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DBEDT NEWS RELEASE: HTDC partners with startup veterans to foster Maui’s innovation economy

Posted on May 30, 2017 in Latest Department News

Nick and Brittany Heyd to Lead Cohana Workshop Series and Hold Weekly Office Hours at Maui Research &Technology Center

HONOLULU – The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) is partnering with A-list entrepreneurs — husband and wife, Nick and Brittany Heyd — for a series of workshops at the Maui Research & Technology Center (MRTC) and weekly office hours to consult with Maui-based innovation businesses, starting in June.

“Nick and Brittany are just one example of the depth of entrepreneurial expertise and innovation leaders that reside here in Hawaii and we’re thrilled to partner with them to further build the state’s innovation ecosystem,” said Robbie Melton, CEO and executive director of HTDC. “Maui tech creatives, startups and growing companies will have the unique opportunity to gain invaluable insight through these workshops, as well as one-on-one time with high-caliber talent and experienced mentors.”

The series kicks off on June 28 at 5:30 p.m. with a free, informal talk story with the couple — both of whom have built early-stage tech companies from the ground up –followed by monthly sessions covering key entrepreneurial topics such as lean startup, pitching, fundraising and more.

Nick and Brittany’s weekly office hours will be held on Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at MRTC, beginning June 1, for startups and innovate businesses to receive individual, personalized consultation to help launch or grow their companies to the next level.

This is a homecoming for Nick, who was born and raised on Maui. A leader in the high-growth tech startup world, Nick was a founding member and head of sales and marketing of Galley, a Washington, D.C.-based meal delivery app, where he led the company’s growth, driving all sales, marketing and business development efforts. Before Galley, Nick held several positions at LivingSocial, a global daily deal company that raised $1 billion and was one of the fastest growing companies in history.

“We’re excited to work with local Maui entrepreneurs to help them grow their companies,” said Nick Heyd. “I’ve looked forward to moving back to Maui since I left after high school and now I’m thrilled that we can give back to our community with all of the experiences we’ve gained in the business world.”

Brittany is general counsel at 1776, the Washington, D.C.-based international startup incubator. As part of 1776’s founding team and partner of the 1776 Seed Fund, she was a critical part of taking the organization from ‪inception of idea to initial execution to scaling into the global brand it is today. As managing director, she set direction for the company’s main operational components and worked directly with more than 1,000 startups around the world. Brittany also held positions at the Obama White House during 2010 and 2011 working on entrepreneurship and business community initiatives.

The workshops will be held at MRTC’s new Cohana coworking space at 5:30 p.m. on the following dates with the featured topics:

  • Wednesday, June 28 – Founders Talk (Free)
  • Wednesday, July 19 – Lean Startup Basics*
  • Wednesday, Aug. 2 – Perfecting Your Pitch*
  • Wednesday, Sept. 6 – Introduction to Sales*
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4 – Introduction to Fundraising*
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1 – Introduction to Digital Marketing*

*Dates and topics subject to change. 

For more information and to register for the first workshop please visit

Cohana is a shared, community-driven workspace for location-independent workers. Membership to Cohana includes access to MRTC’s high-speed wired and wireless Internet, meeting spaces, and free or reduced admission to MRTC events.

The Maui Research & Technology Center (MRTC) is a technology center and business incubator strategically located in Kihei, Maui, dedicated to supporting technology-oriented businesses.

About HTDC (Hawaii Technology Development Corporation)

HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).  HTDC’s mission is to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s high technology industry.  HTDC is providing capital, building infrastructure and developing talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. HTDC’s 80/80 Initiative is to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs that will provide high paying jobs for Hawaii residents.

ABOUT DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.


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Media Contacts: 

Robbie Melton
High Technology Development Corporation
Office: (808) 539-3615
Email: [email protected]

Christine Hirasa 
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Email: [email protected]

Jocelyn Collado or

Susan Wright
Becker Communications, Inc.
Phone: (808) 533-4165
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]