Maui Business

Local entrepreneurship hub seeking companies for free 4-week online program

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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.

Nineteen companies participated in the 5th cohort of preX, a free 4-week, online investment readiness and business scaling program. Image Courtesy: XLR8HI

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:

  • ʻAʻaliʻi Kō Company: Uplifts women by focusing on their spiritual well being. Native Hawaiian values are implemented to build leadership in the community through small groups, training and consultation. 
  • ʻĀina Meals: Local meal prep company making healthy, fresh, delicious, chef made meals that are delivered right to your door. 
  • ʻAlohi Maui: High-vibe skincare from Hawaiʻi for daily self-love.
  • Beelieve Hawaii: Raising awareness about the essential role pollinators play by promoting ethical methods of beekeeping through conservation, education, sustainable food systems and value-added products.
  • Better Jerky Co.: Makers of Hawaiian style crispy jerky for pets, people and the planet.
  • Busy Bodies: A co-working space for the health conscious remote worker.
  • Edible Peace: Covers the increasing demand for dairy-free products by creating delicious vegan macadamia nut cheese. Unlike our competition, we produce locally and use 100% Hawaiʻi-grown ingredients.
  • Goin Left: A new wave surf boutique and brand, focusing on an eclectic, quality surf culture.  
  • Hana Nai’a: Aloha Superfoods helps you enjoy every day when you add our brain boosting Hawaiian coffee fruit extract to your coffee, tea, or smoothie.
  • HI Cravings: Provides local communities a start to a healthy lifestyle through unforgettable smoothie bowls customized to fit any diet.
  • Kauaʻi Hemp Company: A seed-to-shelf certified organic hemp farm and manufacturer dedicated to sustainably crafting the earth’s most trusted CBD products.
  • Kilo Books Hawaiʻi: Supports ʻohana bonding through our multigenerational books & STEM kits with an emphasis on art, culture and conservation.
  • Helps customers meet their security, Internet connectivity and entertainment needs by providing a single point of contact for installation and service.
  • Middle Eats: Our goal is to get more plants into the Hawaiʻi diet.
  • Nalu Physical Therapy: Passionate about helping women experience painless pregnancies, prepare for birth, and recover faster postpartum so they can feel comfortable and confident in their bodies. 
  • Three Little Ducks: Creates programming to support families with their child’s development from infancy through adolescence. 
  • Vivia Cares: Developing a turnkey platform of software and services to scale a transformative model of home care.

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