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Bringing Hawaii to the World

July 31, 2019

Mana Up is partnering with Hawaiian Airlines to “bring Hawaii to the world,” and Kunoa is honored to be part of it. One of the many things the three-year-old business accelerator has been up to is producing beautiful videos to share the stories of local Hawaii companies with travelers. Hawaiian Airlines is airing them on their free in-flight channel, Hawaiian Skies, during mainland and international-bound flights. 

The video about Kunoa tells a story that many travelers might not know, about how reliant Hawaii is on imported food, how ranching in Hawaii is enhancing the ecosystem and adding jobs, and how Kunoa is trying to build a food secure future for our state. 

“It’s about learning about Hawaii in unique ways through an entrepreneur’s eyes,” says Mana Up founder Meli James. “Mana Up and Hawaiian Airlines want to support local entrepreneurs and enhance the tourist experience.”

Mana Up’s mission is to grow the local economy and create well-paying jobs by supporting Hawaii-made products that tell stories about Hawaii through their brands. Kunoa was chosen to be in Mana Up’s first cohort of companies in 2018. We went through a 12-week intensive program that helped us hone our business and make valuable connections, and we are still getting tremendous value from being part of their growing cohort of brands.

Mana Up wants the brands they work with to be successful in Hawaii but also to expand to markets beyond the islands. That’s what this Hawaiian Airlines partnership is all about. It provides valuable exposure for companies like ours who can’t afford that level of marketing on startup budgets.

Hawaiian Airlines has a long history of offering guests local products as a way to expose those companies to their global passengers who are looking for authentic Hawaiian travel experiences.  “Our flights are the ideal platform to introduce millions of visitors and our kama‘āina to Hawai‘i-made products, but companies often have difficulty scaling their operations to meet our high volume and global supply chain,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “Mana Up can bridge this gap by helping companies adapt their production to the demands of larger businesses such as Hawaiian’s.”

Now, Hawaiian Airlines travelers who might see our beef bars, pies from Hawaii Pie Company, or natural bodycare products from Mamalani during their visit will know the story behind them. “Ultimately, we want them to buy the products and to feel that they’re taking home a piece of Hawaii because they’ve learned something about Hawaii through these products,” says James.

To see more of the Manu Up/Hawaiian Airlines video series, visit Mana Up’s YouTube channel