HawaiiWritten by Jason Ubay On 28 September 2012
LIVE BLOG: Startup Weekend Honolulu

We’re blogging live from Startup Weekend Honolulu at the Box Jelly in Kakaako. Check this feed for updates or follow hashtag #SWHNL for updates. Other Twitter accounts to follow include @hawaiibusiness, @theboxjelly and @SWHNL.

To learn more about Startup Weekend, check out our story that appeared in our August 2012 issue.

08:35 pm, September 30

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for following along. Look for a feature story on this event in the November 2012 issue of Hawaii Business magazine.

08:34 pm, September 30

The judges have given advice to all the projects that presented today. Rob Zazueta advises everyone to remember to keep the end user in mind.


08:25 pm, September 30

Four weeks ago, Bryan Butteling was laid off. He pitched his Fan Addicts idea on Friday, and now his team has earned the top spot at Startup Weekend Honolulu.

08:23 pm, September 30

The top 3 teams at Startup Weekend Honolulu.

  1. Fan Addicts
  2. 26 Ideas
  3. Move Me Or Else

07:50 pm, September 30

26 Ideas

A live version website is up and they’re looking for a crowd favorite at 26ideas.com/swhnl.

We all have too many ideas. How can you see if your idea is any good?

The website uses free integration using Facebook. Other people can comment on your ideas.

Any ideas pitched at Startup Weekend could’ve used 26 Ideas to validate their idea.

07:39 pm, September 30


Presenter asks, “How many have you forgotten an anniversary or birthday? Have you gotten a gift and had to show a smile even though you hated it?”

You can connect with minded using Facebook, so it can connect with all your friends and their birthdays. Testing the app with Amazon affiliate programs, so you can choose to buy a gift when a reminder pops up.

Data shows four out of five mobile phone owners use their phone to shop. There are other sites but it’s segregated. Some do reminders, some do gift lists, but not together.

Important part of minded is personalized data, like hobbies and likes, and even sizes for people. That way, you can buy clothing that’s just right for people.

The company’s tagline: “minded. So you don’t have to remember.”

07:34 pm, September 30

Move Me Or Else.

Or Else Labs wants to motivate people to live better lives. The company is starting with waking up. The team shows a funny slideshow featuring a slippery slope situation from waking up late, and it’s well received by the crowd.

The app is like other alarm apps, but you can press the  snooze button for a price. When the alarm goes off, you have to move to turn it off or hit the snooze button. It also shows your history with the app and how well you’ve done. Founder says 12,600 alarm apps have been downloaded. How to differentiate this product from others? Can pitch into a snooze fund, make it social by sharing with others, but also current mobile revenue models like advertising and social marketing.

The company hopes to move in other directions, like nonprofit donations, or discouraging addictive behaviors.

07:22 pm, September 30

Plate Nation. When you travel, you don’t want to have the same eating experience at all the different places you visit. How would it be to get a home cooked meal? Plate Nation can make that happen. In the home page,you type in where you’re at.

Earlier today, Jordan Schifino said he was willing to cook a meal and came down to the Box Jelly to cook it. Afterwards, users can easily go on his profile and write a profile about their experience. Plate Nation only introduces people, it does not charge.

This is not just an app. It’s changing the way you experience cultures around the world.

Excited to have a product ready to go. It can be seen at platenation.com.

They will monetize by subscription fee. At a month, you can get unlimited access to a region or city’s users. Advertising is a possibility, but probably down the road.

07:13 pm, September 30

Literately.co is a areative tool for writers who can read and write while they’re on the go on mobile. It will also be collaborative and you can share with who you want to. There is an existing model in Japan. Many best selling novels started on mobile phones.

Market research, which they conducted through surveys, shows that people are willing to show their work to their friends. Some sites like fictionpress.com and textnovel.com are available but they’re Web 1.0 sites.

Team presents a demo. Very simple interface and easy to start a story. Easy to make notes on other stories as well, to critique your friend’s work.

Success will come from accessibility, reliability and collaboration. Revenue will come from advertising, printing, premium accounts and distribution/publishing.

