September 3, 2014
Waikato-Tainui, SODA Inc. partnership a boost to Maaori business
Waikato-Tainui partners with SODA Inc. to create employment opportunities and encourage Maaori entrepreneurship.
On 14 August 2014, Waikato-Tainui signed a partnership agreement with SODA Inc. to foster Maaori business growth and
acumen through scholarships and networking opportunities. SODA Inc. is Hamilton’s business incubator, helping pioneering
entrepreneurs to start-up, succeed and grow their businesses.
Rahui Papa, Chairman of Waikato-Tainui’s tribal executive Te Arataura, says the partnership with SODA will give our
tribal members access to business networks, relationships and programmes that will empower and support them to realise
their economic aspirations.
“Whakatupuranga 2050, the tribe’s strategic plan, has an aspiration for our tribal members to become business leaders
and this partnership is a stepping stone towards that goal,” says Mr Papa.
Tribal members will be offered scholarships to learn about how start-ups work, including business model generation and
pitching business ideas to potential investors and customers. There will also be internship events which aim to link up
Waikato-Tainui graduates with potential employment opportunities.
Business Growth Manager for SODA Inc. Vanessa Clark said the partnership emerged out of a successful pilot run earlier
in the year where 10 tribal members with four projects took part in a nine-part workshop series that covered how
start-ups work, design thinking, market validation, business modelling, marketing, finance, IP, governance and pitching.
Incoming CEO Dr Claire McGowan says, “We are excited with the opportunity to build capability, knowledge and networks
for Waikato-Tainui’s entrepreneurial tribal members.”
Waikato-Tainui and SODA Inc. are currently working together to map the programme of events which will be communicated to
tribal members later this month.