Meli James is a cofounder at Mana Up, an initiative to expand economic opportunity, business infrastructure, and higher wage jobs in Hawai’i. Its six-month accelerator program enables Hawaiʻi product entrepreneurs to scale their businesses globally. Mana Up operates a retail business, House of Mana Up, to connect people to local brands.
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’s Venture Accelerator. James founded her first company, Nirvino, a #1 ranked wine app, an Apple Platform Top 100 App, and Top Ten Lifestyles App in 2007. 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.