NZTE partners with SODA
10 Oct 2011
NZTE partners with SODA
Hamilton business incubator SODA is finding its wings fast, passing muster with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise a year ahead of schedule and getting an early $100,000 award.
SODA CEO Cheryl Reynolds says this is a great achievement for the region as Waikato is now being noticed as a serious player in New Zealand’s economic growth.
The recent partnership follows SODA “comfortably passing” the NZTE Benchmark that was a result of an in-depth audit and benchmarking process that SODA has recently been through.
SODA was not due to apply for the three yearly incubator funding round until next year but in recognition of its achievements was approached early to be tested for eligibility. It has qualified for $100,000 from the NZTE Incubator Award fund now, and can apply to next year's round for more funding.
SODA recently said it had helped its incubator clients to raise more than $500,000 of new angel and seed investment, and to create more than 20 new highly skilled jobs, relocating seven skilled families to Hamilton. Currently six companies are going through incubation.
The NZTE benchmark is high, so this means that SODA can now proudly claim to be fully accredited as a world-class business incubator for Hamilton, alongside the seven other New Zealand incubators including The ICEHOUSE, Creative HQ and Powerhouse Ventures.
SODA Chair Dame Cheryll Sotheran says this is a massive achievement for only being two years old.
Cheryl Reynolds says the partnership with NZTE will give Waikato businesses involved with SODA access to all the right tools to become a successful high growth business and specifically connect these businesses to international markets.
“Our focus is on those businesses that we see as having exponential growth potential, and guiding them to that success not just in their start up days and years but also into their growth as major, mature businesses participating in the regional, national and global economy” says Cheryl Reynolds.
The definition of "high growth" is a scalable company that has a product, service or technology with high impact potential in the marketplace and whose exponential growth can create new high-paying jobs.
SODA Inc. has been on a steady growth path over the past two years and is already making a significant mark on regional economic development.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the incubation industry in New Zealand. Since 2001, 257 new ventures have been incubated of which 69% have raised external investment, 71% are still trading, and 57% are exporting. These start-up ventures have created over 1,011 high value jobs in the NZ economy. The Net economic impact of the NZ incubation industry since 2001 is $513,000,000.