07:11 pm, September 30

The Fan Addicts team is easily recognizable. They’re all wearing sports jerseys.

The team knows there are good ideas out there, but the focus is on engagement.

For market research, they went to about 20 different Honolulu businesses and got 100 percent customer validation. Pain points – bars get peppered with calls, “Are you showing the game?” Or if you’re visiting, “Do you know where to find the game?”

First partner is with JJ Dolan’s and they also have sponsors ready to go.

They also have a working model, which was presented to the crowd. Works like Foursquare, where you can check into the bar. You can also see which fans are checking in and if they’re rooting for your team or not.

06:57 pm, September 30

Ally.io start with a short video presentation.

Small hospitality businesses are buried in paperwork for reservations because they’re not aware of system solutions. Mid-market companies have solutions, but are asked to print out and fill out a paper to use their software. Companies like Sabre has the data, but too expensive for smaller businesses. There are good websites like Checkfront and Rezgo, both in British Columbia.

Ally.io will start in Hawaii, and it just wants data. Supply from GDS providers, tour providers. Ally.io will give them iPhone apps and whatever they need to get this data. “I will build them whatever they need so I can get their data,” says its founder. That will be the supply side.

Doesn’t think million is not out of the question.  Founder asks for million to pursue this project.

06:50 pm, September 30


The problem with foreign language tutors and students is gaining credibility and connecting with each other. There are many ways to connect online like Skype and instant messengers, but it’s all fragmented. The global language learning segment is looking to be a 6 billion market by 2017.

What is Tudah? A place for highly motivated students to meet highly motivated tutors. Sign up, find a tutor, then get tutored online. Can use video, chat at the same time.

On the business side, they’re looking at very broad language sites, software, classifieds and specific language sites that is not comprehensive. A. find students. B. Through networks, find new tutors. Will start off by focusing on Brazil, China and the Middle East. They have different rates on subscriptions, but was glossed over in the presentation.

06:41 pm, September 30

Judge’s question: If you want users to submit traffic data, wouldn’t you need to use your phone to send in the information? Transportant says you can turn the app on before your commute and it will automatically submit your route information to Tranportant.

06:38 pm, September 30

Second presentation comes from Transportant.

Why is Oahu’s traffic awful? Transportant says it’s because consumer is not getting access to information. All traffic information is coming from a single source and broadcast on TV news and radio. Is there a solution to this? Transportant is an opportunity to get information about their commute and traffic to ease their commute to work and to home.

The app shows your route, along with pit stops on the way to where you want to go. All you have to do is put in information of where you are and where you want to go. Bases information on Google Maps and information that’s already out there, in addition to information provided by other Transportant users, who report current traffic conditions. Can sell advertising to businesses that appear along your route.

06:30 pm, September 30

A judge asks, “Is Open Table a partner or competition?” Jimple says that they’re looking at smaller restaurants. Jimple can see them as a partner, since they can provide an extra service of direct marketing.

06:27 pm, September 30

J Awesome is the first team presenting. Changed name to Jimple. Do you hate long lines, especially at restaurants? Some people get frustrated and leave. MarketWatch estimates million in lost sales.

The Jimple Solution. Provide your name, party size, any special requests. Restaurant can get a greater overview of that customer, and his or her spending habits. Can send a text message. If your reservation comes in,k you can claim your seat in 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or cancel your reservation. Businesses can also send a customer survey to your phone after the meal. Can directly offer deals to its customer.

Market potential: Only 15 percent of 300,000 restaurants use a reservation system. Everyone else still uses paper and pen. Subscription model, starting at a month.

06:21 pm, September 30

First presentation on stage is J Awesome, and will be followed by Transportant.

06:07 pm, September 30

Not sure what’s the delay, but auditorium is getting packed. Only announcement has been that an orange VW Beetle needs to be moved or it will be towed.

05:44 pm, September 30

26 Ideas wants you to upvote your favorite Startup Weekend Honolulu idea. Go to www.26ideas.com/swhnl to vote.

05:32 pm, September 30

Participants and guests have arrived at Fresh Cafe for presentations. Crew is still setting up, but looks like it’ll be ready to go in a few minutes.

