Entrepreneurs’ Challenge entry cutoff looms

There's just one week left to enter this year's University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurial Challenge, with entry cut-off at the end of this month.

2012 Entrepreneurs' ChallengeIt's the fourth year the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge has run, in which startups compete for a share of up to $1 million in funding on the line.

“Nine out of the 10 successful companies that have won funding within the past few years are all based in Auckland and are very deserving as well, but we are keen in 2012 to see some of this year’s money go to high-growth entrepreneurial companies from places outside of the main urban areas,” business school dean Professor Greg Whittred says.

This year, there'll be emphasis put on urging regional entrepreneurial companies from places like Southland, the West Coast, Nelson, Bay of Plenty, Eastland and Northland to enter.

“We would be thrilled if a company from outside Auckland was chosen later in the year.”

Past winners have included tourism operator JUCY Group, food manufacturer Piako Gourmet Yoghurt, coffee company Allpress Espresso and Senztek, a hot water heating control technology company.

Entries, once received, are vetted by teams of bankers, lawyers and accountants tasked with ensuring due diligence to make sure entrants are viable enough to expand internationally. Finalists identified through the screening process will then undergo further scrutiny from BNZ, Ernst & Young, AJ Park and Simpson Grierson, supported by The Icehouse.

Winners are given a share of the $1 million funding for three years, along with mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs and business executives. They also enjoy access to the university's networks and priority consideration in its internship, consulting and learning programmes.

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