Big Island Startups Group Launched

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A new group for current and would-be startup founders on Hawaii Island has formed, with an inaugural pau hana meetup set for Friday.

The Big Island Startups was launched only four days ago, and has already drawn more than 100 members in its first three days. To kick things off, the first Startup Happy Hour will bring everyone together at the Hilo Town Tavern.

The group was set up by freelance iOS app developer and Big Island event organizer Vahid Ajimine.

“As this didn’t exist, now it does,” he wrote last week. “This group is dedicated to help facilitate and build a startup community in the Big Island of Hawaii.”

The Facebook group is open to people from all industries, but there will be an emphasis on technology, particularly the web and mobile apps.

“If you are currently working on a startup or business wanting to grow, we would love to hear about your ideas and business,” he says.

Ajimine previously served as a community organizer for the largely inactive Hawaii TechWorks space in Hilo, which fell silent shortly after partnering with the HTDC in late 2014. Fortunately, the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well on the Big Island, with independent community space Hawaii Tech Exchange and smaller groups like Refresh Hilo on the east side, and the long-running Tech Monday Pau Hana meetups on the west side.

Big Island Startups plans to hold monthly events, and while there are plans to host meetups on the Kona side as well, the group is keeping things simple for its first get together in Hilo.

“It’s a casual event,” Ajimine promised. “Nothing scheduled or planned to have a talk or anything like that. Just mingling, drinks, food, et cetera.”

Between meetups, he has already suggested a few regular spots to do some coworking: the Starbucks on Kilauea Avenue in Hilo, the Starbucks in Waimea, and Kona Coffee & Tea.

For more information, join the Big Island Startups group on Facebook, or the Startup Pau Hana event page.

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