CO.STARTERS at AUT: business development programme

CO.STARTERS at AUT: business development programme

CO.STARTERS is a ten-week programme that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to take the next step in building a sustainable business. If you have an entrepreneurial idea that you’d like to explore and develop, or a problem to solve that can make a difference in your community, take a look at our CO.STARTERS programmes.

You don’t have to be a student to join CO.STARTERS and take your idea further. Join a cohort for just one evening a week for ten weeks.

What you get out of CO.STARTERS at AUT

When you take part in CO.STARTERS, you get:

  • A deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, identifying whether your idea has potential and how to change it to make it work
  • The ability to articulate what your business does and how it works
  • The next steps needed to move forward
  • A community of peers, mentors, business services and a national network of support

Who can take part?

You don't have to be a student to join CO.STARTERS. CO.STARTERS is for:

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs looking at launching a new product or service
  • AUT students and staff with business ideas or the goal to start their own business
  • AUT alumni with business ideas or the goal to start their own business

CO.STARTERS programme details

During CO.STARTERS you develop and fine-tune your ideas, critically examine every part of your business idea and determine the next steps, all through real-time feedback from people in the community.

There's a financial cost to cover this programme because we're looking for entrepreneurs, business owners and students to be active, engaged and invested in their own personal development and business success.

The course cost includes course materials, weekly sessions and access to community events, networking and small business resources.

  • $1,750.00 (including GST)
  • Early bird registration (you must register and pay before starting the course) $1,200.00 (including GST)

If you're an AUT student, graduate or staff, or a trading business, contact us for cost details.

AUT students and alumni

CO.STARTERS is free for students subject to getting a fully-paid scholarship, but there is a cost of $250 to cover course materials.

If you're an AUT graduate, you can apply for a discount (pay $1,000.00 instead of $1,750.00, which includes fee for course materials).


Trading businesses may be eligible for a capability voucher towards CO.STARTERS under the NZTE training scheme.

AUT staff

AUT staff may be able to complete the course as part of their professional development.

Each cohort will meet once a week for 10 weeks. Each weekly session is 3 hours.

Start dates in 2021

Start dates in 2022

  • Week of 14 March
  • Week of 1 Aug
  • Week of 14 Nov


AUT City Campus 55 Wellesley St Auckland 1010

  • Week 1: Knowing yourself - assumptions, working styles, team building, obstacles
  • Week 2: Knowing your customer - problem, solution, benefit, competition, advantage, customer
  • Week 3: Getting the relationship right - marketing and message; getting, keeping and growing customers
  • Week 4: Building the model to scale - starting small, distribution, revenue, typical sale, price
  • Week 5: Business structures and legal considerations - registering a business, licenses and permits, IP, hiring
  • Week 6: Discovering your bottom line – startup and ongoing needs, fixed and variable costs, break-even point
  • Week 7: Accounting for growth - break-even point, sales projections, cash flow, accounting
  • Week 8: Planning for the future - raising capital, growth plans, goal setting, pitch prep
  • Week 9: Practice pitch
  • Week 10: Showcase/celebration night - sharing your story and pitching


The CO.STARTERS Canvas helps you understand, test and refine your business ideas.


“CO.STARTERS was really empowering. It helped me validate my idea by talking to customers and taught me how to better articulate my story. It was a supportive environment to discuss ideas, and I learnt a lot.”

Holly Sutich, Co-founder of Phoric

“Coming from a technical background, CO.STARTERS provided me with the foundation I needed to implement my concept into a business model that has taken me and my team into the company we are today.”

Alejandro Davila, Founder of Conical

“Through positive support and connections with experienced mentors, CO.STARTERS helped me build my company from scratch. I highly recommend CO.STARTERS for learning how to run a start-up and being part of a network of purpose-driven businesses.”

Pritesh Kajaria, Co-Founder of Amino Mantra

Contact us

Get in touch with the CO.STARTERS team for more information about our programmes and how to get involved.

Register your interest

If you’re interested in getting involved with CO.STARTERS, register your interest here.