Hospitality revival short course starting next week

by | Jul 26, 2022 | News

AUT has tailored a popular short course for entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of a post-covid hospitality revival.

If you’re wanting to reinvent your business or have a clever new hospo idea to bring to market, then AUT has the short course for you. You don’t have to be a student to join CO.STARTERS and take your idea further. Those taking the new CO.STARTERS – Hospitality programme will attend two evening sessions each week for 10 weeks, starting on August 2nd, in order to learn how to turn their business dreams into reality.

Martin Bell, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at AUT, says key to the success of the programme is 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. “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”, he says.

The new 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,” Bell says.

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. See here for more. 


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

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


Veteran chef and restaurateur Tony Astle, known by some as the ‘Godfather’ of New Zealand’s fine dining scene, receiving one of AUT’s highest honours, a Seddon Honorary Fellowship, 2021. Credit AUT


CO.STARTERS is a weekly course designed to help you find the best approach to starting and growing a business. The ten-week programme equips you with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn your ideas into a sustainable and thriving endeavour.

The courses bring people together to learn from one another in order to create a strong network of support. You work through your business model as you collaborate with others who share your entrepreneurial spirit. It’s about making concepts and language easy to understand, so business owners can focus on practical next steps and move toward their goals. Small business programs provide an accessible curriculum, instructor training, and promotional assets — everything you need to support your entrepreneurship.

Images: AUT / / S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash


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