Nineteen companies across the state, including in Maui County, participated in entrepreneurship hub XLR8HI’s fifth cohort of preX, a free online 4-week investment readiness and business scaling program.
PreX brings more than a decade of award-winning, real-world startup, investment and business accelerator experience directly to local companies, according to the company press release.
The program helps accelerate Hawaiʻi businesses in reaching their next step, whether that’s to launch, pivot or scale. Companies also receive mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors who have successfully taken ventures from launch to IPO and everywhere in between. It also offers a robust support community of like-minded founders and small business owners.
The program is now accepting applications for its Fall Cohort. Founders and small business owners across all Hawaiʻi islands are encouraged to apply. You can learn more about preX and apply for the upcoming cohort here.
Founder Maryann Rose Broyles and President Matthew Williams of Maui company Hana Naiʻa were among the entrepreneurs selected to participate in the accelerator program’s fifth cohort. Hana Naiʻa produces superfoods, including coffee fruit nutraceuticals that boost the brain.
“We made years of progress in only [a few] weeks and have raised our forecasts for the future,” Williams said. “We are forever grateful for the expert guidance and care from the preX team and our cohort.”
Broyles said: “I loved this program. It brought out the best in us. The rhythm and the cadence was really nice. The content was amazing. I was challenged but grew a lot. Nice balance.”
Every preX cohort since the program’s inception has consisted of diverse businesses from Maui County, including the island of Molokaʻi. The companies bring a spectrum of specialties ranging from game-based learning for multilingual fluency and naturally farmed ʻolena drinks and snacks to online empowerment and self-defense education, industrial coatings for architectural finishes, and a boutique surf line for women.
“We want entrepreneurs from Maui, Lānaʻi, and Molokaʻi to experience innovation and growth that transpire locally but also have the reach to expand beyond the state, if desired,” said XLR8HI managing partner Omar Sultan. “We believe the solutions needed for Hawaiʻi and elsewhere can come from the people here.”
Joelle Lambiotte du Lac of Aloha Maui, a locally sourced, high quality skincare company, said: “This program was a game-changer for me. I have more clarity and a better understanding about what I have to do next [as an entrepreneur].”
The team behind preX and their work have been nationally recognized multiple times by the US Small Business Administration and US Economic Development Administration; and it was featured in Forbes.
Announcing the 19 companies in Cohort 5 of preX: