Business

Hawaii Tech Companies in Silicon Valley This Week

June 4, 2013, 11:56 AM HST
* Updated June 4, 12:32 PM
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A Hilo native and her husband are in Silicon Valley this week meeting with venture capitalists and strategy partners as part of a program to connect Hawaii companies with mainland resources.

Mark and Tiffany Quezada, who founded Aptly Inc., were one of eight business teams selected for the Blue Startups program, which sponsors the Silicon Valley trip.

Blue Startups, a venture accelerator founded by Henk Rogers, invests and provides hands-on mentorship to technology companies.

The Honolulu-based company partnered with Redwood City-based accelerator, nestGSV, to connect Hawaii tech firms with key resources usually found only on the mainland.

The week culminates in “Demo Day,” showcasing the eight teams at a Startup Paradise event at 500 Startups in Mountain View, Calif.

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This event follows the successful Startup Paradise Demo Day held in Honolulu on Friday, May 31. Startup teams pitched their business to select investors, media and key stakeholders.

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The trip to California and the Demo Day in Honolulu are the culmination of a three-month program offered by Blue Startups to assist new companies with strategy development, networking opportunities and mentorship to build successful businesses.

Among the companies chosen for the program was Aptly Inc., co-founded by Mark and Tiffany Quezada.

Their company aims to create a suite of applications (apps) to give people the tools they need to be more thoughtful within their social circles.

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The first app is called Minded, which keeps track of important events like birthdays or anniversaries and provides tailored gift suggestions based on a person’s profile.

Tiffany Quezada, whose maiden name is Hilton, was born and raised in Hilo and graduated from Waiakea High School. Her grandfather is Larry Kadooka, a well-known Big Island photographer who worked for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald for several decades.

For more information on the Blue Startups program go to www.bluestartups.com. For information on the Minded app from Aptly, Inc. go to www.giftminded.com.

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