EPISODE 02: MELI JAMES, PRESIDENT OF HVCA
Meli discusses her experiences going from Cornell to startups in San Francisco and her work in Hawaii’s Startup Paradise.
Hawaii native and Silicon Valley veteran, Meli James, discusses her experiences going from Cornell to startups in San Francisco and her work in Hawaii’s Startup Paradise. Meli is the president of Hawaii Venture Capital Association; and entrepreneur-in-residence at her alma maters: Cornell University’ s Pillsbury Institute and Punahou School.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Meli lived in Silicon Valley for over 10 years, where she co-founded numerous startups, including Nirvino –a wine app.. In 2015 she was recognized by Hawaii Business Magazine as one of its 20 to Watch for the Next 20. She has recently been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 5 Women to Watch in 2016.
3:24 – How she got started in the technology industry
5:00 – Making her way to San Francisco
7:10 – How she started working for a private investigator + fun stories of her work while there
11:30 – Helpful tips for entrepreneurs she learned from being a private investigator
15:00 – Starting Nirvino
19:30 – How she realized Nirvino could actually work
23:20 – Lessons Learned (How they got Nirvino to be the #1 wine app in the itunes store)
26:23 – Community Building
29:20 – After Nirvino: Tune Tug Startup
32:50 – Building Community: Strategies coming into Hawaii
42:00 – How the Hawaii startup ecosystem has evolved (stakeholder alignment)
52:40 – Rapid Fire Questions: Favorite beach, recommendations, final tips for entrepreneurs