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


I am and always have been a huge fan of children’s books. I’ve always loved looking at the shelves of these colourful, interesting books in stores and libraries and flipping through the beautiful illustrations and the wonderfully simple and funny stories. The idea of digitalising these books has never appealed to me at all. It feels like something really special is lost in this process. There is nothing like a parent and child flicking through the pages of their favourite book together and the wear and tear that goes along with that. The act of a parent reading a story to a child is also so important and cannot be replaced through digitalising a voiceover onto a digital book. However, lately I have been looking deeper into digital books and discovered that there is a lot more to them than I originally thought. It is not just a matter of making a static PDF.  It is really about creating an extension of the book: becoming interactive and enhancing the child’s reading experience.

Through the small amount of research I have done, I have come across three main benefits of the digital children’s book:

1. Cheaper, wider distribution

Printing and distributing/ transporting books is very expensive. Particularly for good quality printing and paper, as well as the fact that there is often a minimum number of books you must have printed in one job. E-books, however, eliminate these costs through being uploaded by the author and then being able to immediately reach a worldwide audience.

2. Interactive and Enhanced experience

Ebooks allow the author to create a more interactive and enhanced experience than traditional books. Through the use of sound, movement/animation, colour, and giving the child control over certain elements of the story, they are able to help the child better understand the messages in the story, the emotions the author is trying to portray, and help the child become completely immersed. The story can also be made into a more educational experience through the use of certain activities the child can take part in throughout the book. 

Here is an example of how one author has used this digital medium to enhance their already successful book:

3. Different Perspectives

I recently saw a TED talk by artist, Raghava KK. He has created an ipad app for a childen’s book about things children do with their parents. The thing that makes this app so interesting is that by shaking the ipad, the reader can view the story from another perspective (I,e shaking the ipad makes the parents in the story change from heterosexual to homosexual). This could add huge value in helping authors to portray complex issues to children, and also to allow children to understand certain ideas through the eyes of others.

See Raghava’s talk here:

Homosexual parents in Raghava KK’s story, ‘Pop-It’. When shaken parents change to heterosexual or lesbian couple. 

So, while I still maintain that the real, physical book is something that can never be replaced, I do now have a new appreciation for digitalising certain books: not to replace real books, but to amplify the reading and learning experience for children and their families.