Hamilton’s business incubator Soda Inc has tripled its funding income from economic development body NZ Trade and Enterprise.
With Soda’s recent accreditation by NZTE, the incubator’s funding entitlement has increased to $350,000 for the 2012-2013 financial year from last year’s $100,000 .
Soda is an entrepreneurship centre that operates Hamilton’s first business incubator which facilitates programmes for startup companies to grow and be successful entrepreneurs through mentoring and support.
Chief executive Cheryl Reynolds said the NZTE funding is a third of the incubator’s operational costs.
She said pre-incubation, which is a three month process assessing business models, sustainability and global potential, costs about $15,000 of public and private money for every startup company.
Full incubation of the company, which lasts up to three years, requires another $100,000.
Soda currently has eight businesses in full incubation with plans to increase that number in the next year.
NZTE is one of Soda’s three major funding partners with additional unidentified corporate partners also supporting the incubator.
Hamilton City Council contributes by waiving the rental fee of the 1 Victoria Street property that Soda occupies, a total yearly cost of $49,250 plus outgoings costing $5,000 - $7,000.
The waiver is reviewed yearly and the council has only waived the fee through to the end of December, with approval still pending for 2013. The initial lease term was five years starting from January 2009 and will expire in December of next year but Soda has two further rights of renewal of three years each.
Wintec is the third major backer of the incubator, contributing $488,000 since 2008.
That funding is set to stop next year in line with the original agreement between the two organisations but Wintec will continue to be a 60 per cent shareholder.
- © Fairfax NZ News