UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Launch

On Thursday night this week the University of Auckland Business School (UABS) Entrepreneurs’ Challenge opened. Not to be confused between the Spark Entrepreneurship Challenge, this challenge has been formed around the $3million foundation gift from Charles Bidwill. The fund awards up to $1 million per year, in the form of a loan ( repayable in 3 years) to SMEs with high growth potential. The rules stipulate that the SMEs must have been in operation for at least 2 years and have revenues in excess of $1million per annum. Applications are now open and will close on the 21st August.

After just arriving back from the US it is great to see a vibrant entrepreneurial still flourishing in Auckland. It was also motivating to see the PM not only present to launch the challenge but also aware of the country’s economic situation and somewhat aligned with those of us in the audience in terms of a means of resolving it. Hopefully even more so given the added dose of the business school’s perspective on the night.

During the event I got to catch up with the University’s VC Stuart McCutcheon since meeting him over at a UoA Alumni function while I was in San Francisco (post to come) and discuss about the strong progress of the University’s $100million campaign. Also after several encounters in the blogosphere and emailing I also got to meet Tim Norton and Steve Adams from madefromnewzealand (which continues to get ‘awesomer’ ), link them up with the Spark team and possibly see how we can utilise each other in order to best serve and capture New Zealanders emerging entrepreneurs at their embryonic state.

Article Links: Herald #1, Herald #2, Herald #3



The cool branding both indoors and out.



The Chiasma Team with John Key




Graeme @


3 responses to “UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Launch

  1. Do you have any comment on the branding of the competition?

    Exhibit A:

    The University of Auckland Business School Entreprenuers Challenge

    Exhibit B:

    Spark: The University of Auckland Entreprenuership Challenge

    Considering its for established business and not about starting businesses I really think they could have gone somewhere else with the branding Instead of diluting both brands.

    Example Conversation.

    “Which organisation are you part of again?”
    “Spark; you know the university entrepreneurship challenge”
    “You mean that 3 million dollar fund from that Bidwell guy”
    “So is your face”

    • Agreeing with you.
      Something along the lines of the Bidwill or UABS Business Growth Fund may have been more appropriate.
      Quite a shame given what looks like a lot of effort that has been put into the branding/ marketing of the ‘challenge’

  2. Chiasma with John Key! Fantastic..

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