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

01 Aug

Posted by kari.petroschmidt


Last week we had the official launch of the 63 Clyde St space and also introduced the new Entrepreneurs in Residence. The house was packed and it was great to have a sense of the different individuals and institutions that surround this program. 

I talked about my conversation with Logan Elliot of Highly Flammable earlier that morning, who emphasized the importance of opening your idea up to the world and talking to as many people as possible as well as “bringing people together and creating an environment.” 

That’s what the Audacious events and 63 Clyde St are all about. All the students partaking in this program are intelligent, ambitious and truly and sincerely passionate about their idea. I met a guy on Friday night who wants to be an arborist i.e. someone who prunes trees. And that’s the beautiful thing about the world -no matter the subject there is going to be someone in the world who loves it, and that love is infectious The kind of conversations that develop out of that energy can be pretty inspiring. 

The house is also a symbol.Located pretty much exactly in between the Otago University and Otago Polytechnic it represents this program as a collaborative endeavour between these two institutions, that is equally available to all their students. It also symbolises the possibility of entrepreneurship as an option for students,  compared to more traditional methods of employment. And in this respect Audacious is really about trying to change a culture of thinking from the ‘going out and getting a job’ mentality to instead starting something at your own behest. 

We also introduced our two new Entrepreneurs in Residence. Craig Haywood is going to be coming up to Dunedin from Invercargill one day a week to spend time in the Audacious space, mentor students and attend events. More on that soon. Henk Roodt will be in the house from 9-1 on weekdays and also available by appointment (email [email protected]). 

Finally, we showed an amazing video by Rachael Patching of Preditor Films on the Dragon’s Den from 2011 – see it here! 

Posted on
01 – Aug – 2012