Mana Up Partners with Shopify to Boost Growth for Hawaiʻi Products

September 18, 2018


Mana Up today announces a partnership with Shopify to provide access for the Hawaii community to e-commerce expertise and free resources to Mana Up’s cohort companies. As its first initiative together in Hawaii,  Mana Up’s first and second cohort, along with community entrepreneurs, will get a rare chance to learn how to grow their product sales online with Shopify's Merchant Success Manager Desiree Shank. Shank is making a personal appearance in Honolulu on Monday, Sept. 24, for a special Shopify session hosted by Mana Up and Kamehameha Schools. Shopify, based in Canada, is a cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform with more than a million active users, some 600,000 businesses in 175 countries with collective sales of more than $72 billion. 

Hawaii product entrepreneurs with online stores or those who are preparing for growth are invited to attend and can register here.  Attendance is limited so early response is encouraged. 

The workshop, titled “Grow Your Product with Shopify,” will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Halau ʻInana, followed by a networking reception. Desiree Shank is the Merchant Success Manager for Shopify Plus, Shopify’s program for companies with $2 million or more in annual revenue on Shopify. 

"With Kamehameha Schools as our lead sponsor, Mana Up is able to provide local entrepreneurs incredible expertise and access to the Shopify team," said Meli James, Mana Up co-founder with Brittany Heyd. "We are thrilled that Shopify will make its first trip to Hawaii to provide special resources to Mana Up companies and also education to the broader community of entrepreneurs who can use Shopify to grow a global business from right here at home.”

Mana Up's first cohort, 10 agriculturally entwined startups in the consumer packaged goods industry, expect to earn $11 in 2018 in annual revenue compared to $6.6 million in 2017, representing year-over-year growth of 67 percent. Comparing actual first quarter revenue, companies grew 61 percent in Q1 2018 v Q1 2017. Collectively, cohort one companies exported $106,000 in Q1 2018 and expect to grow to $575,000 in 2018.

Cohort two, 11 companies with a variety of products ranging from art to venison, started in August 2018 and are currently participating in the 12-week accelerator program where they will get special access to private one on one support from Shopify this week, as well as many other curated mentors and resources throughout the program.

Shopify plans to host partner events during each of Mana Up’s future cohorts.