Waikato business incubator SODA has joined the hallowed ranks of NZTE's accredited list, setting the wheels in motion for the two organisations to work together to increase the number of high growth startups in the region.
The partnership will see NZTE collaborate with SODA to enable more companies to enter its incubation programme.
According to SODA chief executive Cheryl Reynolds, the Waikato is now being noticed as a serious player in New Zealand’s economic growth.
“Our focus is on those businesses that we see as having exponential growth potential, and guiding them to that success not just in their startup days and years but also into their growth as major, mature businesses participating in the regional, national and global economy."
She said SODA had "comfortably" passed the NZTE's benchmark, which meant it could now proudly claim to be fully accredited as a world-class business incubator for Hamilton alongside seven other New Zealand institutions: AUT's Business Innovation Centre, The ICEHOUSE, Creative HQ, Massey University's ecentre, the BCC, the Canterbury Innovation Incubator and Dunedin's Upstart incubator.
SODA chair Dame Cheryll Sotheran says this is a massive achievement, given the incubator is only two years old.
To date it has helped incubator clients to raise more than $500,000 of new angel & seed investment and create more than 20 new highly-skilled jobs.