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

19 Jul

Posted by kari.petroschmidt


It was 3am and I had to be in the city for my ‘real job’ in three hours and thirty minutes.  I gulped back the last of my cold coffee and pulled the homemade respirator over my face. The filters were long dead but I figured it was better than nothing.  My arms shook as I lifted the 30-liter drum of isopropanol up onto the makeshift workbench and began to siphon the clear liquid off into the pressure sprayer which was already half filled with dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride.  As I strapped the pressure sprayer to my back my knees buckled briefly from the fumes as I looked down the 50 meter luff of the spectra-carbon super-yacht sail I had to saturate in the mold killing solution before daylight.  I pushed play on my Sony Beat-Master tape deck and Bad Moon Rising began booming through the dilapidated West Auckland warehouse as I cranked the pressure sprayer up to max, pulled my protective goggles down and with a flick of my gloved hand, let the poison fly.

I had never been so tired, so weak and exhausted, so sore and beaten down.  I had started Superior Sailwash only three weeks earlier but it felt like three years.  I was in over my head, accepting massive cheques for jobs I didn’t know how I could complete in time, mixing and matching strange brews of toxic chemicals I’d never heard of and sleeping at most an hour out of every twelve. And I’d absolutely never been so fucking happy in my entire life.  Starting your own business can be many horrible things, but hidden among the bowel shuddering fear and doubt, long hours and insanely hard work you will find the enormous pride, respect and freedom that comes with taking a chance on yourself. It’s your ticket to ride.     

Andrew Oliver is a Dunedin based writer. 

Posted on
19 – Jul – 2012