The Mana Up Showcase, a celebration of Hawaiʻi’s local startups and all things trending in Hawaiʻi, is returning in 2023 with a whole new lineup of events.
Presented by King’s Hawaiian, the Mana Up Showcase has made some significant changes as it enters its sixth year—so many that the 2023 event has been split into a two-day event with their award-winning live-stream taking place later in the month. While last year’s showcase included all event features such as live musical performances and shopping all on one day during the signature Mana Up Showcase Celebration + Marketplace—where new and past graduates of Mana Up’s annual six-month business program took over the first floor of Bloomingdale’s at Ala Moana Center to sell their wares—Meli James, founder of Mana Up, and her team realized that they needed an additional day to accommodate all of the festivities.
“People were just loving these young musicians while they were shopping at our previous events,” says James. “It was great that we were helping people get to know Hawaiʻi through these new artists and their music, and it became a real highlight of the show. So we thought, why don’t we make it into its own thing?” On Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m., event goers can catch performances by six emerging musicians or the “Artists to Watch” mentored under HAKU COLLECTIVE by Kimié Miner—taking place at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. The Mana Up Pow Wow Pitch competition will also debut on Nov. 8, from 3 to 5 p.m, where contestants can pitch 60-second business ideas and win cash prizes and even a golden ticket to the Pow Wow Pitch virtual final competition.
On Thursday, Nov. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m., the signature Mana Up Showcase Celebration + Marketplace will be held on the third floor of the Ala Moana Bloomingdale’s, where dozens of local vendors will share their wares with the public at this exciting pop-up marketplace event. It’s the perfect place for shoppers to get unique, Hawaiʻi-made gifts for loved ones—especially with the holidays just around the corner—and featured vendors include Kaka‘ako Kasuals, Maui Chili Chili Oil, Sweet Land Farm and over 40 more local makers. All of the businesses to be featured at the Mana Up Showcase are graduates or returning alumni of Mana Up’s accelerator program, and they truly represent what’s new and exciting in Hawaiʻi’s entrepreneurial scene.
“There will be new products, new releases and never-seen-before items; a lot of stuff will be happening here,” says James. Food and drinks will also be available throughout the night—including mixed drinks featuring Kō Hana Rum and Vitalitea kombucha cocktails and mocktails—and entrepreneurs will be featured in a live Q&A co-hosted by James and Kaua‘i comedian Zavier Cummings, more commonly known by his Instagram username @howsdisguy.
If you’re not on-island and can’t attend the showcase in person, don’t fret. On Sunday, Nov. 19, tune into the one-hour special —musical performances and all—will be livestreamed globally on Facebook and YouTube and broadcasted on Hawaiʻi News Now. During the livestream, you will discover the stories behind Hawaii’s rising entrepreneurs and their unique products! Viewers can get their early holiday shopping done and even score on new and limited-edition local products, plus online-only deals and discounts. From boxes of Big Island Coffee Roasters coffee grounds to fragrant Ua Body body mists and more, you can start shopping online now at houseofmanaup.com or wait for the livestream to snag exclusive deals and limited-time offers. And if you RSVP for the online stream now, you can be entered to win a variety of prizes, such as a year of King’s Hawaiian products, round trip to or from Hawai‘i on Hawaiian Airlines, a year’s supply of Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water and even a year of free Zippy’s meals.
For more information about the event, and to RSVP for the virtual livestream on Nov. 19, visit manauphawaii.com.