Program Overview

Accelerating growth for Hawai'i products.

Mana Up's accelerator is a 12-week intensive program designed to uncover high-impact sales opportunities, tackle production challenges, and develop executive leadership. The program includes workshops, connections to a network of advisers, help in crafting an attractive narrative for expansion, and access to distribution channels through partners and digital platforms.

Application: 

Applications are open for Cohort 3 with a tentative deadline of late November 2018. The Cohort 3 program will run during first quarter of 2019. 

Criteria: 

The criteria for application includes: 

  • Hawaiʻi-based founder and company

  • Retail, beauty or value-added food product

  • Owner has full-time commitment to company

  • Elevates Hawaiʻi or Hawaiʻi brand through authentic connection, resource or store

  • Quality of product and potential for international expansion

  • Prefer companies who have $100,000+ in annual revenue currently

Kamehameha Schools will select two of the ten companies that join each cohort.  

Program Benefits: 

Our team brings a wealth of experience to help companies grow and we’re excited to dive deep into supporting each and every company that joins our program. The 12-week accelerator will provide the following benefits: 

  • Weekly workshops

  • Weekly check-ins

  • Matches to industry-expert mentors based on business needs and stage

  • Support on branding and narrative

  • Access to discounted services and resources (for example: production of marketing, video, photography, and design content)

  • Access to distribution and funding partners

  • Special programs such as fellows opportunity to work with King’s Hawaiian and National Hawaiʻi Foods Week

  • Invitation to sell products on Mana Up e-commerce channels

  • Invitations to events and meetings to showcase product

  • Alumni support (monthly check-ins and continuing resources and connections after graduation)

  • Presentation of product at Mana Up’s Showcase, our event at the end of each cohort to present products to buyers, distributors, and other potential partners for companies.

Showcase and Marketplace: 

Each cohort ends with a Showcase to an audience of over 700 people, including international buyers, partners, distributors, and customers.  Each company presents to the audience for 3 minutes, followed by a marketplace where attendees can buy products. 

Program Cost: 

There is no cost to join our accelerator program. We ask that the committed companies give Mana Up the right to distribute their product on our e-commerce channels (non-exclusive). 

We require that all companies who join our accelerator program attend all workshops and check-ins. Each week will consist of one workshop and one 30-minute check-in. Workshops will take place Wednesday afternoons and must be attended in person. Check-ins will be scheduled individually with each company and may be attended virtually.

 
 
 
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Mana Up was an incredible experience that put Monkeypod Jam in front of amazing mentors and created phenomenal opportunities. As a business not based on Oahu, I found the networking and relationships created with the other nine businesses to be priceless.
— Aletha Thomas, Founder of Monkeypod Jam
 
 
 
As a result of Mana Up, we are implementing many new strategies and following up with many connections. As a management team, we are stronger and more professionally bound to think through our business goals and the words we choose to present them.
— Jason Brand, Cofounder of KoHana Rum
 
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Prior to starting the Mana Up Accelerator Program my company was in a position in which I really needed help in growing and expanding. When I heard about the program, I thought it could be everything my business needed to take it to the next level. My expectations were far exceeded, I now have the confidence in my product, skill set, and network to scale far beyond what I had initially imagined.

The Mana Up platform gave my company a unique opportunity to not only learn about scaling, but delve deeper into the heart of why I started my business in the first place. We met all types of experts in the program that challenged the way we do business and think about growth. The program not only boosted our sales and expanded our networks but most importantly showed me that staying true to my values as a Hawaiian company is crucial to success.

The most valued relationship made was with other cohort members as we have not only become friends and business peer mentors, but we have established a community of trust that can call upon each other for help and advice. I am very grateful!
— Mele Kalama-Kingma, Founder of Mamalani