The Soda LIFT Build programme focuses on providing kiwis a pathway to access experts and seed funding to build a prototype that you can then test with your market. 


The Soda LIFT Build programme focuses on providing kiwis a pathway to access experts and seed funding to build a prototype that you can then test with your market.  We sit down with you to first understand what you are wanting to achieve and then surround you with the right people to make it happen.


You might need;


  • Access to engineers, developers, formulators, scientists etc.

  • Access to prototyping facilities

  • Cash flow to access these experts or prototype materials


We know the best people who can help you bring your idea to life and will connect them to you and help pay for the cost of this prototype development.


This programme is part-time and remote so you can be located anywhere in New Zealand to apply for this support.

Do you identify with any of these points?

  • I’ve been sitting on my idea for a while and need the connection and seed funding to take it from an idea to a prototyped product or service

  • I’m working full time on my startup

  • Have proof of market validation

  • I need help getting the road map clear for next steps

  • I’m too early for investment as I need to build out the product or service first

  • I need connections to practical and technical people to develop my product or service

  • I’m potentially sitting on a really big opportunity here but need help to move it forward

  • I think my business is scalable and has a unique business model or intellectual property

  • I am based in New Zealand

If you identify with any of these points, apply now and we’ll set up a time to talk with you.

What does it cost?

  • This programme is possible thanks to funding from Callaghan Innovation and philanthropic supporters. Due to this support, we are able to offer this programme to entrepreneurs at a hugely discounted rate. Your investment is $5,000 (incl of GST) per business (half payable up front and the other half on completion).

  • We can only back 5 startups per year so the process is competitive to get on this programme.

  • We want you to be active, engaged and invested in your own personal development and business success.

Case Study

Mumma Boost


  • In 2016, Simone came up with the idea to develop a unique health supplement for new mothers.With a background in Exercise Science and Marketing, and as a Mother of four children, she noticed a gap in the supplement market.

  • After two years of research and business planning, she approached Soda to get technical support to formulate the product.

  • We connected her with formulation expert Peter Lehrke.

  • The connection to Peter and the seed funding to pay for his time has resulted in a unique formulation that is ready for manufacturing.

  • This product will launch into market in mid 2020.

"Peter was exactly who I needed. A Product and Formulation Development Consultant who could make my product. He was professional, kind, and completely invested in the project. He went above and beyond by including his team in the development of a formulation for MumaBoost, which was an ambitious goal.” Simone Stewart, founder MumaBoost

What's the process to apply?

  • Fill out the application form. If you want to discuss your application first call 07 974 9111 or email to book in an appointment. We will assess your submission against our selection criteria.


  • The next step will a 30-minute diagnostics session so we can get to know you and your business better. You can ask questions about the programmes and discuss how your business might fit with this programme.


  • We will then let you know if we would like you to present your business in a pitch deck / exec summary and video submission. Your pitch deck and video submissions are reviewed by our friendly dragons’ den who meet monthly. We will schedule a Q&A session with the panel via a video call or in person at these monthly meetings. We'll give you the templates, guides and support you in this process.


  • Following this process, you will either be accepted or we will make suggestions as to what you could do to be ready for the programme, make a stronger case and pitch in another round, or let you know if we think you are not the right fit for our programmes.


  • If your pitch is successful, you will then be invited to join the Soda LIFT Build programme and we get to work on designing your custom experience.

Time Commitment

​This programme is part-time, hands on and remote, meaning you can be based anywhere in NZ. We work around your schedule to make this work but we are looking for people who are committed to personal growth and want to invest in speeding up your idea into a commercial reality.

When to apply

We have a rolling admission process and assess applications for our programme in our monthly committee meetings. We accept applications any time throughout the year, so you can apply when you’re ready.

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Susan Wheeler,

founder Hop Revolution

Soda allowed my company to gain focus on the issues that I needed to address to move quickly from a promising idea to fully fledged business. My business advisor and other experts helped solved some critical roadblocks that were holding up my progress. 

Darren Bainbridge,

founder MyApiary

I was very happy with the Mentors as we were given three to choose from. We were given three amazing options to decide on who we felt understood our business needs and fitted in well with our working style

Wendy McGregor &

Nick Moore,

founders PlateMe

"As a startup, we have found Soda Inc. to be invaluable. They matched us with the perfect business growth mentor and have helped us meet with many expert advisors. Our Soda journey has been the best business decision we have made so far!"