Erena will be overseeing Soda's programmes, product development and procedures whilst also focusing on helping startups. Erena was previously working as a venture analyst at Sprout Agritech and recently completed her Masters in Bioscience Enterprise at the University of Auckland.

What are you looking forward to about this role?

I am passionate about startups and I look forward to supporting eager founders to achieve their business dreams. I grew up in the mighty Waikato and look forward to giving back to the community and growing Waikato’s start-up ecosystem.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am a New Zealand representative for Badminton (which takes up most of my outside-of-work time). I also enjoy going to the gym and bush walks.

What or who inspires you?

I am fortunate to work with and have met many awesome young professionals in New Zealand. I am constantly inspired by the brilliant ideas and passion of these future leaders.

What three things can’t you live without?

Oo this is a tough one...three things I can't live without:

- Definitely my family and friends

- Chocolate (specifically milk chocolate)

- Cat videos

Best book, tv show or podcast you’ve enjoyed recently?

My favourite book is easily Becoming by Michelle Obama. I also enjoy crime podcasts and shows - I am currently watching Criminal Minds (for the second time!)

Favourite holiday destination?

Coromandel, New Zealand.

What would you bring to a bbq?

I am usually the person who brings the salad. It is important to eat your greens!