Got a business idea? Then be audacious. Business ideas for this year’s Audacious Challenge close at 5pm next Monday.
Audacious started five years ago as a joint initiative by the Dunedin City Council, University of Otago School of Business and Otago Polytechnic to encourage tertiary students to pitch business ideas. It is now sponsored by the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic, DCC, Upstart Business Incubator, NBR, WHK and ANZ.
Each year, Audacious runs a business idea and business plan competition for University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic students, with two rounds. Round one, in the first semester, involves idea development with the winners receiving $500 to get the ball rolling on their start-ups. In the second semester, they further develop their initial concept and pitch it to the judges with up to $25,000 available at the end-of-year prizegiving.
Round one winners will be announced at an awards event on June 1.
Project organisers Kari Schmidt, David Wilson and Jessie McKay, stressed that it was not just for business or finance students. The idea was also much more than a competition with a focus on “winner takes all”, it was more about the community that surrounded it, Ms Schmidt said.
Whether or not budding entrepreneurs made it through to the second round, the trio encouraged people to get involved.
It was an exciting initiative to be involved with and the ideas being generated were “really exciting and inspirational”. It was a merging of passion and business, Ms Schmidt said. The two biggest barriers to people starting in business were finance and motivation, Mr Wilson said. But if you got “a whole bunch of start-ups” in one room encouraging each other, then a community developed, he said.
There had been a wide variety of projects pitched over the past five years – from alcohol and pizza to board and computer games. Previous winners include Medikidz, which has created more than a million comic books designed to help children around the world understand medical conditions, and Language Perfect which sells language learning software. Clay Caird, with his promotional headgear product, was last year’s winner.
Article by Sally Rae featured here