Helping you Grow

Co.Starters +

F&B Edition

food factory logo.png

What is Co.Starters?

Co.Starters is a 10 session programme developed in the USA using the Lean Startup method.  The programme helps prospective and established entrepreneurs examine all aspects of their idea or existing business in a systematic, practical and critical way to set them up for success.  

Co.Starters is NOT a course with lectures, course notes and a certificate of completion. It is 'hands-on' – you will work on your idea with the help of a facilitator coaching you along the way.  You’ll receive access to world class tools and methodologies you can revisit and reuse.

Following a successful pilot programme in 2021, we have once again joined up with The Food Factory to support the next generation of Food and Beverage businesses in our region with a heavily subsidised, F&B specific, CO.STARTERS cohort.   


Richard Chadderton (Director of CO.STARTERS NZ and bringing years of banking, finance and business growth experience), with assistance from Sarah Fitchett and Jarrod Robinson (Food Technologist, experienced professional in F&B product development and commercialisation), will facilitate this cohort, providing oversight and mentorship for participants throughout the course.  Guest speakers from successful F&B businesses will impart knowledge about specific challenges they have faced. The programme will also be able to connect participants with specialist advisors to address food-specific issues such as regulation, packaging, labelling, exporting, shelf-life stability etc.





Drawing from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and startup veterans from around the globe, Co.Starters walks startups and small-business owners through lean, effective business modeling methods in a simple and intuitive way, and with the help of a supportive community. 

What Will I Learn?

The programme follows a set format which helps you truly understand your strengths, what your customer is looking for, how you might market to your customers, your revenue stream(s), business model options and costs.

WEEK 1:   Knowing yourself, assumptions, canvas, working styles, team building

WEEK 2:   Knowing your customer, problem, alternatives, benefits, solution, advantage

WEEK 3:   Finding the right solution - solution, benefit, advantage, starting small, brand identity

WEEK 4:   Getting the relationship right - marketing and message, getting, keeping and growing customers

WEEK 5:   Building blocks - distribution, revenue, typical offering, price

WEEK 6:   Structure and systems - legal and accounting considerations

WEEK 7:   Discovering the bottom line - startup and ongoing needs, fixed and variable costs, break even point

WEEK 8:   Financial modelling - break even point, sales projections, cashflow, raising capital

WEEK 9:   Planning for growth - growth plans, goal setting

WEEK 10: Celebration night

You don't know what you don't know.  This programme will give you insights and tools to help you start your business and accelerate your business knowledge.  One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself and your business is learn fast about your idea to give it the best chance of being successful.  Too many new businesses fail and many from a lack of knowledge about their market or their business understanding. 

Your Commitment:

You will need to commit to three hours per session for 10 sessions and be prepared to put in approximately the same time outside of these hours.  What you will get in return is a powerful support network and be ready to move forward with your ideas faster. 

Who should apply?

  • Startups in the Food and Beverage sector

  • Small - medium F&B business owners who want to grow their brand, have run into roadblocks or who need to change direction

  • People who are launching or are planning to launch a new F&B product or service 


How much is my investment /cost?

The value of this specialised programme is $2500, but this cohort is heavily subsidised thanks to Nelson Regional Development Agency, and will cost only $750+GST per business.

There are 15 places available.  To apply, please fill out the application form attached. 

The Details

We are currently accepting applications for this cohort, beginning on 24 May 2022. 




 Starting 24 May 2022

10 x 3 hour sessions

Tuesday afternoons

2pm - 5pm

Email for full list of dates


Growing businesses

Stalled businesses

Business managers

(NB one person per business)

The Food Factory

11 Findlay Place



(Parking available)


For this cohort only, the cost is heavily subsidised from $2500 + GST to $750 + GST per business

Maximum 15 spots

Not an F&B Business?

We will be running general Co.Starters cohorts later in the year - generally in line with school terms.  If you are a new, growing or adapting business and want the framework to get your business moving, register your interest below and we will let you know when the next cohort will be kicking off.  The cost of our general cohort will be $1800 + GST per business.  Co.Starters, powered by Mahitahi Colab, is a registered service with the Regional Business Partner network.  Eligible businesses may be able to access up to a 50% subsidy of this cost.  Complete the Expression of Interest form and we will keep you in the loop about upcoming cohorts.