Local startup aims to help other startups

Sudokrew | Photo by Kristen Wheeler

Sudokrew | Photo by Kristen WheelerIs it possible to grow a bootstrapped tech startup in Hawaii? A new boutique solutions and product-focused tech business, Sudokrew Solutions, is looking to answer this question.

Sudokrew is led by local talent Jason Sewell and Spencer Toyama. Sewell is the former lead developer for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, and Toyama is the former operations director of Kinetiq Labs and the Pele-Award winning Agency Collaborative.

“There are many incredible web developers and designers in Hawaii building the front-facing websites for our local community, and we really want to differentiate our services by focusing on development and enterprise solutions.” stated Spencer Toyama. “Hawaii’s ready for new and innovative solutions to bring business to a new level. We’re looking to build the tools and utilities necessary to run a business in the digital age; customizing a Customer Resources Management solution for a sales-driven business, building an automated loan qualifier for a local credit union, or deploying a property management system to automate tenant credit card billings.”

Hawai’i has taken more of an interest in tech entrepreneurship with the HI Growth Initiative and the launch of the state-supported tech accelerator Blue Startups, though Hawai’i is not well-known for being business friendly. A recent report card released by Glassdoor has Honolulu noticeably absent from the top 50 cities to work, and CNBC ranks Hawaii as the least business-friendly state in the U.S.

“One of the main things we’ve talked about repeatedly as a key objective for us is providing opportunity,” added Sewell. “We want to give local business the opportunity to have local resources that can serve their needs more completely than off-island alternatives. We also want to provide opportunity for local talent to work and grow in a fun and challenging community that is similar to what you would find in other tech hubs.”

One of Sudokrew’s first projects will be developing a rapid-learning platform, partnering with TEDx regulars; the Developing Critical Thinkers team of Sean Briel and Dan Nash. Developing Critical Thinkers is leading a paradigm shift in education with a curriculum methodology that has improved the pass rate from 12 percent to 70 percent in high school algebra, as well as a pass rate 40 percent above the state average on the Hawaii State Assessment Exam.

Sean Briel, CEO of Developing Critical Thinkers, says: “We know we have an innovative methodology in knowledge alignment and knowledge transfer, but there isn’t a tool that is meant for us or our methodology. We’re working with Sudokrew to create a tool that will allow us to offer more effective services with massive scale. A huge issue facing the oil and gas industry is ‘The Great Crew Change,’ wherein half of the industry professionals are retiring, necessitating a need for knowledge transfer and alignment. We knew we had a critical component to learning, but now we have the right set of tools.”

Sudokrew has also been busy developing their own web service called StallShare (stallshare.com), a platform that allows driveway owners to rent parking stalls to commuters and neighbors on a monthly basis, which is slated to beta test on Oahu in the next 6-8 weeks.

Sudokrew Solutions is looking to aid the technology development of Hawaii with fellow innovators, as well as collaborating with established businesses in Hawaii to provide novel and robust technology solutions in this new digital age.

Photo courtesy Sudokrew/Kristen Wheeler

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