On May 22, 2023 at 3:00 PM HST, Mana Up, a Hawaii-based consumer brand accelerator, announced its latest six-month annual program, which has selected 11 companies for participation. Among these companies are two Kauai-based businesses. The selection process was rigorous, with 149 local businesses applying for the 8th Cohort, interviewing 56, and eventually accepting 11 into the program. During the six-month accelerator, participants will take part in workshops, mentorships, gain access to sales channels, and set customized goals.
Co-founder Meri James commented, “With record-breaking filings continuing this year, we recognize the continued need to support this industry with resources, capital and growth channels. We are even more convinced of the opportunity.” Furthermore, James added, “This year we have an amazing group of people joining Manaup Alumni who are generating a combined annual revenue of $61 million and growing at an average rate of 33% annually.”
The two Kauai-based businesses participating in the program are Hobbs Tea and Brianne & Co. Hobbs Tea offers a range of sustainably grown organic teas from Hawaii that help conserve endemic species and their habitats. It was founded by Jamie Chambers Lyons from Kalaheo. Brianne & Co is a handmade jewelry line, created by Brianne Light from Koloa. The collection features materials ranging from local Kauai seaglass and shells to unique stones, genuine pearls and precious metals.