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

16 Jul

Posted by kari.petroschmidt

I think a lot of us experience this anxiety surrounding the end of our University careers and what we should become. All these titles – ‘designer’, ‘banker’, ‘director’, ‘writer’, ‘artist’, ‘entrepreneur’. I’m beginning to wonder whether we’re approaching it in the wrong way. We’re thinking in boxes. University shouldn’t just endow you with some meaningless badge – a degree and a label. It should be about giving you skills. Whether that’s through your degree/s, your extra-curriculars or the jobs you acquire along the way. Once you leave maybe finding an ‘occupation’ isn’t the point, rather it’s looking for opportunities which fit with the abilities you’ve developed. So long as these prospects involve a vision, passion, change, and doing what you love, the title and even the exact area are kind of irrelevant. It’s a more open and adaptable approach in this dynamic, ever-changing world we live in.   And basically, that’s what starting-up and indeed what Audacious are about. Whether you win a prize in the competition or not. Whether you ultimately ‘fail’ in regards to your start up or not. The journey is about facilitating that skill development; from the more abstract characteristics of fearlessness, energy, determination and lateral thinking to substantive training in promotions, the use of social media, net-working, managing staff, public speaking, business plan writing, market analysis, copyright and tax law and more.

Basically, forget the labels. I, for instance, am not a ‘Writer’ or an ‘Events Manager’. I write and I manage events. I’m not a future ‘Lawyer’ or ‘Curator’/’Art Gallery Director’ – I have knowledge of the Law and Art History and ability in the skills related to those disciplines. These are the things I do, and though they’re a part of who I am, no one of them can completely encapsulate me as an individual. Adopting a superficial badge in this way is a particular brand of pretentiousness and why bother? Our abilities, our interests and our potentialities are so much more than what can be surmised in a word and why would we want to limit ourselves?

Funny. Once you get over the fear of not knowing exactly what you want to do with your life, the future starts to look rather exciting. 

Posted on
16 – Jul – 2012