Waikato business incubator SODA Inc has strategic partners as part of its new Regional Partner Initiative, which aims to expand its incubation model across the country.
The company has partnerships with regional business hubs to provide support for startups in their respective areas. So far, partnerships span the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.
Soda, which has recently scored funding for a further two years from Callaghan Innovation, will also run its own 32 customised programmes for startups throughout the country.
Soda operations manager Rachel Adams says that the company’s programmes can be conducted remotely – a testament to the fact that founders and business growth advisors can be found anywhere.
"This means our clients can be based anywhere in New Zealand and our advisors can be based anywhere in the world,” she says.
She says that although the company has always worked with NZ-wide clients, regional hubs add a greater depth of knowledge about their regions.
“We can make more of an impact-especially in regions that don’t yet receive central government funding for incubation services,” she says.
She adds that the Soda Programme is not intended to compete with what is happening in the startup scene, rather to complement current local ecosystems.
"We aim for SODA’s programmes to be another option on the menu,” she explains.
Carolyn Neville, Business Hawke’s Bay acting CEO, says entrepreneurs will benefit from the partnership.
"We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with Soda, who have a proven programme for founders and access to world class advisors,” she comments.
The Hawke’s Bay Business Hub will deliver the incubator programme for the region, as part of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy.
"This is a valuable addition to the other support that is available and will enable qualifying founders with start-ups to build their capability and grow their companies," Neville says.
Soda Inc runs a coworking space that houses 30 commercial client companies in Wintec House, Hamilton. Those in the Waikato region can use these services while in an incubation programme.