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Simple Honey Travel Startup Team in Town

August 31st, 2011 by Ryan Ozawa · 5 Comments · Events, Technology, The Web, Travel

Simple Honey

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.

Winnie Lim, Joyce Kim, and Burt Lum

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.

But most geeks (including me) probably first knew Kim as the original co-host of The GigaOm Show (with prominent tech journalist Om Malik) on the Revision3 network.

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.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Dote

    I’m a big fan of Eric and his work. I’m especially happy to see a high-tech startup come to the islands in such a unique and inspiring way.

    Rent out a place (are they next to the beach?), bring the team for a 2 month code frenzy. Jack in some uber-killer wifi and those chairs with umbrella’s… When folks need to re-charge, they can enjoy the beauty of the islands. Hit the beach, take a hike, or enjoy the night life to get their minds back on track…. Wow, now that’s brilliant!

    And while they do this they’re connecting with the local tech community. Again, genius.

    If Tapiki ever grows I’m gonna open an office in a beach house with a view. I’m a firm believer that creativity is influenced by environment and no better environment than what we have right here …

  • Liza Pierce

    Sounds like a winner project! Looking forward to hearing/reading more about it.

    Liza
    @alohaluxuryprop
    @amauiblog

  • NEENZ

    Met up with Eric and Joyce in March at the Alltop party at SXSW. They said they had a new partnership and project…and here we are! Growth and ambition are such motivators! See you all for a bit tonight.

  • Joyce

    Thanks for the post on us! Our team has been really enjoying our time working and exploring the island.

    Brian Dote is really on point in his comment. Our productivity is running high and we have been able to avoid typical startup burnout because our whole team has been able to also take advantage of the natural environment and culture around us. After hours of work, a quick dip in the ocean is really paradise:) Excited to show you guys our launch product!

    Mahalo!

    @simplehoney

  • Spunge Alumni « RYANESAKI.COM

    [...] I sat in the cubicle next to at my next job on Oahu!) which he then sold to Ben Huh for a rumored $2.25M. Eric is now the co-founder of a new startup simplehoney.com, a company looking to simplify [...]

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