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


First off, I’ll start by announcing the winners. In first place we have Ryan Everton of Globelet (Otago University), the sustainable plastic cup aimed at reducing waste in New Zealand’s major festivals and events. Ryan already has a commission with Forsyth Barr Stadium and a client in Australia, with more on the way. Globelet is a part of his Valueroad Project, whose sole mission is to reduce waste in New Zealand and the rest of the world “by creating products of value that promote sustainability in a positive and exciting way.”

In second place, David Booth and Harrison Uffindell of MeatMail, the meat delivery service for students in Dunedin which already has 86 customers and plans for expansion to Christchurch and Palmerston North.

The ever-charming Kevin Smith came in third with Sgt Apples, the new and more portable cider in a can (Otago University) and in forth place we had Dave Cameron of LearnCOACH, the interactive, multi-media tutoring system for NCEA students in New Zealand (Otago University).  

Dave Cameron (LearnCOACH), Kevin Smith (Sgt Apples), David Wilson (Audacious Competition Co-Ordinator) and Deborah Lambie (Simple Health)

William Austen Maccabee received the prize for Best Small Business with A1 Tree Care, the arborist business which will utilise and foster Polytechnic arborist students through the Community Student Arborist Project and aims to keep New Zealand’s tree’s healthy in our urban environments. Soft Hit Hand Guard by Tom Maguire (Otago Polytechnic) received Best Design with his new, more comfortable and safer dirt-bike hand-guard. Plastication by Eleanor Parker (Otago University) received Best Social Entrepreneurship with her industrial scale national closed loop plastic recycling system for New Zealand, reducing our dependence on crude oil and minimising environmental contamination from plastics in our landfills. Finally, AquaFORCE by Carl Crawford, Fiorenzo Rutschmann and Daniel Hampton (Otago Polytechnic) received Best Technology for their new app aimed at recording and storing the data produced by aquariums.

Eleanor Parker of Plastication

We also had a top 15 to recognise the hard-work and achievements of many of those in the competition. This included Natasha Stillman, Chontelle Syme, Freya Haanan and Alice Jackson of Throw Like a Girl (the mentoring program for young girls), Jenny Yun and Kendall Flutey of Atticus (the cloud-based software to help legal professionals share information with their clients), Fabienne Le Comte, Rachel Kaspers and Libby Neale of Black Cat Early Learning (aimed at combining traditional methods of learning e.g. books, with new technologies e.g. CDs and apps, for 0-5 year olds),  Alex Black and Shun Yu-Wu of Trust Bee (a start-up aimed at providing confidence to consumers over the internet), Hannah Feenstra of Real Meals (an online food delivery service which delivers seasonal produce, coupled with new recipes for every season), Deborah Lambie of Simple Health (a software aimed at a fully integrated NZ healthcare system) and Annabelle Molloy of Belle’s Babysitters (a new babysitting agency in Dunedin). You guys are awesome!


The evening featured a heap of local talent. Julien Van Mellhearts, Audacious top 5 winner from 2011 with Namida Wasabi Vodka, began the evening, singing opera from the mezzanine of the historic Public Trust Building. Local band Summer Thieves graced us with their funk/reggae beats and we were privileged to witness the first ever live acoustic performance of Jenny Yun, 2012 Audacious contestant and top 15 winner.

Jake Barton and Johnny Ward of Summer Thieves

Jenny Yun of Atticus 

Local video, web, art and design start-up Motion Sickness Studio featured their show-reel, as well as a video regarding starting up in Dunedin. Jon Thom of Moodie Tuesday also featured some of his art works. 

Fabienne Le Comte of Black Cat Early Learning exhibited her water colour prints on the upper mezzanine, as part of an initiative to raise money for the Otago Polytechnic Childcare Centre. Finally, George and William of W and G Projects displayed their wooden laser-cut sculptures as centre-pieces and even made the top 40 wooden name-tags with the Audacious logo. Stellar!


We had some great involvement from our sponsors this year. Jarod Chisholm of WHK and David Frame of ANZ were both judges this year and were involved in a number of events. David spoke at our Pitching event in Semester 1 and Jarod at the Open Workshop for the Business Plan, as well as at the Audacious Awards Ceremony. One thing that really stood out for me with Jarod’s speech was his emphasis on passion – as something that will pull you through the hard times and that will get other people to believe in and invest in you. 

Jarod Chisholm of WHK


The awards event, like all our Audacious events, was also about facilitating connections between people in the Dunedin business community. A few examples of this in the program so far include Jenny Yun and Kendall Flutey getting in touch with Summer Thieves and Ryan Everton, George Wilkins and William McCallum of W and G Projects selling their wooden laser-cut sculptures, Audacious judge Sarah Girvan meeting with Nick Cleaver of Multiverse after his Dragon’s Den, the boys from MeatMail getting in touch with the developers behind AquaFORCE and Andy Foster of Scarfie Textbooks to help develop their website, and Audacious judge Rosey McConnen connecting with Omri Moyal of ShareItOn and Annabelle Molloy of Belle’s Babysitters. 

The evening aimed to speak to the spirit of starting-up. Doing things differently, working together, celebrating creativity and our achievements. So we want to say congratulations to all the winners, but also to everyone who has been involved with and contributed to Audacious this year. A BIG thanks from Jessie, David and myself. 

Finally, Motion Sickness Studios has made a wee video on the night, you can check it out below!