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].

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Audacious > Blog

Posted by kari.petroschmidt

There are many reasons why you might want to start a company. People talk a lot about “push and pull” factors. Push factors being anything that forces you to start up (like being fired from a previous job) and pull factors (like the desire to earn more than you are currently being paid). I want to talk about two primary pull factors of entrepreneurship; the desire to do your own thing and the desire to make as much money as possible.

There is no one correct reason for going into business and often people will be motivated by a variety of factors. But of course it depends on who you ask. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for instance would like people to make as much money and grow as big as possible, preferably exporting as well. This makes sense, as bringing money into the country benefits the national economy, which in turn benefits everyone. On the other hand, not- for-profit organisations like The Malcam Trust are more concerned with people starting socially conscious businesses than they are about making as much money as possible, which is an equally valid stance.

From a “likelihood of success” point of view, I’d have to say that starting up to score big is probably going to help you more than being overly attached to a specific product or service that you want to provide because you love it, regardless of what the market looks like. However, you could argue that being ultra passionate about your business is more important because of the motivation you have to have to actually succeed in business.

I guess the point of this article is that regardless of why you chose to start your business, you should consider looking at it from the other perspective. If you are just trying to make as much money as possible, consider at least going into a industry that you enjoy, especially as you’ll never know for certain how much money it’s going to make you. Likewise, if you are just trying to do whatever you’re passionate about, be realistic. If there is no real market for it, consider adapting the idea to better meet market demands.