Startup Weekend expands to Micronesia this November

Event happening on Saipan on Nov. 7–9

Organizers and judges of the previous Startup Weekend Guam, held last November at the University of Guam, congratulate the top three winners. From left, Jane Ray, mentor at the event and business adviser at the Small Business Development Center; Jenelyn Abinales, organizer; Matthew Simpson, judge and owner of Green Banana Paper; Michael Duenas, judge and chief information officer for Coast360 Federal Credit Union; Emilee Beachy, organizer; Hayato Yamaura, first place winner; Kathy DeWitt, second place winner; Phuong Bosque, participant; Krestal Johnson, third place winner; and Nadine Noket, organizer. (University of Guam)

Startup Weekend, an internationally occurring event facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship, will be expanding this year to islands throughout Micronesia.

Graduate students at the University of Guam School of Business & Public Administration and the Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center, which together brought the event model to Guam for the first time in 2014 and to Saipan in 2016, will be hosting the first-ever Startup Weekend Micronesia this November.

“[I]n Guam, we’ve observed an increase of younger generations developing the entrepreneurial mindset and starting small businesses that bring new, fresh, and innovative products or services to the island,” said Skye Llagas, a graduate student in the university’s Professional Master of Business Administration Program. “We hope to stimulate similar growth and opportunities in the rest of Micronesia with Startup Weekend Micronesia 2019.”

The event will be held on Nov. 7–9 in Guam and Saipan and, for the first time, in Palau, Chuuk, Kosrae, Yap, and Pohnpei.

Startup Weekend Micronesia 2019 will be a three-day event in which entrepreneurial business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs in the community will pitch their best business ideas, then form teams, build a business plan, and turn their ideas into small-business startups. They will then pitch the startup to a panel of judges who will determine a winner.

The event will be led on the various islands by 10 students in the 15th cohort of the PMBA program, while the Entrepreneur Society student organization will lead the event in Guam. Angelina Tretnoff, a business instructor at the College of Micronesia-FSM and a UOG alumna, will lead the event in Pohnpei.

“The cohort realizes the opportunity to impact the islands of Micronesia by contributing our time, resources, and professional skillsets and inspiring those around us,” Llagas said.
In addition to discovering where they are on the entrepreneur’s journey and learning what it takes to start a company, participants will have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and local mentors. 

The event locations and costs will be announced closer to the event.

For more information about this event, contact PMBA Cohort XV at or your local Small Business Development Center listed here: (PR)

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