04:05 pm, September 30

Mentors and coaches are reviewing teams’ presentations. Rob Zazueta of Vertical Response has been around the main room and currently looking to Move Me or Else’s presentation.

03:31 pm, September 30

Plate Nation is a web-based platform that puts people in touch with home cooks who want to share a homemade meal.Founder Michael Reisor says he spent a year in Europe and his best memories are of sharing a meal at someone’s home, through people he met through mutual friends. He says it would be of interest to people traveling who want a home-cooked meal, and for home chefs who want to validate their cooking skills and share it with others. The platform allows for user reviews.

Team member Jordan Schifino is currently outside grilling sausages and brisket. Reisor says it’s for outreach, and to validate Schifino’s user profile on the already funcational website, platenation.com.

02:10 pm, September 30

Groups are practicing their pitches for this evening. I’ve overheard Move Me or Else’s alarm clock go off a few times in the past 30 minutes.

01:50 pm, September 30

Startup Weekend Honolulu final presentations will take place down the street at Fresh Cafe at 5:30 p.m. Address is 831 Queen St.

10:53 pm, September 29

At least seven teams are still here late on Saturday, including Tudah, Minded, Move Me or Else and Fan Addicts.

03:06 pm, September 29

Minded, a new reminder app, is trying to build up its social media presence by offering free coffee for people who sign up for their email newsletter and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and for taking a quick survey.

Team member Jamie Noland says they’re working on a web-based app for Sunday’s presentation, but the team has plans for mobile apps for Android and iOS. The app sends out reminders for special events like birthdays and holidays, and allows for people to purchase gifts for the events. It can also store preferences for people, which leaves out guessing about gifts.

Minded has nine team members. Most of the team stayed until 12:30 a.m. early Saturday morning, with some staying as late as 3 a.m., Noland says. They all came back at 9 a.m., and will stay as long as it takes, she says.

Since forming the team, they have created a landing page with an email signup and links to Twitter and Facebook. Noland says it was a priority to get people signed up first because the team wants the product tested before presentations at 5 p.m. on Sunday. They hope to have 100 testers by the time they present, she says.

01:42 pm, September 29

Where’s My Toot has changed their name to Tudah. Kevin Shin, who pitched the idea, says there’s a lot more things that need to be done than he initially thought. He says their primarily goal is to find high quality tutors and students, since the website would be a marketplace for tutoring. They originally thought of a pay-per-transaction business model, but decided to move to a subscription model in order to keep tutors within the Tudah system.

The team has eight team members: two working on marketing, two on market validation, two on product launch, one designer and one developer. They have a tight timeline and hope to accomplish a lot of things, like a finished business model and market research, by 5 p.m. today.

12:44 pm, September 29

Frank Denbow asks if any teams need help, or are looking for a team member. Ally.IO is looking for another php developer. One team member is a Mac guy and another is open source, so they’re “having trouble communicating,” a comment which elicits laughter from the crowd.

12:40 pm, September 29

List of mentors and judges can be found on the Startup Weekend Honolulu website, honolulu.startupweekend.org.

12:35 pm, September 29

Frank Denbow calling for a quick introduction from the mentors, and a quick check-in from the teams.

12:31 pm, September 29

Oliver Camilo of Moji says his app is far along in development, and he didn’t think it would be fair to use the “free” talent that’s here for the weekend. So he’s taking the opportunity to talk to mentors and different resources available this weekend.

The app aims to insert brands into everyday conversations using emoji icons, which are similar to emoticons. A designer can upload a brand logo, and it can be seen whenever the brand name appears in a text message or email. For example, a message saying, “Let’s get L&L,” would make the restaurant’s logo appear.

The Moji team uses The Box Jelly as its permanent office. The company has raised 100,000 dollars and is currently looking for another round of funding, says Camilo. He says they are committed to keeping it a local company.

The team’s website is moji.me.

