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 solution to a problem aimed at making a difference in your community, join a cohort for just one evening a week for ten weeks.

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

If you’re a current AUT student and CO.STARTERS is a good fit for you, we will sponsor you to take part in the programme – meaning we’ll cover the cost of your programme fee of $1,750! You'll need to pay the remaining course materials fee of $335. Contact us to find out more.

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).


We are part of the Regional Business Partners Network so if you are a registered business in Auckland, you might be entitled to a subsidised voucher through Auckland Unlimited. Get in touch for more information.

AUT staff

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

If you’re interested in getting involved with CO.STARTERS, register your interest and we will contact you.

Register your interest

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

Start dates in 2023

  • Week of 13 March
  • Week of 31 Jul
  • Week of 13 Nov


AUT City Campus, 46 Wakefield St, Level 2, Auckland 1010

  • Week 1: Knowing yourself - assumptions, working styles, team building, obstacles
  • Week 2: Knowing your customer – customer, problem, alternatives, idea testing
  • Week 3: Finding the right solution - solution, benefit, advantage, starting small, brand identity
  • Week 4: Getting the relationship right – marketing & message; getting, keeping & growing customers
  • Week 5: Building blocks – distribution, revenue, typical offering, price
  • Week 6: Structures & Systems – legal & accounting considerations
  • Week 7: Discovering the bottom line - startup & ongoing needs, fixed & variable costs, break-even point
  • Week 8: Financial modelling - break-even point, sales projections, cash flow, raising capital
  • Week 9: Planning for growth - growth plans, goal setting, celebration night prep
  • Week 10: Showcase/celebration night - sharing your story and presenting


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

“Joining CO.STARTERS gave me clarity by having dedicated time to work on and build out my idea.”

Nurain Janah - Authenticity Aotearoa

“The programme was a great way to learn to pitch ideas with confidence, and I enjoyed meeting like-minded entrepreneurs and bouncing ideas off each other.”

Bernard Leong - Skillsme

“CO.STARTERS is an amazing experience for those looking to start their own business.  You are challenged to understand and articulate how your business works and learn practical tools to turn your ideas into reality.”

Cleo Gilmour - Lilo Desserts

Contact us

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