September 14, 2022


Honolulu – Mana Up announced today that it is partnering with Bank of Hawai‘i designed to fuel the growth and success of Hawai‘i’s entrepreneurs as a strategy to diversify the local economy for generations to come. Bank of Hawai‘i will become the exclusive banking partner at the Founder Level to effectuate key strategic programs, including a new executive mentorship program as well as a content collaboration for local entrepreneur stories. 

In addition to supporting the annual accelerator program, Bank of Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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.

Leveraging Bank of Hawai‘i’s extensive reach in Hawai‘i and beyond, Mana Up and Bank of Hawai‘i will co-develop campaigns that highlight Hawai‘i’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem through deep storytelling. Moreover, a collaborative “Shop Local'' feature on the Bank of Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i’s economic future. We are excited and grateful to share a vision with Bank of Hawai‘i in high-potential industries for Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i will also be recognized as the community partner for Hawai‘i 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 Hawaiʻi. To date, 74 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, and to shop House of Mana Up, visit  

About Bank of Hawai‘i

Bank of Hawai‘i was incorporated on Dec. 17, 1897, and 125 years later the bank and its subsidiaries serve businesses, consumers and governments in Hawai‘i, Guam, Saipan and Palau, and offers a wide range of financial products and services. Bank of Hawai‘i remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the communities it serves. Additional information about the bank can be found at