Who: Soda Inc.
What: Startup Incubation; Coworking; Events; Resources
HQ: Hamilton
Established: 2008

INTRODUCTION

Soda’s core business is incubation programmes for startups.

When you dissect a success story of any kind it often comes down to the people involved and if you’ve had the right conversations, with the right people at the right time. ​

This is where SODA steps in. We are the match making organisation that connects the entrepreneurs who have ambitious, global opportunities with those that are experienced, have the scars to prove it, and can guide these founders into faster success or failure.

We start by asking the founder what help and support they need and then match them with a rock star Business Growth Mentor (BGM) and Expert Advisors picked by the founder to be the most beneficial to their business.

The programmes are part-time, as we’ve identified that most founders need to do other things during the day in order to be able to ‘pay the bills’, and they are building their business opportunity on the side within any remaining hours of the day and night.

Our programmes are run remotely across NZ and we work with companies in all sectors and we work with advisors from all over the world. It’s a simple, common sense model that is having real impact to the lives and success of our clients.

WHO DO YOU WORK WITH AND WHAT KEY CHALLENGES DO YOU HELP THEM SOLVE?

We work with founders who have ambitious, global opportunities and are in the early stages of turning those opportunities into a business. Those founders come from all over New Zealand, from all types of industries and with varying experience. Because of our customised and bespoke match making approach, we have the flexibility to work with founders with varying levels of experience and with opportunities that are at different stages.

Our primary interest is the founder, then the business. We help founders solve their problems by finding the perfect mentor that brings clarity to their business problems, builds their confidence and the mind-set required to ensure success and longevity of their business.

SERVICES

Startup Incubator

Our incubation programmes operate with a rolling admission process and we accept applications any time throughout the year, so founders can apply when their ready.

  • SODA LIFT is about getting the founders mind set right that will allow them to build a long term scalable company. The purpose of this programme is to get the best team of experts around the founder to build their confidence and a robust plan. This programme last 3-4 months.

Expected outcomes after the programme are that the founder will:
– be a smarter entrepreneur and have the confidence to do what is required
– have a defined path with next steps
– have a wider network of contacts e.g. investors, advisors, other entrepreneurs etc.

We offer:
– Appointment of a Business Growth Mentor (BGM) who understands the sector and needs of the company in order to provide sound advice that is seen to provide growth and value to the founder and business
– Delivery of 12 mentoring and guidance sessions as part of the programme that are relevant, with appropriate Expert Advisor services paid for as needed and agreed
– Access to Corporate Partners and wider networks

  • SODA BOOST is an extension of LIFT and has more focus on the business. We expect to have seen significant progress through the LIFT programme and BOOST is used to execute the plan created in LIFT with further mentoring and resources. This programme tends to last for 6 months and there may be a gap between LIFT & BOOST.

Expected outcomes after the programme are that the founder will:
– execute on the plans made in LIFT
– launch into their target market and/or grow their market share
– have a wider network of contacts e.g. investors, advisors, other entrepreneurs etc.

We offer
– Appointment of a Business Growth Adviser (BGM) who will drive client to hit the agreed milestones
– Expert Advisors brought in and paid for as needed and agreed
– Access to a project fund
– Access to Corporate Partners and wider network

Coworking

  • SODA’s coworking space is a separate business unit to incubation. The coworking function is to help businesses connect in the Waikato and have a premium work space to plug and play. We are building a vibrant and productive coworking community in Hamilton that is good for Waikato Inc. This is another way we are endeavouring to connect like-minded people. If there are local startups who are going through an incubation programme, they can access our coworking space as an extra benefit.

Events

SODA Inc. events focus on creating connections between like-minded individuals.

  • Innes48 Business Startup Competition is an annual event based in Hamilton, managed by SODA Inc. The competition draws hundreds of national and international applicants to compete for up to $15,000 in prize money over one high energy, high pressure 48 hours.

The largest competition of its kind in New Zealand, ​Innes48 is an experiential environment for people to test their entrepreneurial skills, test new ideas, experience new ways of thinking, get exposure and interact with top business mentors, influencers and like-minded people from a wide range of backgrounds and skills.

This event is a great community activity, is a compressed version of what we do at SODA with individual programmes and is an opportunity to create leads into SODA’s incubation programmes. It also provides engagement opportunities with key business people and partners we have around New Zealand.

  • Ambition Showcase  is held at the end of each year in partnership with ASB. This event is designed to celebrate our founders and provide a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs with key business influences.

As SODA’s clients are based all over NZ and they don’t go through a programme as a cohort, the Ambition Showcase is a great chance for current and Alumni clients to connect, often meet for the first time, share and learn from each other.

This is a chance for the business community to learn what SODA has been doing and who they have been working with during that year.

Resources

  • Soda Inc resources offer a portal of tools for strategy, business set-up, online sales, crowd funding, collaboration tools, finance, online advertising and more.
wintec house

Wintec House is home to SODA Inc and their coworking space.

HIGHLIGHTS

This year we have expanded into Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, and Tauranga. The partnerships with Business Hawkes Bay, Activate Tairawhiti and Venture Centre have allowed us to extend our incubation model into regions who otherwise don’t have an existing incubation and startup support infrastructure.

WHAT EXCITES YOUR TEAM ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO?

For the team at SODA Inc. it’s really exciting to work with ambitious like-minded people who are pushing the boundaries and changing the status quo. We also love seeing the mind-set shift of a founder going through the LIFT programme. As founders work with mentors, we see a huge change in confidence, knowledge and understanding of bigger picture concepts. When a founder graduates from a SODA Inc. programme, they leave with a greater understanding of what it takes to succeed in the world of business and as a team we love watching and helping our founders grow.

Also, NZ is in a really exciting entrepreneurial space at the moment. We are only scratching the surface as an industry and as a company. There is plenty of engineers and entrepreneurial thinkers in NZ – it seems to flow in our blood. We are interested in how we lift the collective entrepreneurial IQ of NZ and spread the knowledge and experience of successful entrepreneurs to those that are on their way up. For a business model like SODA’s there is a real opportunity to have a greater impact and faster.

WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE NZ ENTREPRENEUR COMMUNITY?

SODA Inc. is always on the side founder and we are comfortable with backing the misunderstood. We do not have and are not tied to an investment fund. We therefore, have more flexibility with who we work with and what their business opportunity is. The founder is our customer vs. the money being our customer, so we are truly on the founders side to build a business that is aligned to their goals.


GET IN TOUCH

soda inc

Web: http://www.sodainc.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sodaincnz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/soda_inc
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/soda-inc
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sodaincnz