Bank of Hawaii and Mana Up create entrepreneur mentorship program

September 16, 2022

Bank of Hawaii and Mana Up

Mana Up announced Wednesday it is partnering with Bank of Hawaii to create an annual mentorship program for local entrepreneurs. The executive mentor program will match 10 Mana Up alumni companies with mentors from Bank of Hawaii, providing leadership and business mentorship to entrepreneurs while allowing mentors the opportunity to extend their expertise to the community, according to Mana Up.

The program is expected to start in October and run through June 2023.

Peter Hessler, founder of Pono Potions, was one of the entrepreneurs selected to participate in the executive mentor program. Pono Potions manufactures all-natural flavored syrups with ingredients grown in Hawaii for use in coffee, tea and cocktails, said Hessler.

“What I’m really excited about in partnering with a big name like Bank of Hawaii is getting hands-on mentorship from one of their executives, especially when it comes to finance and a lot of the information that small businesses like me don’t usually have a lot of access to,” Hessler told Pacific Business News.

“We are the first cohort, and I think it’s just a great way for Bank of Hawaii to stay involved with Hawaii’s local businesses.”

Mana Up is an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaii-based products growing to global markets. More than 74 local companies have participated in Mana Up’s accelerator program which helps businesses solve challenges and provides growth opportunities.

Bank of Hawaii will also become the exclusive banking partner of the company at the Founder level, according to Mana Up.

Mana Up has tiers of partner levels, with Founder being the second highest level, cofounder of Mana Up, Britney Heyd, told PBN in an email. The highest level is their Title partner, Kamehameha Schools.

Bank of Hawaii and Mana Up will also work together to co-develop campaigns that highlight Hawaii’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and offer a “Shop Local” feature on Bank of Hawaii’s website to showcase Hawaii-based businesses.

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