You will get an understanding of the realities of starting your own business, meet other students interested in starting up, network with fellow entrepreneurs and business people, attend workshops, get advice, and hear about other support and opportunities for budding entrepreneurs in Dunedin, New Zealand and internationally.

You will develop fantastic new skills, meet new people, it looks great on your CV and you’ll be in to win money and prizes to get your business off the ground. Last year, competitors shared in a jackpot of $40,000 in cash, services and other prizes to help them start-up – what have you got to lose?

How does it work?
Those entering the Audacious competition are required to submit a business idea, a detailed business plan and pitch their idea to the Dragon’s Den. Check out the Programme page for further details. Throughout the competition, students attend a range of start-up workshops and have access to a Business Coach for one-on-one advice.

Who is it for?
Audacious is for students of all disciplines at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic – not just business students.

No matter what you study, if you are creative, energetic and keen to expand your horizons – Audacious could be perfect for you. If you are worried you lack business skills, or any other skills, we will do our very best to help you find team-mates with the skills you need.

Individual entrants must be current University of Otago or Otago Polytechnic students. If you are entering as a team, at least one member of your team must be a current student and that person must be your nominated main contact when submitting your ideas.

But you don’t even have to enter the competition, if you are thinking of starting up, you’re welcome to join the community – attend Audacious events, hang out in the Audacious space, speak to our Business Coach or simply ask for help!

To organise the wide range of ideas submitted every year, and to compare apples with apples, Audacious is split into five categories. In your Round One submission you will be required to nominate the category in which you think your idea fits, but they become more important in Round Two. As you can see, any idea can be a winner!


Don’t play safe, think long term. Bold ideas that are relatively untested and may have a long development phase, but could find worldwide success.


Get out there and make it happen. Ideas that are relatively straight forward, low risk and easy to bring to market.


Look after people and planet. Ideas that benefit society – for social entrepreneurs, not-for-profits, sustainable ventures and the like.


Think outside the box. Ideas that are innovative in the design or marketing that is leading edge and provides a competitive advantage.


Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi; engari, he toa takitini; our achievements are a collective endeavour, not a solitary effort. For Maori students and those with a Maori-focused business idea.

Read the Audacious Challenge rules 2014. Competitors must agree to these rules in the submission process. Entries can be submitted via the Challenge section of this website. Any questions regarding these rules should be directed to [email protected].

Blog archive

Audacious > About

Since its inception Audacious has been about helping students start up through a two-part competition (which you can read more

about on the Challenge page). But firstly, what is starting-up? 

In essence, it’s about starting a business. But it’s also so much more. Being your own boss. Taking a risk. Doing what you love. Audacious is about facilitating a community where an alternative to traditional employment can foster, both through providing starters with useful contacts and skills, as well as an environment in which we can inspire

and motivate one another. 

The competition is only one part of Audacious. In fact, anyone can be involved. If you’re starting up in Dunedin whether you’re a student or otherwise, you’re welcome to join the community – attend Audacious

events, work in the Audacious space at 63 Clyde St, speak to our

Entrepreneurs in Residence or simply ask for help! 


Audacious started 5 years ago with the vision of Dunedin becoming 
a magnet for young entrepreneurs.  It has run a student business
 idea and business plan competition since then.  While student
business competitions happen in some other cities, Dunedin is 
the only place that has a business coach working directly with
 the students to turn their ideas into reality

Previous winners of the Audacious competition include Medikidz,
which has created more than a million comic books that help 
explain medical conditions to children, and Language Perfect which 
sells its language learning software to the world from its base in 

The Audacious competition is now embedded in a 
number of courses at the University and Polytechnic, as the 
lecturers have seen the benefits the programme offers.  It is 
open to all tertiary students and around half of those who enter 
are not business school students.


The fox is an opportunist, observing, knowing and makes the most 
of its environment- behaviour you would also expect for anyone starting up their own business. Foxes are also cunning, strategic, quick-thinking, clever, and determined- all admirable traits for people who are starting up.

-Scott Savage (Audacious brand & logo designer)