Hawaii-based Sultan Ventures hires three executives as it expands

Hawaii-based Sultan Ventures, a boutique venture firm focusing on early-stage startups and investments, has hired executives to head three areas — new ventures, strategic partnerships and investor relations.

Meli James will head the new ventures department and will focus on spinning out existing portfolio projects and launching new companies and initiatives. She is the president of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association and founder of Hon New Tech, a startup pitch event. In addition, she is an entrepreneur in residence at Cornell University’s Pillsbury Institute and most recently was the program manager at Blue Startups.

Bryan Butteling has been named to lead marketing, branding and strategic partnerships for SV and associated portfolio companies. Originally from Maui, he most recently was business development manager at Nella Media Group, overseeing new partnerships, sales and distribution. He also helped to brand and grow Kakaako’s BoxJelly, Hawaii’s first and largest co-working space. He is the lead organizer of Startup Weekend Hawaii, serves on the board of Startup Hawaii, and is part of the organizing team at Ad UP Hawaii.

Peter Rowan, an angel investor, educator and entrepreneur, will assist in investor relations as SV’s angel in residence. He was corporate vice president of new ventures at Coinstar (NASDAQ: OUTR) from 2001 to 2010, when the company grew from $150 million to $1.3 billion in revenue, entered new lines of business and introduced growth initiatives such as the Redbox DVD kiosks. He led more than 20 acquisitions, investments and divestiture. He has taught entrepreneurship and new venture strategy since 2005.

“We’re excited about the addition of Peter, Meli and Bryan,” Tarik Sultan, founder and managing partner of SV, said in a statement. “All three have contributed towards building Hawaii’s start-up ecosystem, share our vision and values, and will extend our expertise and reach. They are an incredible complement to our current team and an asset to the start-ups and investors we serve.”

See original Pacific Business News article by Jason Ubay here.