Bank of Hawaii, Mana Up partner to foster island entrepreneurship

The partnership will create a new mentorship program as well as content collaboration in an effort to diversify the local economy.


Hawaii product accelerator Mana Up and Bank of Hawaii today announced a partnership designed to fuel the growth and success of Hawaii’s entrepreneurs.

Bank of Hawaii will become the exclusive banking partner at the Mana Up “Founder Level” to effectuate key strategic programs—including a new mentorship program as well as a content collaboration for local entrepreneur stories—as part of a shared vision to diversify the local economy for generations to come.

In addition to supporting the annual accelerator program, Bank of Hawaii will co-create with Mana Up an executive mentorship and training program to propel local companies to the next level. The annual initiative will match 10 Mana Up alumni companies with executive mentors from Bank of Hawaii based on specialized areas of growth.

This critical program will provide leadership and business maturation content to entrepreneurs while offering the executive mentors the opportunity to extend their expertise for the community at large.

Meanwhile, leveraging Bank of Hawaii’s extensive reach in Hawaii and beyond, Mana Up and Bank of Hawaii will co-develop campaigns that highlight Hawaii’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem through deep storytelling. Moreover, a collaborative “Shop Local” feature on the Bank of Hawaii website will offer everyone the benefits of shopping with Hawai’i-based businesses that grow the economy, create jobs, and invest in giveback initiatives of their own.

“Small businesses and the hardworking individuals behind them are the heartbeat of our community,” says Bank of Hawaii Chairman, President and CEO Peter Ho. “We’re excited to support Mana Up and have our executives partner directly with local entrepreneurs to help guide them on their entrepreneurial journey.”

“We all have a stake in Hawaii’s economic future. We are excited and grateful to share a vision with Bank of Hawaii in high-potential industries for Hawaii that are aligned with community values and benefit locals for the long-term,” says Meli James, co-founder of Mana Up.

“Partnering with Bank of Hawaii will be a tremendous leap in accomplishing this vision because they are contributing their expert knowledge to the next generation of the economy.”

Bank of Hawaii will also be recognized as the community partner for Hawaii Rising, a program led by Build Native with Shopify and Mana Up designed to grow e-commerce revenues for indigenous-identifying and Native Hawaiian owned businesses.

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 Hawaii. To date, 74 local companies have participated in the six-month accelerator program that provides expansion opportunities and helps solve business challenges.

About Bank of Hawaii

Bank of Hawaii was incorporated on Dec. 17, 1897, and 125 years later the bank and its subsidiaries serve businesses, consumers and governments in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and Palau, and offers a wide range of financial products and services. Bank of Hawaii remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the communities it serves.

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