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Island Innovation Demo Day  Speaker's

What's the future of EV in island communities?

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Nick Sugimoto 

CEO/Honda Innovations

Nick Sugimoto is the CEO of Honda Innovations, Inc, the global open innovation hub of Honda based in Mountain View, California. Nick also serves as Corporate Venturing Supervisor of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Honda’s corporate HQ in Japan. Nick oversees Honda’s advanced technology collaboration projects, as well as strategic partnership programs on global basis. Prior to joining Honda, Nick was a successful entrepreneur as well as venture investor in both the US and Japan. Nick received his engineering degree from the University of Tokyo and MBA from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

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Scott Glenn  

Chief Energy Officer for the State of Hawaii

Scott Glenn serves as the Chief Energy Officer for the State of Hawaii. Gov. David Ige appointed Scott in October 2019 and the State Senate confirmed him in February 2020. Scott is responsible for the overall fulfillment of the Energy Office’s mission to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation to help achieve a resilient, clean energy, decarbonized economy. As the Chief Energy Officer, Scott also serves as Gov. Ige’s representative to the UN Conference of Parties climate negotiations, Under2 Coalition, the US Climate Alliance, and other institutions to advance Hawaii’s climate, energy, and clean economy goals.


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Chenoa Farnsworth

Managing Partner of Blue Startups

Women Empowerment and Climate Change​

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Chenoa Farnsworth

Managing Partner
of Blue Startups

Farnsworth is the managing partner of Blue Startups, a top 20 U.S. Accelerator (Techcrunch), located in Honolulu, Hawaii. To date, Blue Startups has invested in 99 companies which have gone on to raise $330 million in venture capital. She also manages the Hawaii Angels investment network, which has invested over $60 million in over 100 startup companies. In 2010 she founded Hi Impact, a Hawaii-based impact investment organization which led to the establishment of the Impact HUB Honolulu in 2012, a co-working space dedicated to social entrepreneurs. In 2006, she co-founded Kolohala Ventures, a Hawai‘i-based venture capital firm that invested $50 million into Hawai‘i-based technology start-ups. Prior to that she provided strategy development and business planning consultation for start-up companies and high-growth businesses through her company Farnsworth Consulting. Farnsworth has served the community as chair of the Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i, director of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, director of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawaii, director of the Impact HUB Honolulu, and judge for the University of Hawai‘i business plan competition. Farnsworth earned a BA in political science from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an executive MBA from the University of Hawai‘i.

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Makiko Suzuki

Principal at Acario Innovations

Makiko Suzuki has been experiencing a variety of areas in Tokyo Gas such as project lead, sales&marketing, R&D department. After she has developed her career in Japan, Makiko has decided to diversify her experiences and joined ACARIO INNOVATION which was established in 2017 in, Bay Area by Tokyo Gas. Makiko is currently working as a principal to find strategic partnerships and investment in U.S startups to accelerate decarbonization for a project, COMPASS2030, which leads Tokyo Gas to be a NET-ZERO company. Before she started her career at Tokyo Gas, she obtained both a Master’s and Bachelor’s of engineering and architecture at TOKYO METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY She is also an MBA holder at Globis University.

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Tiffany Huynh

Director of External Affairs
at Elemental Excelerator

In Tiffany’s position as Director of External Affairs at Elemental Excelerator, she works to weave together a network of mission aligned partners who share our vision of a clean, vibrant, equitable Hawaii. This includes the corporate and philanthropic partnership program, and Career Pathways, an educational initiative to help develop our future workforce. In collaboration with Hawaii's corporate, education, and startup communities, Tiffany is helping to guide and develop the next phase of external affairs for Elemental. Prior to Elemental, Tiffany led the marketing at REHAB Hospital of the Pacific & Foundation in Honolulu and for the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) in Sydney, Australia. Most recently, she worked at Anthology Marketing Group, managing client relationships across all major sectors in Hawaii. Tiffany is an active member of several educational boards, including Board Chair of Hoala School and Hoala Foundation for Education, and a board member of HawaiiKidsCAN. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a concentration in operations and technology management from Boston University in Massachusetts.

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Yuko Masuda

Business Development Manager at
Marubeni Power International

An opening member of the power innovation hub at Silicon Valley for Marubeni, a 160-year old Japanese conglomerate. Tech scouting to match climate tech startups with corporate's decarbonization goal and business development in energy transition. Experience in renewable energy development, financing and operation. Latest graduate from CELI (Clean Energy Leadership Institute) fellowship 2021. Hiking and camping enthusiast who had fun showing off her climbing skill at 100m wind turbine.


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Takaho Iwasaki

CEO of MajiConnection

Takaho Iwasaki was raised in Kagoshima, which is southeast of Kyushu island. Her family has run a tourism business for four generations, so she has been immersed in business & tourism since she was born. 

Takaho established MajiConnection in 2019 to help Japanese startups to expand their business to the U.S market beginning in Hawaii and with startups in Hawaii. Startups in Hawaii are able to connect with Takaho’s unique network of Japanese investors and corporate partners to expand their business from Hawaii into Japan.

How a tech company can be BIG in Hawaii? ​

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Founder & CEO of Nalu Scientific

Isar received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Isar founded Nalu Scientific to design, develop and commercialize microelectronics for advanced scientific instruments used in the US and in Japan. Under his leadership Nalu Scientific has seen significant growth. Isar has been named Pacific Business News’ 40 under 40 in business in the state of Hawai'i and Nalu Scientific was recognized as the most innovative small business by Hawai'i Business Magazine.


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Takaho Iwasaki

CEO of MajiConnection

Innovation & Diversification in Hawaii's tourism. ​

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Hiroki Ukeda

Business Development Manager of Reiwa Travel

Hiroki joined Loco Partners (operator of Relux, a domestic accommodation booking service) in 2018, where he was responsible for launching the private accommodation business as a new business, listing 600 facilities per year and winning the company's annual MVP award. Later, he was in charge of a major foreign hotel chain in the Tokyo metropolitan area. In April 2020, he co-founded TASTE LOCAL(Management of food e-commerce sites for hotels and restaurants) and was responsible for its growth. In February 2021, he joined Reiwa Travel,Inc. as Executive Officer and CSO.

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Leo Rogers

Business Partner of BoxJelly

Born in Japan, Leo moved to Hawaii and attended the University of Hawaii and studied Kinesiology and Rehab Science. After spending a few years working in the service industry from Restaurants and Hotels, he switched careers to focus more on digital media and experiences. His interests are now in sustainability and work-life balance. He has joined BoxJelly as a Partner focusing on Japanese customer relationships. Also he is currently a Co-founder of a start-up in Japan called Everblue Technologies which builds autonomous sailboats as well as serving as Creative Lead to a non-profit called Blue Planet Alliance which aims to help bring the 100% renewable energy mandate to other island nations and countries around the world.


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Mitsue Varley

Japan, Country Director of Hawaii TourismJapan

Mitsue worked for the Marubeni Corporation before moving to Hawaii. In Hawai'i, she started her career at Kualoa Ranch where she eventually became Director of Sales & Marketing. She then moved to O'ahu Visitors Bureau and Hawai'i Convention Center as Director of International Sales & Marketing overseeing the Japan and Asian Markets. She currently serves as Japan, Country Director for Hawai'i Tourism Japan.

Moderator ;


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Takaho Iwasaki

CEO of MajiConnection

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