Meli James

Meli James

Program Director

Meli James is the Program Director at XLR8UH, the University of Hawaii’s (UH’s) nationally recognized venture accelerator focused on mentoring and investing in UH affiliated innovations. Meli is also the Head of New Ventures at Sultan Ventures, a Honolulu-based boutique venture firm focused on early-stage startups and investments.

Additionally, she is President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, an organization that seeks to foster entrepreneurial development through education, networking, and access to capital. Born and raised in Honolulu, Meli lived in Silicon Valley for over 10 years, where she co-founded and contributed to numerous start-ups in the Bay Area and Honolulu, including Nirvino – #1 ranked wine app, an Apple Platform Top 100 App, & Top Ten Lifestyles App (during its time).

Meli is a founding member of the Startup Paradise initiative helping to build a thriving startup community that nurtures collaboration and innovation in Hawaii. She is committed to establishing resources to grow talent and high-growth ideas.

In 2016 she was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 5 Women to Watch.

She is an alumna of and Entrepreneur In Residence at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.