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 a part of what we want to explore this semester with the Audacious profiles. The stories surrounding the start-ups that have gone through this program before – the passion, fears, articulations – and how they can motivate, inform and inspire us in regards to our own endeavours.

For now, here’s a bit more detail on the top 40, whose start-ups relate to everything from security, sustainability and countering our mass-marketed, mass-produced food system to creativity, self-actualization and community.

Top 40

Trust Bee (Alex Black, Shun Yu Wu): Trust Bee will verify the reliability and trustworthiness of online stores, making it safer and more enjoyable for consumers to shop online.


Globelet (Ryan Everton): A sustainable, aesthetic and customable alternative to your disposable cup, aimed at reducing waste at festivals and stadium events.

Scarfie Textbooks (Andy Foster): An online hub for buying, selling and exchanging textbooks at the University of Otago.


A Public Transport Network (Evan Bloomfield): A sustainable public transport network for passengers and freight to Queenstown.

Shout! (David Booth): Embargoed.

Carri-Cell (Maria Brett): Embargoed

The Noble Kebab (Seamus Burgess and Andrew Springford): A portable kebab van/station in Dunedin.


Kowhai Feeder (Ceire Hopley and Lee White): A feeder designed to entice native birds and bird song back to cities.

Powdered Supplements (Amanda Cooke): Embargoed

Savage Supplements (Devon Mason and David Tuisaula): A pre-workout supplement made and sold in New Zealand, cheaper and more effective than its American counterparts.  


Learn Coach (David Cameron): A comprehensive online learning platform in New Zealand for high school students.

Soft Hit Hand Guard (Tom Maguire): A new form of motorbike hand guard, without the negatives.

Student Fashion HQ (Michael Gin): In alliance with the Otago Polytechnic a store showcasing young Dunedin fashion designers and their clothing. 


$3 Dinner (Francisco Hernandez): A $3 dinner catering to students at the Otago University and Otago Polytechnic.

Face-to-Face (Ceire Hopley and Guy Hopley): A program aimed at helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorders through addressing identity and emotion in facial processing.

MeatMail (David Booth, Harry Uffindell): High quality meat that is pre-paid and delivered weekly on a ‘subscription’ basis, through an easy to use online processing system to students in Dunedin.


Are you Linked in? (Laura Judge): A networking organization connecting disparate groups in our society with those willing and able to help.

Demi Duo (Demi Keys): Embargoed

KANLink (Adrian Cross, Nathan Sime, Kieran McKewen): A smart phone means for discovering nature and contributing to scientific endeavours.  

Black Cat Early Learning (Fabienne Lecomte, Rachel Kaspers, Libby Neale): Using contemporary learning methods to teach children through audio-visual means.


Isopop (Rory Gowan): An isotonic, caffeinated popsicle.

DeskIT (Omri Moyal): Embargoed

Shareiton (Omri Moyal): Embargoed

Online food service (Erin Park): An affordable online breakfast and lunch order and pickup service for busy university students.

Simple Health (Deborah Lambie): A new software which will integrate all healthcare organizations within New Zealand, before moving into the global marketplace.


Plastication (Eleanor Parker): A new, alternative plastic recycling system – changing public perception of plastics from a waste material into an energy resource.

i-Spy Car Security (Richard Powell): A car security system based around the use of cameras rather than burglar alarms.

Atticus (Jenny Yun and Kendall Flutey): A secure online platform allowing easy and efficient collaboration between legal professionals and their clients.


Online Food website (Hannah Feenstra): A website designed to provide you with a selection of healthy meals that are changed regularly to include the best of seasonal produce from which the ingredients, in the exact quantities you need them, will be delivered to your door.

Online Farmers Market (Martin White): An online farmers market where local, healthy food can be bought and delivered straight from the producer, without the supermarket middle-man squeezing out the value.

Shisha Parlour (Mufadhal Valibhai): A shisha or ‘hookah’ parlour in Dunedin.

Throw Like a Girl (Natasha J Stillman, Freya Haanan, Alice Jackson, Sarah Freiburger, Chontelle Syme): A mentoring system aimed at showing girls and young women how to push through boundaries by refusing to accept the limits imposed upon them by society-at-large and the media.


Wallscape (Rhiannon Steptoe): A method of urban agriculture utilizing vertical gardening for those that live and/or work in the city with little to no gardening space.

Eazy Squeezy (Sam Reynolds): Spreadable butter in a tube. 

Zany R.C (K Smith): A new way of selling music through reviving the record shop, replacing outdated Compact Discs with RCs (Record Codes) – sealed packages that contain a unique download code, combined with the artist’s artwork/lyrics/pictures that music fans love.

Sgt. Apples (Kev Smith): A practical, inexpensive single serve cider option.

Om Noms (Kevin Smith): Warm desserts that will be stocked in pie warmers in dairies and petrol stations throughout New Zealand.


Locale (Nick Little, Nicole Morris, Michael Smith): An Android based mobile application that utilizes Augmented Reality technology to bridge the gab between virtual and real worlds – sharing your experiences in different locations with others through social media.

Catch 22 (Kirk Feather): A live website for design students in the four specialties of Communication, Product, Fashion and Interior to gain real industry standard experience. 

Glow Guy Ropes (George Wilkins): Glow in the dark tent guy ropes.