The Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship

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Julia Okinaka

Julia Okinaka
President, Accuity Consulting Services

Julia has been consulting for private and public organizations for over twenty years. Julia is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and specializes in helping clients with process improvement, strategic planning, internal controls, project management, organizational change and communications. Her clients come from various industries including banking, healthcare, education, government, not-for-profit and entertainment. Prior to joining Accuity, Julia worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Advisory Services, Goldman Sachs in Private Wealth Management and Human Resources and the Gillette Company in both their Manufacturing and Sales/Marketing Divisions. Julia received her BA in International Relations from Tufts University. Julia serves on the board for The Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation and Design Thinking Hawaii.

Dana Cotter
Director of Portfolio, Elemental Excelerator

Elemental Excelerator helps startups change the world, one community at a time. Each year, Elemental finds 15-20 companies that best fit the mission and fund each company up to $1 million to improve systems that impact people’s lives: energy, transportation, water, agriculture, and beyond. As the Director of Portfolio, Dana manages the experience of each portfolio company throughout Elemental Excelerator's program. She helps the companies in two key ways 1) designing, developing, and executing transformational projects in Hawaii, the Asia Pacific, and California, or 2) working with companies on validating their business model and expansion strategies through customer discovery and targeted sales strategies.

Prior to Elemental Excelerator Dana was a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in International Business, Marketing, and Finance.

Susan Yamada

Susan Yamada
Director, University of Hawaii Ventures

Susan Yamada is the director of University of Hawaii Ventures for the University of Hawaii System.

Previously, she was executive director of the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the Shidler College of Business.

Prior to joining PACE in 2008, Ms. Yamada spent 17 years working in senior management positions at various start-up companies in California before returning home to Hawai‘i in 2001. While in Silicon Valley, Ms. Yamada served as the founding CEO of TRUSTe, the first globally recognized, online privacy seal program dedicated to protecting users’ personal information on the Internet. At TRUSTe, Ms. Yamada served as part of the founding management team for VEO Systems, a business-to-business software developer, which was subsequently sold to Commerce One in 1999. Prior to TRUSTe, she spent five years as the CEO and Publisher of technology publication Upside Magazine.

Ms. Yamada is active in the community, having served on board of directors for organizations including the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawaii, Hawaii Nature Center and KCAA Preschool. She also heads the Yamada Scott Family Foundation. She earned a BBA degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and an MBA degree from San Jose State University.