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

04 Sep

Posted by kari.petroschmidt


The following video features Jarod Chisholm of Audacious sponsor WHK and 2012 Audacious judge, as well as Andrew Lloyd of the National Bank. For someone who hasn’t actually started a business and doesn’t need to write a business plan, I found this remarkably helpful.  

In fact it made me realise how much I don’t know about what is required of you in the business world. Fact is, as University and Polytechnic students, we really have no idea. Which is kind of awesome. Because we don’t know what’s possible, what the limits are, it’s easier for us to think anything is possible, and to at least try to achieve it (as Neil Gaiman states in his amazing commencement speech). It also makes doing a business plan while you’re still studying fantastic practice.     

But anyway, I found these presentations to be a real insight from people who live and work in that world every day, who read hundreds of business plans and advise and interact with starters and business people all the time. Which is interesting because I never thought I could be fascinated by someone talking about financials but it turns out when someone really knows what they’re talking about, it shows.     

I particularly liked Jarod’s emphasis on passion – as he states, if someone is only in it for the money, it’s actually really hard to invest, even if their plan is pretty sound. Passion not only evidences a person’s determination to follow through, but it’s infectious. Some good tips for the coming business plan (due Friday 7th September 5.30pm) and Dragon’s Den!   

Posted on
04 – Sep – 2012