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Up & Coming – February 11, 2019

Mana Up’s 3rd Cohort Includes Diverse Mix of Local Companies

Mana Up’s third cohort of 10 local companies includes seven led by women and five based on Hawaii Island. The businesses offer a mix of consumer goods – including food, fashion and home goods – aimed at locals, tourists and the worldwide market.

 “There’s no lack of entrepreneurship in Hawaii, and that spirit is spread across the islands,” says Mana Up co-founder Meli James. “What’s particularly great to see is that the businesses are thriving.  Our previous two cohorts are growing and hiring, and we expect that to be true of this cohort as well.”

Mana Up, which provides a 12-week accelerator program for the companies, is supported by many partners, including:  Kamehameha Schools, DFS Hawaii, Castle & Cooke Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines, Ulupono Initiative, American Savings Bank, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Dole Plantation, Pineapple Tweed PR & Marketing, Hawaii Technology Development Corp. and Innovate Hawaii.

The latest cohort includes five companies from Hawaii Island:

  • Fused Hawaii, a women’s swimwear company founded by Roxelle Cho.
  • Kaimana Jerky, a protein snack company founded by Christopher Cho, Leonora Cho, Sheldon Cho, Rose Angay and Leonard Angay. 
  • Liko Lehua, a Hilo-based café and gourmet butters company founded by Diane Kanealii and now operated by Dawn and Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder.
  • Short N Sweet, a Hilo-based bakery founded by classically French-trained chef Maria Short.
  • Western Aloha, a clothing and gear maker founded by Paul Sullivan.

One of the companies is based on Kauai:

  • Meli Wraps, a company featuring reusable beeswax wraps that was founded by Melia Foster and Nicole Galchutt.

 The other four members of the latest Mana Up cohort are based on Oahu:

  • Coco Moon, a collection of everyday keiki essentials founded by Amber Thibaut.
  • Hayn, an environmentally conscious footwear brand founded by David Lin, Zak Noyle and Masafumi Watanabe.
  • Lola Pilar, a company featuring art and Italian silk scarves and founded by Kristen Reyno.
  • Noho Home, a home décor company founded by Jalene Kanani Bell.

Learn more at Mana Up.

The Best of Startup Paradise 2019

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