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 > Blog

Posted by kari.petroschmidt


This is Helen Keller – otherwise known to me as the woman I did my very first book report on way back in second grade.  I say “I”, but I really mean “my mother and I”.  My mother ordered me her biography from the Scholastic books catalogue and read it with me over and over again, helping me to write in perfect print on the lined pages of my report and painstakingly drawing the illustrations which I would colour in. I was very proud of that book report, something that my mother and I worked on together. I remain so to this day. 

Inspiration comes in many forms over the years.  It comes through reading about famous people doing amazing things and through people that are close to you.  It comes through your surroundings.  It can come at the most random of moments, when you are sitting in a bar wondering if mice wander around at night and drink up the milk you just spilled on the floor while pouring it into your tea.  The second story I ever got published came from that 30 seconds of inspiration. 

Itzak Perlman

My inspirations for Throw Like a Girl have come from various people and places over the years.  Helen Keller.  My mother.  My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Reid.  I thought she was ancient.  She put the fire of learning in us.  There’s Itzak Perlman, who I’ve seen in concert several times.  At seven, he made me want to play the violin.  That led me straight to my current bliss of learning the bass guitar.  Tamora Pierce, the young adult author who made me want to become a writer.  My best friend in high school, *Marlee*, who was one of the most independent and devil-may-care people I’ve ever known.  I remember a foray through the Strategic Air Command Museum in Nebraska on a trip to see my grandparents in Montana when I was 11.  My camera fell on the ground, exposing the film – or so I thought.  I took 36 pictures of various aircraft, thinking they would never come out, but instead got 36 perfect pictures. I taped them all over my bedroom wall.  Another inspirational moment was meeting John Glenn – astronaut and, for some years, my Ohio state senator.

There was my professor at my Foreign Semester program during the time in undergrad that I spent studying and interning in Washington, D.C.  He used to go off on all these fabulous carefully-worded tangents.  There are so many more people and so many more instances of inspiration, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by just how much inspiration I’ve been exposed to.

Suddenly, one day, you think, “I must do something”.  I must use all that inspiration I’ve absorbed and channel it in some way.  So, you come up with an idea.  As if on autopilot, you write down everything.  Conceive the mission.  Internalize the motto.  Even design the logo.  Months later, three young women come along and inspire you to think your idea is actually possible.  Then, Audacious comes along and gives you all the impetus to start the ball rolling in a big way.

Inspiration is where you find it.  It is all around you.  And, sometimes you realize that it’s been right in front of your nose all along.

Which brings me back to what inspiration is all about in the first place and, coincidentally, Throw Like a Girl’s motto: “One should never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.” – Helen Keller

Natasha J. Stillman is the Director of Throw Like a Girl (competing in Audacious this semester) and a Dunedin based writer who is following her bliss.