Soda’s RISE UP finalists have all utilised technology to create businesses that make life easier. If you want to book a last-minute health appointment, access professional development support online, efficiently manage freight services, issue and manage employee shares or buy nutritional baby food made using freeze-dried technology, you can, thanks to these savvy female entrepreneurs.

Soda’s 2023 RISE UP finalists are Sophie Stanley and Rachel Smith - Bounsa, Kitti Bradley - Mother Trucking, Gina Urlich - Norish, Candace Kisner - Vester and Melanie Lynn and Niamh Buchanan - Well Now.

Bounsa is a learning and development platform where anybody can bounce challenges and ideas off tech experts, creating on-demand access to experienced mentors in the tech sector for a new generation of learners.

Mother Trucking is a transport management platform that enables small to medium businesses to efficiently manage transport and logistics services.

Norish uses freeze-dried technology and recipes developed by a clinical nutritionist to create baby food that delivers essential nutrients without the use of synthetic vitamins or minerals.

Vester is an employee share plan management system that enables companies to issue and manage employee shares while its user-centric design simultaneously allows employees to easily understand and manage their shares.

Well Now is a digital marketplace that connects people looking for last minute health and wellness appointments to practitioners with availability, providing patients with better access to and ownership of healthcare.

“Our 2023 RISE UP finalists have all used technology to solve day-to-day problems and make life easier for users and customers, which is the foundation of a successful startup,” says Soda CEO, Erin Wansbrough.

“It’s a well-established fact that women in business face a number of additional barriers compared to their male counterparts, but with the support of programmes such as RISE UP, we can help address this inequality and foster female entrepreneurship in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The five RISE UP finalists will attend a series of founder-focused workshops before pitching their business to a public audience and panel of high-profile judges at Wintec House in Hamilton on 29 August 2023 to try to win $10,000.

RISE UP is proudly supported by platinum sponsor Callaghan Innovation and gold sponsor Craigs Investment Partners.