Honolulu-born web entrepreneur Eric Nakagawa is back in town, laying the groundwork for his next internet startup with partner Joyce Kim.
Called “Simple Honey,” there are few details on what exactly what the company will do, although Nakagawa has described it as a “high profile travel project.” The “About” page tagline reads, “Making it simple to find what you need,” and the Twitter profile says, “Changing how you look at travel booking.”
The travel industry is a solid target for an agile, web-savvy startup, and the $7 billion Hawaii tourism industry makes Honolulu a pretty good place to start.
Nakagawa and Kim have brought their San Francisco-based team to the islands for two months to build and launch the alpha version of Simple Honey, which they hope to have out by October.
Although they’re coding away in a rented house in West Oahu, they’re hoping to connect regularly with the local tech and startup community. Kim and UI designer Winnie Lim were at Ignite Honolulu earlier this month, and this Friday, there’s a Tweetup at Cafe Duck Butt in Kakaako.
Nakagawa is internationally known as the co-founder (along with Kari Unebasami) of I Can Has Cheezburger, a whimsical photo caption website that spawned countless internet memes and a New York Times bestselling book. ICHC was acquired by Ben Huh in 2007 for $2.25 million, and the Cheezburger Network raised $30 million in funding earlier this year.
Of course, since the acquisition, Nakagawa hasn’t been standing still. In addition to speaking on user generated content, online communities and web humor, he’s cofounded other web startups, including Honolulu-based Uapo LLC and and L.A.-based ADAM, which develop mobile apps like Hawaii-centric What Chefs Eat and Chamber of Commerce directory My Chamber App.
Originally from New York City, Kim graduated from Cornell at age 19 and went on to get a masters from Harvard and a law degree from Columbia. She was a corporate attorney in venture capital financing before co-founding and leading Soompi.com, an Asian pop entertainment site that was acquired in January.
Once Simple Honey hits alpha, we’re planning to have Nakagawa and Kim on Bytemarks Cafe to talk about the company, island-style entrepreneurship, and startup culture. Until then, you can meet them at the “Duck Butts + Startups” Tweetup and keep up with them on Twitter at @ericnakagawa, @joyce, and @simplehoney.