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

0ysqm22apt6jt5o-1109913 There’s something that’s always appealed to me about Karl Largerfeld. He’s a workaholic, going so far as to practice the Uberman sleep schedule (something to which I’ve always aspired but never quite gotten around to… watch this space). He’s obsessed with creativity and learning, he wants to know everything. And he’s intelligent and immensely successful. When I listen to him speak I get the sense of an individual on the edge of existence; the razor sharp point of imagination and experience.  

And to be honest, a part of me loves the arrogance. Of course, total confidence in any individual attracts us. I guess it’s saying fuck it to the insecurities, doubts, fears, like who cares? These hang-ups and neuroses are such a waste of time when we could be creating and experiencing. But it’s a delicate balance. There’s a danger in arrogance. The second we think we know everything we start to impede our learning process, in particular what we can learn from others. 

So, does Lagerfeld exist simply to expose the weakness and lack of ability in others? I don’t think so. Firstly, I think the hard work aspect is the most significant part of his ethos. Referencing an inferior ‘other’ is a mechanism to emphasize the importance of his work, which to him is everything. 

“I don’t like to act because my life is a pantomime anyway” 

Secondly, there’s a tongue and cheek bravado to a lot of what Lagerfeld says, due to the fact that the man is a bit of a creation/meme in himself (“I don’t like to act because my life is a pantomime anyway”). I think we can take it with a grain of salt. After all, why would anyone who is so immersed in beauty, creation and knowledge, care about bringing other people down? Other people and their inadequacies, whatever they are, become irrelevant surely? Or I would say, conversely, you’d only want to infect others with that sense of self-actualization you yourself achieve from having a higher purpose. Knowing how inspired, connected and productive it has made you feel, the universe could only be better for it. It’s that whole Mark Twain quote, “Really great people make you feel that you too, can become great.” So this idea of ‘uselessness’ acts as a motivator for those of us who do believe in achievement in the same way as Lagerfeld, hence why his quote is so appealing, despite any unwillingness we may have to belittle others on our journey to ‘success’/’enlightenment’/’fulfilment’/whatever. We will work harder, we can be like Karl,  we’ll never be useless, we will be great. 

True, this is speculation. Perhaps Lagerfeld doesn’t care about motivating us (note, it doesn’t actually matter as we can still find motivation through him regardless of his intentions). Regardless he relates a subtle understanding of this balance between arrogance and humility that I spoke of earlier, oblique as it may seem on the surface of things. He states,“you must never think that you saw it all, you have always the eyes open… it’s very dangerous to think you know it all.”