Speaker: Melialani James ’00, Co-Founder & President
Mana Up & Hawaii Venture Capital Association
Meli James is a cofounder at Mana Up, a Hawai’i-based initiative designed to build the state’s next generation of CEOs in the retail and food product industry. Mana Up hosts a 12-week accelerator program offered biannually to enable Hawaiʻi product entrepreneurs to scale their businesses.
Additionally, she is president of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, an organization that seeks to foster entrepreneurial development through education, networking, and access to capital.
Previously, James brought her Silicon Valley startup experience to Hawaii accelerators Blue Startups and the University of Hawaii Venture Accelerator.
In 2007, James founded her first company, Nirvino a #1 ranked wine app, an Apple Platform Top 100 App, and Top Ten Lifestyles App.
James is a founding member of the Startup Paradise initiative helping to build a thriving startup community that nurtures collaboration and innovation in Hawaii. She is committed to establishing resources to grow talent and high-growth ideas.
In 2016, she was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of five Women to Watch. In 2017, she was recognized again by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of eight Women Leaders Who Are Disrupting Entrepreneurship.
James is a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University