Our LIFT Custom programme is about connecting you with the right people and resources to give you a team who will help you grow your startup. 


If you’re looking for pragmatic support to solve your current business challenges – look no further. The LIFT programme is customised around your needs. We sit down with you to first understand what your immediate needs are then design a customised programme to solve these challenges. The duration of this support last up to 3 months.


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 need really pragmatic & practical advice

  • I need quick access to seed funds to drive my business forward

  • I have some form of market validation but need to test this further

  • I’ve started a business but have no formal structure or plan and am winging it

  • My business is disruptive, scalable and might have unique intellectual property

  • My business could be a high value brand opportunity for NZ

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

  • I'm ambitious & coachable

  • I'm looking for scale, quality connections and capital

  • I am based in New Zealand


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

Wondering if you’re eligible to apply?

We love to work with curious, creative and courageous people. It doesn’t matter if you’re building a chimney, flying car, app or coffin - as long as you’re ambitious and want to learn, we will help you take it to the world.

  • Entrepreneurs looking for mentorship and a uniquely curated network

  • People living anywhere in NZ from Cape Reinga to the Bluff

  • People with just a business idea or a fully formed business idea and a prototype

  • People with a company that is in the early stages of selling their product or service

  • People with a business that has potential for scale, unique IP or an interesting business model

  • Solo founders or a teams of founders

  • Young and old founders – all experience levels welcome

  • People with an entrepreneurial itch from all walks of life 

  • We embrace the inexperienced with a big dream

  • We love people, who aren’t afraid to ask questions, wonder and be puzzled


They paired us with mentor, Andrea Hammond - cofounder and executive director of PR firm Hustle & Bustle.


“She was fabulous, highly experienced and really took us on a journey. She taught us to step back and do some research. Out of that we got some great information that helped us build our branding and our marketing plan. Our next stage is to execute that.”

- Chris Hilder - founder of Kaffelogic

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.

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 (total value is $25,000). There are three options fee options to take part in this programme: 

  1. A fixed fee of $5,000+ GST ($2,500 invoiced at the start of programme and $2,500 invoiced upon graduation of the programme) or;

  2. 5% shares issued to Soda Inc. upon entering into this agreement and programme ($0 fees) or;

  3. In lieu of fees, the client company agrees to being showcased as a Soda success story and upon building a successful company, the founder will donate up to 40 hours of mentor time to ‘pay it forward’ to future entrepreneurs in Soda programmes.

We can only back 10 startups in this programme per year so the process is competitive. 

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

How do I 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 programme and we get to work on designing your custom experience.

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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!"