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

17 May

Posted by kari.petroschmidt

So you can find The Story of Stuff here. What I love about this video is that it really makes you think about all your shit. Where it comes from, the value you invest in it and the implications your consumption has on the rest of the world. Here’s some sound-bites.  – We’re running out of resources – in the past three decades alone ONE THIRD of the planet’s resources have been used up. In the US alone 40% of the waterways are undrinkable, the country only has 4% of its original forest left. US = 5% of the world, using 30% of its resources. Using resources from the third world.  Losing 2000 trees a minute. 1000 synthetic chemicals in our stuff. Human breast milk has highest level of contaminants. DISASTER! PANIC! TERROR!


– EXTERNALIZED COST: “… the real costs of making stuff aren’t captured in the price, in other words we aren’t paying for what we buy… I didn’t pay for [this] radio… these people paid with the loss of their natural resource space… increasing cancer and asthma rates… kids in the Congo paid with their future, 30% of kids in the Congo have dropped out of school to mine coltan, a metal we need for our cheap and disposable electronics… these people paid by having to buy their own health insurance. All along this system people pitched in so I could get this radio for $4.99 ” 

– THE GOLDEN ARROW OF CONSUMPTION – “99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within six months… the average US person consumes twice as much as we used to before WWII…” It was planned – “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, replaced at an ever-accelerating rate.” Our ultimate purpose is to produce and purchase more consumer goods = PLANNED AND PERCEIVED OBSOLESCENCE. 

Planned: When goods are made to break within a certain time frame, so consumers will buy more and contribute to the economy.   Perceived: When goods are perceived to be useless as they go out of fashion, so consumers will buy more and contribute to the economy. 
“We have less leisure time than before feudal society.” 

You could say animations make this a bit simplistic and yeeah I see your point. But also, colours and shapes, we love them. All this stuff is boring and overwhelming as hell otherwise. Granted, the system is more complicated than what Leonard relates, human psychology is more complicated than that, how we change this system is going to be more complicated than that. But The Story of Stuff is an excellent base from which to start – if you don’t know about planned or perceived obsolescence, for instance… 

The end is a bit twee – “we can change the world.” I much prefer this :

Posted on
17 – May – 2012