UberPITCH Launches in Hawai'i

Your Investor is Arriving Now

At Sultan Ventures, we’re always pushing new initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in Startup Paradise. That is why were excited to work with Uber to bring UberPITCH to Hawai’i!

Uber, one of the world’s biggest, most successful startups, continues to innovate with UberPITCH – an elevator pitch on wheels. With the push of a button, you could have the opportunity to pitch your idea for potential funding from one of 12 investors in Hawai’i, as well as other prizes from Sultan Ventures.

 “Sultan Ventures believes in the promotion of all startups in Hawai’i, regardless of shape or size, ranging from a small or lifestyle business concept to a high-growth endeavor capable of being the next Uber.” 

— Tarik Sultan | Sultan Ventures

UberPITCH is a collaboration between UBER and Sultan Ventures to bring even more innovation to the ever-growing Hawaii startup community. On Tuesday, 9/13, from 12-4 pm, Uber will offer free rides on Oahu and Maui to a select group of ambitious entrepreneurs to pitch an investor.

“We’re excited to launch UberPITCH for the first time in Hawai’i! Everyday, Uber connects thousands of people in Hawai’i to safe and reliable rides. With UberPitch, we want to connect those with the ‘next big idea’ to investors and seasoned business leaders with the means and know-how to turn ideas into operational businesses. There is no better partner to do this with than Sultan Ventures, who is at the forefront of Startup Paradise.”

— Tommy Pierucki | Uber

Riders will get 15 minutes to pitch their ideas and receive feedback from one of 9 investors in Honolulu or one of 3 investors on Maui. Investors will be evaluating the ideas following the outline below. At the end of the day, Sultan Ventures will announce the top 3 pitches who will win mentoring; access to co-working space; advance to the final screening for Cohort 5 of the award-winning XLR8UH venture accelerator*; and potential funding for their idea!

We wholeheartedly support events such as UberPITCH and are excited to hear from Hawai’i’s innovators.” 

Meli James | Sultan Ventures

Your Passion Led You Here. Let Uber And Sultan Ventures Take You There.

For more information about the competition see UberPITCH details below:


Powered By Sultan Ventures

Tarik Sultan

Managing Partner | Sultan Ventures
Managing Partner | XLR8UH
Director & Treasurer | HVCA

Tarik Co-founded Sultan Ventures and XLR8UH and along with his brother Omar is the recipient of the 2014 Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s (HVCA) Investors of the Year. Tarik serves as the Chair of Startup Hawaii, the regional chapter of Up Global (formerly Startup America) as a Board Member and Treasurer of the HVCA, a non-profit which seeks to foster entrepreneurial development through networking, education, and access to venture capital; and has been federally appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce as a Member of the Hawaii Pacific Export Council, a non-profit organization of local leaders and experienced international business professionals who provide assistance to local businesses expanding in international markets. Tarik has worked with, advised, and led several startups, most recently as Interim CFO of Ibis Networks, a venture backed cleantech startup focused on reducing energy consumption. Tarik holds a BS from Tulane University with a focus on Neuroscience and Cognitive Studies and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business.


Melialani James

Head of New Ventures

Meli James is the Head of New Ventures at Sultan Ventures, a Honolulu-based boutique venture firm focused on early-stage startups and investments. Meli is also the Director of XLR8UH, the University of Hawaii’s (UH’s) nationally recognized venture accelerator focused on mentoring and investing in UH affiliated innovations. Additionally, she is President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, an organization that seeks to foster entrepreneurial development through education, networking, and access to capital. Born and raised in Honolulu, Meli lived in Silicon Valley for over 10 years, where she co-founded and contributed to numerous start-ups in the Bay Area and Honolulu, including Nirvino – #1 ranked wine app, an Apple Platform Top 100 App, & Top Ten Lifestyles App (during its time). Meli is a founding member of the Startup Paradise initiative helping to build a thriving startup community that nurtures collaboration and innovation in Hawaii. She is committed to establishing resources to grow talent and high-growth ideas. In 2016 she was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 5 Women to Watch. She is an alumna of and Entrepreneur In Residence at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.


