RISE UP 2022 Finalists Announced

Judging by the stellar line-up of Soda’s RISE UP finalists, Aotearoa’s newest crop of female founders have spent the pandemic innovating, problem solving and putting their heart and soul into creating start-ups that challenge the status quo.

Finalists include a diverse group of female entrepreneurs who have developed biodegradable coffins made from cardboard, ready-to-pour zero alcohol cocktails, eco-friendly toothpaste, artisan baking mixes, sustainable cleaning products and an app that encourages healthy spending and saving habits.

“Soda created RISE UP to encourage and support ambitious female founders and, judging by the number and calibre of entries we received, I’m confident that female entrepreneurship in Aotearoa is moving in the right direction. For a long time, Aotearoa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has been male dominated but there are many of us working hard to challenge the bias and balance that gender inequity,” says Soda CEO, Erin Wansbrough.

“I love the fact that most of our finalists’ businesses were born out of lockdown. It demonstrates that creativity and innovation can emerge from our most tough times. We’re excited to help grow the capability of these aspirational female founders and I can’t wait to see what these businesses achieve.”

The six finalists will attend a series of founder-focused workshops before pitching their business to a public audience and panel of high-profile judges at Wintec House in Hamilton on 17 August 2022 to try to win $10,000 to help propel their business to the next level.

The Rise Up Pitch Night is a free event but tickets are limited so please register for tickets at www.sodainc.com/riseup. It will be an inspiring night hearing from the six finalists and judging panel which includes experienced entrepreneurs Anna Mowbray, Kelvin Soh, Mike Jenkins, Maree Glading and Kaye-Maree Dunn. The audience will have an opportunity for to vote for their favourite business which will be awarded the People's Choice winner, sponsored by Amazon Web Services.

RISE UP is proudly supported by gold sponsors Craigs Investment Partners and Callaghan Innovation and silver sponsor Vine Co-working.