Mana Up announces sixth cohort of ‘rising local businesses’


The Mana Up accelerator program for Hawaii-based product companies has announced the members of its sixth cohort, made up of 12 “rising local entrepreneurs.”

It’s the largest Mana Up cohort to date.

Mana Up says it received a record-breaking 130 applications for this latest round, “a testament to our growing entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Hawaii.”

The six-month program will kick off on November 4, 2021 with a “Showcase” event.

The Mana Up Product Accelerator provides workshops, weekly one-on-one check-in meetings, mentor matching with industry experts based on company need and stage, support on branding and narrative, access to discounted services and resources, access to sales channels, access to capital, and an invitation to sell products through the House of Mana Up retail brand, both at a brick-and-mortar store in Royal Hawaiian Center and through an e-commerce store.

The following are the members of Mana Up Cohort 6:

  1. Aloha de Mele is a collection of artwork inspired by Hawaii’s beauty, land, culture, and people. Founded by artist JT Ojerio from Pearl City, Oahu.
  2.  Banán offers one of its number one smoothie bowl toppings, the mac nut honey butter in a jar. Founded by Matt Hong, Zak Barry and Luke Untermann from Honolulu, Oahu.
  3.  HI Spice is a locally sourced hot sauce that is inspired, grown and crafted on Maui. Founded by Justin Orr and Katie Cook from Kula, Maui
  4.  Island Harvest harvests and manufactures sustainably grown organic macadamia products. Owned and operated by Andrew and Nathan T. from Kohala, Hawaii Island.
  5.  Kahuku Farms crafts butters, jams and other products using fresh produce from its farm, which has been family-run for over 100 years. Owned and operated by Kylie Matsuda-Lum and Judah Lum from Kahuku, Oahu.
  6.  Keiki Kaukau is a line of quality children’s products that reflect the unique mixed-plate culture of the islands. Created by Hawai‘i mom and former school teacher April Hail from Honolulu, Oahu.
  7.  Kākou Collective offers stationery products like notebooks, washi tape, and rulers with hand drawn designs inspired by native Hawaiian plants. Founded by Kea Peters from Ewa Beach, Oahu.
  8.  ‘Ohana Nui offers premium all-natural macadamia nut cookies in flavors inspired by and utilizing local ingredients. Founded by Tom Walker from Honolulu, Oahu.
  9.  Pawniolo Pets makes nutritious raw pet food, single ingredient pet treats and preservative free chews from grass-fed animals raised 100% in Hawaii. Founded by Miki and Nick Vericella from Waimea, Hawaii Island. 
  10.  Pono Potions is an all-natural flavored syrup company for coffee and cocktails highlighting the natural ingredients of the Hawaiian Islands. Founded by Peter Hessler from Honolulu, Oahu. 
  11.  Sea Salts of Hawai‘i harvests Hawaiian sea salts and deep ocean minerals from its own Kona salt farm. Founded by Sandra Gibson from Keahole, Hawaii Island.
  12.  Utara Organics is a line of mangosteen-based organic skincare that is free of chemicals and toxins. Founded by Amy Arnett-Smith from Kilauea, Kauai.

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