Hospitality Business Magazine

AUT tailors new hospo business course


Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has tailored a new short course for entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of a post-covid hospitality revival.

Those taking the new CO.STARTERS – Hospitality programme will attend two evening sessions each week for 10 weeks, starting on August 2, in order to learn how to turn their business dreams into practical reality.

Martin Bell, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at AUT, says key to the success of the programme is the direct input and teaching delivery from industry legends who are passionate about giving back, including the ‘Godfather of Food’ Chef Tony Astle, and hospitality experts Camille Rope and Sophie Gilmour.

Tony Astle.

“There has never been a better time to revive the sector and to inspire people to enter the commercial hospitality market,” says Bell.

“Throughout the COVID pandemic we’ve fielded many enquiries from people wanting to start a hospitality business, which might surprise some people to hear, however, it’s testament to the passion, creativity and energy bubbling away among budding entrepreneurs.

“This programme will help develop and validate those ideas and realise them in tangible ways.”

Sophie Gilmour.

The initiative has been built on the successful CO.STARTERS programme, which has been running at AUT since 2016. The highly practical programme gives anyone with a business idea, or an early stage business the support, networks and insights to turn their passion into a sustainable business.

“We focus on validating assumptions around entrepreneurs’ business ideas in order to build the foundations that every business owner should know,” says Bell.

Programme Manager Sabrina Nagel says integrating the existing CO.STARTERS programme within hospitality was a “natural and logical move”.

“As well as for entrepreneurs looking to enter the hospitality industry, the programme is also a great fit for business owners who want to reinvent their businesses and explore new ways of doing things,” she says.

Dr Lindsay Neill from AUT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism helped develop CO.STARTERS – Hospitality, and says the programme delivers the essentials and allows participants time to reflect, adapt and pivot their concept – in a supportive, collaborative environment.

One of the programme’s two evening sessions each week will be devoted to general business start-up principles, and the other will be specifically concentrated on hospitality.

For more details visit CO.STARTERS Hospo Edition – AUT Beta