11:35 am, September 29

Rechung Fujihara of The Box Jelly says a few teams spent the night. He says everyone today will be putting their heads down and getting down to work.

Mentors have slowly been arriving and they’re talking with participants. They’re wearing red safety vests to be clearly identified. They will be formally introduced to the crowd around 12:30 p.m.

11:17 am, September 29

Frank Denbow, founder of Startup Threads and a volunteer for the nonprofit Startup Weekend, has traveled for the Honolulu event from New York. He’s here to facilitate the event, and helps with other SW events around the U.S. This is his first time in Hawaii.

Denbow has an encyclopedic knowledge of startups and says he can help participants who may have ideas similar to other startups. It’s not necessarily bad to have the same idea, he says, because you can learn a lot from what other people have done and you can avoid some of the same mistakes.

10:54 am, September 29

Teams are working on their projects at the Box Jelly, with 3 teams in the main room and a few in the conference rooms. There’s a table with cartons of Starbucks coffee. People are talking and discussing their projects, but the mood is markedly different than it was last night.

08:49 pm, September 28

All participants have been encouraged to find a team they want to join. Crowd has been told to meet up again for announcements at 11 a.m., but The Box Jelly will be open 24 hours.

08:41 pm, September 28

Team captains trying to form teams. Everyone needs different pieces: designers, developers, but overall just smart people.

08:39 pm, September 28

Top 11 teams called to the next round.

  • Minded App
  • Literately
  • Where’s my Toot
  • Move me or else
  • Transportant
  • Fan Addicts
  • Plate Nation
  • Moji
  • 26 Ideas
  • Badass
  • Planet Competition
  • J Awesome

08:03 pm, September 28

Sorry, last live blog app was Move Me Or Else.

07:59 pm, September 28

PITCH: Have a hard time waking up? Snooze Me or Else! is an app that makes you move 20 feet before your alarm goes off. If you hit the snooze button, it will charge you 99 cents.

07:48 pm, September 28

PITCH: Hate paying ATM fees? Solution: Paymyatmfees.com. How many surveys are you willing to take a month? If you’re willing to take a survey,k you get a credit towards ATM fees. Looking for developers and designers.

07:41 pm, September 28

PITCH: Entrepreneur looked at difference between college writing and blog. Why was she more motivated to write college papers? There was an incentive. Her idea is to create a competitive community for writers. Unlike blogs, this site will give direction, deadline and competition against other writers in order to get published.

07:35 pm, September 28

PITCH: Evan Leong likes to eat, but doesn’t like to wait in line. Idea is for a mobile application that will SMS text you when your table is ready. Idea is called J Awesome. JJ Dolan’s will be the guinea pig for the weekend. Also brought wife’s homemade cookies as an incentive.

07:32 pm, September 28

PITCH: Chris Ota says problem today is ideas ideas ideas.  He’s creating 26Ideas.com. Jot down your idea, post it, and  people can vote up your idea. If they like it, they contact you if you like it.

07:29 pm, September 28

PITCH: Overwriting is not collaboration. Have you ever asked: Are we done yet? Who are we waiting for? Dot Bubble will answer these questions, and helps gain peer collaboration fast. Looking for designers and marketers.

07:21 pm, September 28

Pitches are about to begin. Show of hands shows at least 20 pitches coming through. Tips: Who are you? What problem are you solving? How will you solve it? Who do you need?

06:58 pm, September 28

Standing room only as presentations are underway. Currently, judges and mentors are putting on red safety vests so they can be easily identified for the weekend.

06:48 pm, September 28

This is the 3rd Startup Weekend in Honolulu, says Danielle Scherman. She says plan is to run two SWs a year.

06:33 pm, September 28

Lots of people at the Box Jelly now.  Lots of people networking, eating pizza, drinking beer.

04:23 pm, September 28

Judges and staffers are streaming in and setting up. Registration for the event starts at 6 p.m.

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About Author

Managing Editor, Hawaii Business magazine. He's also representing the mag on Facebook and Twitter at @hawaiibusiness. You can follow him on Twitter at @jubay.

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