Ten Hawaii entrepreneurs sought for next product accelerator cohort

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Mana Up, a Hawaii-based initiative designed to scale local product businesses globally, announces its search for 10 emerging entrepreneurs to join its ninth cohort. Mana Up’s accelerator program is designed to infuse Hawaii-based product companies with resources, training, sales channels and more with the goal to increase revenues and jobs in the local community. 

The Mana Up business program is a comprehensive six-month program that includes workshops, mentorship connections, access to sales channels, and resources to help locally-based companies expand. The program aims to significantly boost participants’ revenue while addressing business challenges such as manufacturing, hiring, marketing, and more.

The criteria for applications are:

  • Company headquarters must be based in Hawaii
  • Company produces a food, beverage, fashion, accessories, beauty, home or other consumer product
  • Products elevate Hawaii through authentic connection, resource or storytelling
  • Products are well suited for potential international expansion
  • Business owner has full-time commitment to company
  • Company currently has $100,000+ in annual revenue (preferred)

In 2023, Mana Up received 160 applicants for 10 spots in the program. After an intensive selection process, 11 local companies’ were selected for the eighth cohort. The culminating event, the Mana Up Showcase, attracted over 1,800 in-person attendees and garnered more than 125,500 online viewers worldwide. Mana Up also manages a venture capital fund dedicated to supporting 100% Hawaii-based companies. As part of its retail initiative, House of Mana Up has expanded its footprint with a new location on Kaua‘i at Koloa Village. Last year, the company also supported the first-ever Hawaii pop-up in Japan – Aloha Market Powered by Mana Up – at the Tokyo Haneda Airport and saw record-breaking sales.

For those interested in applying for Mana Up’s ninth cohort, Mana Up will be hosting two informational sessions. The first session will take place on Tuesday, February 13 at 2 p.m. via Zoom, and the second will be an in-person session on Thursday, February 15 at 10:00 a.m. To register for either of the informational sessions, visit bit.ly/4217Kqe or bit.ly/3SlyI8B.

Companies interested in applying for the latest cohort can submit applications by Wednesday, February 21, at https://manauphawaii.com/pages/apply, with Cohort 9 set to kick off in late May and will run through November 2024.

About Mana Up

Mana Up is an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaiʻi-based products growing to markets globally, with the mission to increase economic opportunity and jobs for the people of Hawaiʻi. To date, 85 local companies have participated in the six-month accelerator program that provides expansion opportunities and helps solve business challenges. For more information about the accelerator program, visit www.manauphawaii.com, and to shop House of Mana Up, visit https://houseofmanaup.com

Mana Up is supported by Kamehameha Schools, Castle & Cooke Hawaii, Bank of Hawaii, ALTRES, Hawaiian Airlines, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, Innovate Hawaii, American Savings Bank, Ulupono Initiative, Young Brothers, UHA Health Insurance, Pineapple Tweed, Shopify, Foodland and Dole.

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