Omar Sultan

Managing Partner | Sultan Ventures
Managing Partner | XLR8UH
Director & Vice President | EF Hawaii

Omar co-founded Sultan Ventures and he is a Founding and Managing Partner of XLR8UH, the University of Hawaii’s (UH’s) award winning venture accelerator focused on mentoring and investing in UH affiliated innovations. He has received personal and professional accolades including being recognized in 2015 by Hawaii Business Magazine’ 20 for the next 20 and Pacific Business News’ Forty under 40. Omar was awarded along with his brother Tarik, as the 2014 Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s (HVCA) Investors of the Year. Omar is also Vice President of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawai’i, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps great entrepreneurs become great philanthropists, VP of Ala Wai Pharma, a drug delivery company focused on increasing the bioavailability of polar drugs, and also helps manage the UPSIDE Fund, a venture fund focused on commercializing University of Hawaii intellectual property. He holds a BSM in Finance from Tulane University’s AB Freeman School of Business and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business.


Susan Yamada

Executive Director | PACE
Board Director | XLR8UH

Ms. Yamada has been the Executive Director of PACE since June 2008 and Board Director of XLR8UH since 2014. Located within the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business, the Entrepreneurship Center hosts a comprehensive set of programs, utilizing both experiential and mentoring approaches to teaching students and faculty the process of entrepreneurship. Prior to assuming her position at PACE, Ms. Yamada spent 17 years working in senior management positions at various entrepreneurial start-up companies in California before returning home to Hawaii in 2001. While in Silicon Valley, Ms. Yamada served as the founding CEO of TRUSTe, the first globally recognized, online privacy seal program dedicated to protecting users’ personal information on the Internet.Prior to founding TRUSTe, she led technology publisher Upside Magazine where she spent five years as the CEO and Publisher. Upside magazine was the first business magazine focusing exclusively on serving the information needs of technology executives.


Michael T. Pfeffer

CEO | Ibis Networks
Managing Partner | Kolohala Ventures


Donavan Kealoha

Senior Associate | Startup Capital Ventures
Co-Founder | Purple Mai'a Foundation


Chenoa Farnsworth

Managing Director | Blue Startups
Executive Director | Hawaii Angels


Steve Kiser

Senior Innovator for Pacific Command | Cubic Defense Applications

Senior Innovator for Pacific Command at Cubic Defense Applications


Vijoy Chattergy

CIO of Employees Retirement System | State of Hawaii


Keith Powers

Managing Partner | Engaged Partners, LLC
Angel Investor | Maui


Virendra Nath

President | HDEP International
Angel Investor | Maui


Jamie Zachary Fox

Founder | Sunarcher Studios
Angel Investor | Maui



First Place

• Four hours of mentorship from Sultan Ventures,

• Four weeks of free co-working space at Sultan Ventures offices, and

• Advance to final screening for Cohort 5 of XLR8UH.*

Second Place

• Two hours of mentorship from Sultan Ventures,

• Two weeks of free co-working space at Sultan Ventures offices, and

• Advance to Round Two of screening for Cohort 5 of XLR8UH.*

Third Place

• One hour of mentorship from Sultan Ventures,

• One week of free co-working space at Sultan Ventures offices.

*Rider must be affiliated (student, faculty, alumni) with the University of Hawaii

Pitch Criteria

How Investors Will Evaluate Your Pitch

Topic Weight Description
Intro & Ask 5% Who are you, what is the name of your idea nad why are you pitching today? Are you seeking funding, advice, connections, etc.?
Problem 10% What is the problem / pain that you are trying to solve.
Solution 10% How do you propose to solve this problem? What is your unfair / competitive advantage?
Market Size 10% What is the opportunity of this market? How big is the market (dollars, people, units, etc.). Bonus points for identifying your addressable market.
Competition / Current Solutions 10% How is the problem currently being addressed? (Hint, there is always competition).
Team 10% Who is part of your team and why are you the team that can solve this problem?
Revenue & Business Model 10% How do you plan to make money? How much money can you make in Year 1 vs. Year 5? Keep numbers simple – back of the napkin math.
Exit 10% If you are seeking investment, how does the investor get their money back, when, and how much of a return are you anticipating?
Q & A 25% Are you able to think on your feet? Investors will ask a few questions and judge your ability to answer questions.

UberPITCH Details

• Honolulu participants can submit their application here.

• Maui participants can submit their application here.

• If your idea is selected, a promo code will be shared with you on Monday, September 12th, allowing you to unlock the UberPITCH view on the Uber app.

• On Tuesday, September 13th, between 12pm and 4pm, request UberPITCH for the chance to pitch your idea to an investor.

• If you don’t secure a pitch on your first attempt, keep trying! Demand will be high.

• All UberPITCH rides are FREE and will start and end at your pickup location.

• Only users whose ideas are selected will receive a promo code.

• For more information including click here.

Startup Paradise Investors

Thanks to the Following Entities