Soda is on a mission to raise the entrepreneurial IQ of kiwi start-ups and strives to back the courageous who dare to start a business.

They are excited to announce the launch of the CO.STARTER’s programme as their latest initiative to further support entrepreneurs on their start-up journey.

Soda CE Erin Wansbrough said every business opportunity started with an idea, but the idea was the easy part.

“Execution is everything. At Soda we provide programmes which enable entrepreneurs to step back and take a rational view of their idea from a business perspective; to test and validate with the market; and ultimately shape that great idea into a great business.

“We noticed that there were a number of people applying for our LIFT Programme who were not quite ready to fully leverage the value of the intensive and customised programme.

“They were hungry for guidance and direction to get started, but had nowhere to go for help.

“This is where the CO.STARTERS programme comes in. It offers a perfect fit to bridge the gap in our offering for entrepreneurs who are at an early stage in their start-up journey.

“They require guidance on how to more fully test their business concept, build a robust business model and the necessary roadmap to make it happen,” she said.

Over nine weeks CO.STARTERS participants will critically examine every part of their business, develop numerous insights and establish networks that will be invaluable to the future success of their business.

They will leave the programme equipped with the tools needed to turn ideas into action. This programme can also offer small business owners an opportunity to upskill on business fundamentals and provide a framework to determine how they may strengthen and scale their business.

For the first cohort Soda has secured financial wizard Julian So and business strategist Kim Hill as the workshop facilitators.

Julian said he was passionate about start-ups and helping entrepreneurs.

“CO.STARTERS is another great way for me to contribute to the business ecosystem and help entrepreneurs to grow and learn.

“This programme helps entrepreneurs cover the fundamentals of starting up a business from an idea to creating a business model. The programme is structured, but is very interactive. The group setting helps all the participants to bounce ideas and share their learnings.”

Julian is excited about facilitating the course, “I can’t wait to start,” he said.

Kim said CO.STARTERS was a natural fit for her, from ethos, to delivery, to content.

"To be able to be part of offering entrepreneurs the chance to accumulate solid business basics in a safe, stimulating and accountable learning environment is magic and hugely motivating for me. The benefits are phenomenal and keep earning dividends.

"This is a nine-week programme; it’s real-time learning and it’s interactive. Accelerator weekends are great, but this is hands on learning on another level altogether. The resources are second to none.

"CO.STARTERS is evidence based, tried and tested. It’s challenging, no two ways about it, it’ll stretch and push participants, but they will emerge with solid knowledge of, and confidence in, all the fundamental building blocks of business literacy.

"They’ll learn, not just from the facilitators, but from each other and there’s nothing like our peers to prompt us to reflect and grow. CO.STARTERS is empowering. No matter what stage of the journey, entrepreneurs will come out of it with a significant sense of success and with transferable skills for so many aspects of their lives, whatever direction they take. It’s like a rocket launch."

Kim said she is super excited to get started.

"I love seeing the results of supportive yet courageous conversations that get to the nitty gritty and really effect solid change and empowerment. Facilitating CO.STARTERS allows me to be part of that process and to make a long-lasting positive impact on up-and-coming entrepreneurs. What more could I ask?" she said.

CO.STARTERS will start on Tuesday, 6 August 2019 and run for nine consecutive weeks, held at Soda Inc. HQ in Hamilton.

The programme cost $1200 +GST per business. If you are curious and would like to sign up, make the most of an early bird offer available to those who register before July, 30 2019.

The programme fundamentals and registration details can be found here.

What are you waiting for? Be a little brave and we will help you shape that ingenious idea into an audacious business and set you on a path to transform your dream into reality.