April 21, 2023

 April 18, 2023


Mana Ups new partnership focuses on fortifying local employers

Honolulu – Mana Up, a local company offering a business program for Hawaiʻi product entrepreneurs looking to grow to global markets, announced a new partnership with ALTRES to help emerging employers. ALTRES, the States leading employment administration company, joins as a Founder Level partner. The Hawai‘i-based company was founded by late local entrepreneur Bill Guss in 1969, and for the past 35 years, has been led by its second-generation owner, Barron Guss.

This new partnership is designed to help emerging employers as they contemplate hiring their first employee and growing their team. Included in the partnership are special perks offered by ALTRES for Mana Up companies, mentorship, employer resources, and more. Mana Up and ALTRES have collaborated on a program specifically for new businesses in Hawaii to streamline and ease the burden of employment administration and hiring.

“As a local business owner, I completely understand the hurdles that entrepreneurs face when building a company in Hawaii,” says ALTRES president and CEO, Barron Guss. “I am thrilled that this initiative and partnership will catalyze the growth of local businesses and ease the entrepreneurial journey along the way.”

Co-founded in 2017 by Meli James and Brittany Heyd, Mana Up is an economic development initiative to help Hawaiʻi-based companies grow to global markets. Mana Up now has an accelerator program, four retail locations, and a venture capital fund. Mana Ups portfolio of 74 companies make up an estimated $61 million in annual revenue and 515 jobs. 

Since starting Mana Up over five years ago, weve seen local businesses reach incredible success and growth. That means they hire more employees and start to encounter new challenges associated with bigger teams. This is where it gets really interesting and impactful for Hawaiʻi as we look to diversify the economy and create new sources of employment,” says Meli James, Mana Up co-founder. Were excited about launching this program with ALTRES to help prepare Hawaii companies meet new demands that come with expansion and scaling up.”


About Mana Up

Mana Up is a business program 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, 74 local companies have graduated from the six-month accelerator program that provides expansion opportunities and helps solve business challenges. In 2021, Mana Ups portfolio had an average of $908,000 in annual revenue and a mean annual growth rate of 33%. House of Mana Up is the companys retail channel including an online shop, corporate gifting and brick-and-mortar locations at Royal Hawaiian Center, Prince Waikiki and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel highlighting products and entrepreneurs who have participated in the accelerator. 

For more information about the accelerator program, visit, and to shop House of Mana Up, visit  



Founded in Honolulu in 1969, ALTRES is Hawaiis leading employment administration company. The second-generation, kama‘āina business is comprised of simplicityHR, four specialized staffing divisions (ALTRES Office, ALTRES Technical, ALTRES Industrial and ALTRES Medical), Real Jobs Hawaii, and ALTRES Home Care (private duty in-home care services). ALTRES pioneered the states PEO (professional employer organization) human resources outsourcing model and remains the leader in HR Outsourcing and staffing services today. Helping Hawaiis businesses grow, ALTRES offers the most comprehensive package of reliable staffing, recruiting and outsourced HR services coupled with unrivaled HR and job search technology. For more information, visit