Today, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard, announced a new partnership with the Mana Up to put the spotlight on Indigenous entrepreneurs in Hawai‘i, USA.
Mana Up is a local accelerator for Hawai‘i-based consumer brands scaling to global markets through multiple programs such as the Mana Up Product Accelerator, House of Mana Up shop -including four brick-and-mortar locations and e-commerce, and the Mana Up Venture Fund.
The Mana Up Showcase is an annual celebration of Hawaiʻi’s entrepreneurs and rising talent with in-person events in Honolulu on November 8th and 9th and a global livestream on November 19th. The featured entrepreneurs are from Mana Up’s latest entrepreneur growth accelerator, a 6-month program during which local companies get connected to mentors, workshops, sales channels, and resources to help them grow their businesses.
This year the Mana Up Showcase has expanded the event lineup to include with the first-ever Hawai‘i Pow Wow Pitch competition held on November 8th at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, offering the opportunity for Indigenous and Native-identifying entrepreneurs to win cash prizes, get a “golden ticket” for the 2024 Turtle Island Pow Wow Pitch Finals competition and more.
To enter, participants and entrepreneurs can pre-register their business at powwowpitch.org/manaup. To participate, entrepreneurs will have 1-Minute to Pitch their businesses live, in front of an audience and panel of judges for a chance to win!
The top six pitchers will be paired with mentors before pitching in front of the judges and the Mana Up community. Prizes include 5,000 USD for 1st Place, 2,500 USD for 2nd Place, 1,000 USD for 3rd Place, 500 USD for the Youth Prize and 500 USD for the Fan Favourite. In addition, the 1st Place Winner will also get a Golden Ticket to the 2024 Turtle Island Finale to pitch for the Grand Prize of $25,000.
Bringing Pow Wow Pitch to Hawai’i through Mana Up marks a significant milestone in bridging Indigenous communities. This collaboration not only celebrates cultural unity but also amplifies Indigenous entrepreneurship on a broader scale. Together, Pow Wow Pitch and Mana Up have created a powerful synergy, opening new horizons for Indigenous business endeavors spanning borders.
“We’re honored to introduce Pow Wow Pitch to Hawai’i,” expressed Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “This expansion beyond our borders not only fosters unity among Indigenous communities but also enriches our collective entrepreneurial spirit. Our gratitude to Mana Up for joining hands with us on this remarkable journey is immeasurable.”
“The Mana Up Showcase is our annual opportunity to celebrate Hawai‘i’s incredible talent and invite our community to be part of their success. We feel very fortunate that Pow Wow Pitch selected Hawai‘i as the location to debut its pitch competition within the US/Canada region, amplifying the message that Hawaiʻi’s entrepreneurs are part of a global movement that honors culture, sustainability and other shared values,” says Meli James, Mana Up co-founder.
All entrepreneurs who pitch, regardless of whether they advance to the Top Six, will have a chance to advance to the 2024 Pow Wow Pitch digital semi-finals and join the Pow Wow Pitch community. All pitchers will get access to a free Indigenous Startup Program, gain access to tools and support, and have the chance to have their products and services featured in the Pow Wow Pitch annual Mailer Box and on the Pow Wow Pitch Marketplace launching later this year for socially-conscious customers looking to ‘Buy Indigenous.’
The event’s local partner will be Vertaccount, a Hawai‘i-based accounting and bookkeeping services company. Mana Up Pow Wow Pitch is part of the Mana Up Showcase 2023 that is presented by King’s Hawaiian, and supported by Bank of Hawaii, Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water, Shopify and Hawaiian Airlines.
About Pow Wow Pitch
Pow Wow Pitch is an entrepreneurship program for emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, which provides a safe, supportive, collaborative, empowering and culturally supportive environment that addresses the unique challenges of Indigenous entrepreneurs and aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs. Pow Wow Pitch enhances, develops, and accelerates the growth for current and aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs in a sustainable way through programs and resources. In addition, community leadership through volunteerism is promoted to reflect respect and reciprocity as the foundation of the Pow Wow Pitch. For more information, visit https://www.powwowpitch.org/.
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, 85 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 www.manauphawaii.com, and to shop House of Mana Up, visit https://houseofmanaup.com.
Mana Up is supported by Kamehameha Schools, Castle & Cooke Hawai’i, Bank of Hawaii, ALTRES, Hawaiian Airlines, Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i, Hawai’i Technology Development Corporation, Innovate Hawai’i, American Savings Bank, Ulupono Initiative, Young Brothers, UHA Health Insurance, Pineapple Tweed, Shopify, Foodland and Dole.
Vertaccount is a boutique Finance and Accounting Outsourcing provider with offices and affiliates in Hawaii, New York, Singapore, Australia, Philippines.