Mentors of Purple Prize

The 3-month Building Phase of Purple Prize is highly mentor-driven, with 30+ field experts guiding each of the 12 teams to optimize startups for community abundance and regeneration.

Alex Cabello

Defining and implementing technology as the co-founder and CTO of Algorithm Hub. Background in electrical and software engineering.

Angelina Mertens

Program Director at ONE WORLD, providing training and capital to organizations to profitably increase their social impact. Co-founder of Reel Impact Film Festival. 

Anthony Wise

Attorney with Cole Frieman & Mallon LP. Counseling investment advisers, private fund managers, and digital asset companies in regulatory and operational matters, including fund formation and structure, registration, and compliance.


David Pickett

Software developer and lead instructor with Purple Maiʻa Foundation. Teaches Javascript, C#, Unity.

Dean Levitt

An experienced founder (Mad Mimi) in the startup world, particularly with small businesses, marketing, customer activation and SaaS.

Derrick Sonoda

Marketing and outreach manager at Hawaii Energy (SAIC)

Doris Masser

An experienced co-founder (Travel2Change) with a history of working in education, social innovation and the travel industry. Currently a lecturer and visiting research scholar at Shidler College of Business. 

Eric Nakagawa

Head of open source/blockchain at Facebook, helps to build an inclusive developer community and has run startups in spaces of consumer web, e-commerce, travel, humor, virality, and crypto currency. 

Grady Booch

Technology pioneer of software engineering and architecture, co-author of Unified Modeling Language and currently, a chief scientist at IBM where he leads R+D for embodied cognition. 

Isar Mostafenezhad

Multiple entrepreneurial efforts in sensing technologies and is the founder of Nalu Scientific and co-founder of Smart Yields.  

James Pierce

A worldwide digital transformation leader with 20+ years as a IBM Hawaii State Executive; a trusted Advisor, innovator and change agent. 

Keahi Selhost

Video game development teacher at Purple Maiʻa Foundation and a JavaScript developer with experience in bringing apps to market.

Keoni DeFranca

A practitioner of Hawaiian culture and CEO of LifeLua, a digital AI platform in the space of Life Biosciences.

Keoni Lee

Brings a passion for improving the well-being of Hawaiʻi through the creation and scaling of mission-driven enterprises. CEO of Hawaii Investment Ready and a founding member of Waiwai Collective and ʻŌiwi TV.

Len Higashi

An executive director at HTDC, a state agency responsible for diversifying Hawaii’s economy developing a flourishing technology industry.

Mark Watkins

Startup executive with a focus on product innovation and team building. Today he is the creator of Bookship, a social reading app, and the founder of The Hawaii Project, a book discovery engine.

Maarten Hooft

Managing Partner at Quest Venture Partners and a trained engineer with both deep technical and customer handling skills. Passionate about excellence in software and customer satisfaction. 

Miki Tomita

20 years as a teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, and researcher, working to create opportunities for positive change for our planet and people. Today she is the founder of Education Incubator. 

Patrick Kelly

Software engineer at Zuora, a leading subscription platform. 

Peter Rowan

Teaching entrepreneurship and new venture strategy since 2005 and was a VP at Coinstar, Inc from 2001 to 2010. 

Rayfe Gaspar-Asaoka

Principal at Canaan, an early stage venture capital firm that invests in world leading technology and healthcare companies. 


Robin Camapaniano

A senior advisor at CGI Technologies and Solutions and former President and CEO of the AIG Hawaii Insurance Company Family of Companies. Works with for profit/non-profits in strategic planning, marketing, organizational structures.

Scott D. Saslow

Entrepreneurial leader, impact investor, advisor and consultant to social enterprises having developed new businesses and products at ONE WORLD, The Institute of Executive Development, Microsoft Corporation, Siebel Systems among others.

Scott Shigeoka

Storyteller, artist, producer and artist most recently at IDEO. Currently on a two-year road trip across the USA for a project to document conversations with people who have radically different views than him.

Shiriram Narayan

Business analyst at ConferenceDirect, a full-service global meetings solution company with experience in corporate operations.

Tim Brady

Partner at Y Combinator – a top U.S. seed accelerator which has funded 1900+ startups, with a community of 4000+ founders. 

Vijoy Chattergy

Former CIO for the State of Hawaii Retirement systems and todayʻs builds multi-factor risk aware investment portfolios.

Vincent Kimura

Founded Smart Yields, a Hawaii-based and globally recognized agriculture technology company that is revolutionizing the way small- and medium-scale farms operate.