Supporting the growth of ambitious New Zealand entrepreneurs
Last week SODA Inc. celebrated their founders success at the Annual ASB Ambition Showcase.
Chief Executive Erin Wansbrough opened the event acknowledging the hard work, grit and determination of their client founders.
“As SODA’s clients are based all over NZ and they don’t go through a programme as a cohort, today is a great chance for current and Alumni clients to connect, often meet for the first time, share and learn from each other.”
When people ask what happens in incubation, it’s a complex answer as no two companies are the same. At the showcase a selection of companies SODA has been working with in 2017 shared their stories of development; Tutu Inventions, My Apiary, Off The Beaten Track and Kirkyl.
Graduating clients and SODA Inc. CEO and Chairman. L-R: Andre Prassinos, founder of BioBrew; Kai Cuff, founder of 99 Reviews; Erin Wansbrough, SODA Inc. CEO; Graham Gaylard, SODA Inc. Chair; Nick Moore, co-founder PlateMe; Nigel Dickinson, founder of Kirkyl.
Fundamentally, SODA is in the business of education so we seek to educate the talent we have in NZ that will allow NZ Inc. to achieve a greater outcome together.
As Erin mentioned in her speech, building and growing a business is hard work. However, there are a few key things that if you do these things well, it’s what sets you apart from the pack. These are having the right conversations and identifying the right people to have those conversations with.
This is where SODA’s outsourced expertise model adds value to their startup clients.
“We believe there is greater benefit in a customised programme managed by the best advisors we can find to match with our clients than in a cookie-cutter, 'every founder needs to know this' structured programme.”
The SODA team start by asking the founder what help and support they need and then match them with a rock star Business Growth Advisor (BGA) and Expert Advisors picked by the founder to be the most beneficial to their business. Through this, the founders are having the right conversations with the right people.
SODA doesn’t limit their intake of clients to just one profession or level of experience.
“We’ve worked with a lot of start-ups, entrepreneurs and many businesses ranging in different sizes.”
The SODA investment Team looks at the founder and their business opportunity 50:50 and puts different lenses when reviewing an application.
As a founder focused incubator, a primary goal of SODA Inc. is the education and growth of founders so the team is looking for coachable, ambitious and entrepreneurial traits in the applicants as much as it is looking for good business opportunities.
Current SODA Inc. Clients, graduating clients and SODA Alumni.
Back L-R: Andre Prassinos, co-founder of BioBrew; Kai Cuff, founder of 99 Reviews; Torbin Chambers, founder of Journeys; Tom Gardiner, founder of Fulcrum; Nick Moore, co-founder of PlateMe. Front L-R: Frances Anderson, founder of Patney; Michele Connell, founder of OTBT; Marian Ruri, co-founder of Tutu Inventions; Nigel Dickinson, founder of Kirkyl; Darren Bainbridge, founder of MyApiary; Maggie Mitchell, co-founder of Departure Lounge Caskets.
A defining feature of our programme is that it’s customizable and remote, meaning no matter where you are in New Zealand we can work with you to build a scalable business.
Commercial Manager, John Wilkinson said ASB believes in the work SODA Inc. does to support and develop founders to build scalable, sustainable businesses.
That’s why, for the 7th year, ASB is proud to be a Corporate Partner and sponsor of the ASB Ambition Showcase.
“Our involvement reflects our long-held commitment to working with founders, many of whom will go on to develop businesses that will be true market leaders and household names".
“Supporting the communities in which we operate is a major part of ASB’s culture and we look forward to our continued involvement with SODA Inc. and to helping New Zealand’s entrepreneurial founders achieve success long into the future.”
To find out more about our incubation clients and the business, watch the videos below.
Marian Ruri, co-founder of Tutu Inventions
Tutu Inventions aims to raise awareness about the global burden of ear discharge and provide those in need with access to affordable at-home ear care options to manage the disease. Their first product, OtoSorb, is a discreet, affordable and easy to use solution that is designed for the temporary management and removal of ear discharge.
Nigel Dickinson, founder of Kirkyl
Kirkyl is an innovative steel framing company that has engineered a chimney structure to prevent collapsing in the event of an earthquake. Kirkyl have completed over 200 successful designs and what started as a system to repair damaged chimneys, has evolved into a very clever system used in the manufacturing of chimneys and other structures for new builds.
Michele Connell, founder of Off The Beaten Track
With so much of our beautiful country in private ownership, Off The Beaten Track is all about sharing. Sharing the best of what New Zealand has to offer and providing people with never before access to the most fantastic places to stay. OTBT connects lovers of the great outdoors with undiscovered locations and experiences that are privately owned.
Darren Bainbridge, founder of MyApiary
MyApiary is developing technology to transform the way beekeepers monitor their hives, gather information and assess colony health. Techniques used in the management of bees are still very manual and labour intensive which causes huge inefficiencies for the industry. MyApiary is passionate about changing these inefficiencies, providing cutting edge solutions for the benefit of bees and their keepers.