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Soda Inc. launches programme in Hawke’s Bay

Soda Inc. launches programme to support Hawke’s Bay entrepreneurs

Business Hawke’s Bay and Soda Inc. have formed a partnership to offer start-up support programmes in the Hawkes Bay region.

Waikato-based Soda Inc. has worked with a number of growing start-ups in New Zealand including award-winning beekeeping hive management software, MyApiary and Hop Revolution which recently secured a $3 million investment through the MyFarm Hop Garden Investment initiative.

Soda Inc. chief executive, Erin Wansbrough, says people working on start-ups in Hawke’s Bay can now apply for the Soda programme and access the resources, networks and mentorship on offer.

“We encourage ambitious people who are working on opportunities that have potential for scale to get in touch with the team at Business Hawke’s Bay and see if this programme is right for you.”

Business Hawke’s Bay chef executive, Carolyn Neville, welcomes the new initiative and believes that the region’s start-up entrepreneurs will significantly benefit from the new partnership with Soda Inc.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with Soda, who have a proven programme for founders and access to world class mentors.

“This is a valuable addition to the other support that is available and will enable qualifying founders with start-ups to build their capability and grow their companies.

“Business Hawke’s Bay’s partnership with Soda Inc. supports Hawke’s Bay’s Regional Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, specifically actions which are about establishing a small business incubator, accelerator programmes, business growth services and identifying start-ups and high growth firms and barriers to growth and local capability,” says Mrs Neville.

Every company wanting to join the programme will go through an application process.

“There is an application form followed by a meeting to understand the founder’s current challenges and future aspirations for their start-up. If there’s a fit, we’ll invite the founder(s) to present their opportunity to a local panel - ‘a friendly dragons’ den’, and if successful, we’ll then work with the founder(s) to craft a customised programme and mentoring match,” says Ms Wansbrough.

“We don’t limit our intake of start-ups to just one profession or level of experience. We work with start-ups, entrepreneurs and many businesses of all sizes.”

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