Forty young Otago entrepreneurs each took home a slice of $10,000 to help fund their business ventures at the Audacious Top 40 awards in Dunedin yesterday.
Business ideas ranging from turning trash into useful, everyday objects, to a new kid’s drink bottle designed to reduce consumption of sugar-based drinks were announced as winners in front of over 200 people including members of the Dunedin business community.
A total of 137 entries were submitted by students from the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, but judges could only select a total of 40 to split the reward and advance to the next round.
The next stage of the competition will see the 40 young entrepreneurs face-off for a share of the $40,000 grand prize pool in September.
In the meantime, CEO of Dunedin Incubator Upstart Steve Silvey says he expects the students to advance their business ideas considerably.
“Between now and then we’ll see students entering an engine room of pitch school, mentoring, detailed planning culminating in a ‘Dragons Den’.
“By that stage, we normally see a number of businesses trading and ready for further investment. That’s what makes it really exciting.”
For more information on Audacious and the Top 40 challenge, visit www.audacious.co.nz