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Student entrepreneurs get lift-off from industry experts

Student entrepreneurs get lift-off from industry experts

Wintec students will get the opportunity to bring their business ideas or existing businesses to life in ways they never thought possible through a new opportunity supported by Wintec and Soda Inc.

Wintec has collaborated with business incubator Soda Inc. to create Launchpad. This new programme will connect student entrepreneurs with business growth advisors, with the aim of making their business ideas or growth plan, a reality.

Wintec’s Director of Products and Planning, Warwick Pitts says Launchpad demonstrates Wintec’s drive to develop innovative learning opportunities for students.

“This is away from the normal classroom approach and an opportunity for students to gain experience from Soda Inc.’s incubation and learning programmes,” he says.

“It means they can build a company while they’re studying at Wintec and in many cases, we can credit that back through their degree.”

Wintec and Soda Inc. piloted the scheme in 2016 when three groups of students progressed their businesses through a Soda Inc. start-up programme. The initiative was so successful; Launchpad was created to offer five incubation opportunities valued at $100,000 in total this year. Students can apply online at any time for the opportunity to pitch their concept at Soda’s monthly selection meetings.

Head of Operations at Soda Inc., Rachel Adams is looking forward to working with the successful applicants and partnering the students and their projects with business growth advisors to match their specific needs.

“We’re looking for entrepreneurs who have done the thinking first - Launchpad is not about exploring ideas, it’s for students who have a business or a business idea in place,” she says.

“It’s all about doing, taking practical steps to get to where you need to be with the help of our resources which include access to a global network of business growth advisors.”

Soda Inc.’s part-time programmes are designed to fit in with the work and study needs of its entrepreneurs.

“This means participating students can continue their study while receiving expert mentoring and guidance customised to their requirements,” says Mr Pitts.

Applications for the 12-week Launchpad programme are now open for Wintec-enrolled students. Find out more here.

Find out more about Soda Inc. here.

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