees are encouraged to participate in both Unconferenz and tomorrow’s speaker event.

Organizers of Reboot the Commute include Energy Excelerator, the High Technology Development Corporation, Vinli, the state Department of Transportation, Hawaii State Energy Office and Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Innovation is everywhere, and it is especially important when it comes to finding a solution for Hawaii’s transportation problems,” said Robbie Melton, executive director at HTDC. “HTDC is proud to sponsor events that cultivates the development and growth of high technology on the island.”

For information on the schedule of events and to RSVP, visit htdc.org/reboot-the-commute.

About the Reboot the Commute sponsors

Energy Excelerator helps innovative companies succeed in Hawaii and the Asia Pacific with funding, strategic relationships and a vibrant ecosystem.

High Technology Development Corporation is a state agency facilitating the growth of Hawaii’s innovation economy and provides matching grant funding to startups.

Vinli is on a mission to make cars smarter, safer and more fun.

Hawaii Department of Transportation is responsible to plan, design, construct, operate ad maintain state facilities in all modes of transportation.

Hawaii State Energy Office is leading the charge for the state to meet and exceed 70 percent clean energy by 2030 and accelerate our transformation to a clean energy economy.

Blackstone Charitable Foundation is looking for innovative projects and catalytic ideas that can contribute to the rebuilding of the nation through entrepreneurship.