On the back of a school fundraiser, 12-year-old Georgia Tiatia Fa'atoese Latu and her Mum Anna Latu approached Soda Inc. to find if they could turn the school fundraising initiative of selling authentic poi into a profitable business. Soda Inc. provided the following support:
- A place to participate in the Soda Inc. NZ Startup Bootcamp
- Off the back of winning the NZ Startup Bootcamp people’s choice award, Soda prepared a press release and sent to NZ Media outlets. This resulted in the RNZ interview that then resulted in national television exposure on The Project & One News.
- Soda facilitated these media opportunities and covered the costs of travel to ensure Georgia could take up these opportunities.
- As the website was not ready yet, Soda supported the team to make a Kickstarter campaign to make the most of this national & global exposure.
- With orders flooding in via Kickstarter & FB messenger, the team needed to finalize the website, manufacturing at scale, shipping and distribution.
- Soda then contracted experienced ecommerce entrepreneur Elliot Jessop to support Anna & Georgia to set up these sales systems with the support of his team.
- From March-September 2019, Pōtiki Poi have sold 5000 sets of poi with orders from as far Finland, have moved the operations to Cargill Enterprises, have a live e-commerce store, attended the New Zealand Gift Fair (the major trading show for retailers stocking up for the Christmas Season) and secured major supply deals with Te Papa & other major retailers.
- Soda provided a small budget to pay for mentors, travel and key activities that made this move forward quickly.
“LIFT Lite has given us the best mentor. Eliot Jessop has made life a lot easier for us. It’s hard work, but through the programme and our mentor we have gained tools we wouldn’t had otherwise.” Founder of Pōtiki Poi Georgia Tiatia Fa'atoese Latu