Soda Inc. seeks big business ideas for annual Seed Grant Competition

Soda Inc Seed Grants help business ideas grow

Soda Inc., New Zealand’s business growth and support network, is on the lookout for New Zealand’s next big business ideas for its quarterly Seed Grant Competition.

Applications are now open for the not-for-profit’s quarterly cash grants, which support New Zealand entrepreneurs who need funding for their innovative ideas. The top three business pitches will receive a cash grant of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000, as well as mentoring opportunities with sector experts.

Entrepreneurs must film a 60 second video selling Soda Inc. their business idea and complete an application form describing the business idea, the problem it is solving and how it will be rolled out, by Friday 7 May. Short-listed candidates will be invited to a live pitch in front of Soda Inc’s Seed Grant panel on Thursday 27 May.

Erin Wansbrough, Chief Executive of Soda Inc., a business growth ecosystem which has worked with more than 700 start-ups in the past 10 years, says Soda’s SEED grants not only provide successful entrepreneurs with a welcome cash injection, but just as valuable is the connection with industry mentors.

“Our customised mentoring sessions enable entrepreneurs to discuss the real challenges of starting a business, those questions only those who’ve gone before them know. Our Seed Grants are a gateway for budding entrepreneurs to be partnered with mentors who know exactly what they’re going through, what the challenges are they’ll face, and provide them with the advice and direction they need in their business infancy.”

To date, Soda Inc. has awarded more than $24,000 in Seed Grants, most recently supporting three entrepreneurs in the February grant round: Best Monday, a personalised solid fragrance brand; Mote, a tool for remote workers to find spaces to work; and Chive Charities, an online platform to find and donate to charities.

“The purpose of the competition is to give seed-stage businesses a chance to take their idea, prototype or product to the next level,” explains Wansbrough. “What we’re looking for in each business idea is a unique proposition that is scalable and/or has completed some initial market validation.”

Although the Seed cash grant is a definite plus, for Best Monday founder, Madeleine Patel, the experience of entering the competition was just as beneficial. “It offered me a chance to refine my business pitch, receive valuable feedback, and, perhaps most importantly, make connections with people that can help me on my business journey,” she says.

The power of connection, coupled with a cash boost, is exactly the type of support Soda Inc. hopes its SEED grants will give New Zealand’s up and coming entrepreneurs.

Enter the Soda Inc. Seed Grant Competition.