Finery founder Jane Allan has won Soda’s RISE UP competition, taking home $10,000 cash to boost her cocktail in a can business.

The Takapuna based startup has developed a range of premium ready-to-drink cocktails in a can, including a popular alcohol-free range. Allan started working on the concept in 2019 after completing a health challenge and struggling to find tasty alcohol-free beverage options. Finery launched its first-to-market zero per cent cocktail to New Zealand supermarkets in July 2020 and now export to Australia, Singapore and Rarotonga.

“Finery was created to reinvent New Zealand’s drinking culture by making moderation accessible and convenient. We are New Zealand’s first non-alcohol natural cocktail in a can,” says Finery founder, Jane Allan.

“Winning RISE UP feels like affirmation that we’re on the right track. The RISE UP programme enabled us to deep dive into our business and, in a short space of time, we made a huge amount of progress. From the day we became a finalist it has felt like an inclusive, professional and nurturing journey and we are so excited for the future. I’d like to thank Soda for creating RISE UP to support women entrepreneurs,” she adds.

Allan intends to use the $10,000 prize money to help finalise Finery’s capital raising plan.

A judging panel of successful entrepreneurs and business owners including Anna Mowbray, Kelvin Soh, Mike Jenkins, Maree Glading and Kaye-Maree Dunn, selected Finery as the winning business.

The RISE UP event was attended by 200 people including Stuart Nash, Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Minister of Forestry, Minister for Small Business and Minister of Tourism, and Hamilton Mayor, Paula Southgate.

Soda CEO, Erin Wansbrough says: “We are thrilled that so many people turned out to support RISE UP and celebrate female entrepreneurship in Aotearoa. Our six finalists are proof that Kiwi women in business are doing exceptional things. Most of our finalists created successful businesses during lockdown whilst juggling families and other life commitments. It takes courage, tenacity and commitment to start your own business, and it’s fantastic to see more women choosing entrepreneurship as a viable career option”

“Unfortunately the reality is that women are still heavily underrepresented in entrepreneur statistics – only 20 per cent of high growth start-ups in Aotearoa have a female founder. At Soda we are committed to helping rebalance this inequality and see RISE UP as a way to effect this change. Following on from the success of this year’s event, I’m excited to announce that there will be a RISE UP 2023 with applications opening in the new year,” she adds.

Nelson based start-up Fundpay, founded by Renee Bignall, was the audience favourite, winning the People's Choice award, sponsored by Amazon Web Services. Fundpay is budgeting and payment platform which provides an alternative to ‘buy now, pay later’ options.  

Other finalists were: Outside the Box Caskets founder Becs Bartells, Solid Oral Care founder Laura Nixon, Secret Kiwi Kitchen founders Lauren Lulu Taylor and Clare Gallagher, and veto. founder Charlotte Greer.

RISE UP is proudly supported by gold sponsors Craigs Investment Partners and Callaghan Innovation, silver sponsor Vine Co-working, bronze sponsors Deloitte, Norris Ward McKinnon, Hamilton City Council, Feathers Planning, AWS Startups and event sponsors Good George and Remedy Drinks.