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SMEs can enter the University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs' Challenge

Who Should Enter?

If you are a New Zealand based, small to medium enterprise, with a turnover of at least $1 million per annum and have been in operation for a minimum of two years and you are seeking finance for business growth, we want to hear from you.

As our focus is on established SMEs, earlier stage ‘start-ups’ will not be eligible for the Challenge, unless there is an exceptional business case.

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SME eligibility criteria | Entrepreneurs' Challenge |The University of Auckland Business School

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a commercial entity, for profit
  • Have minimum revenue of $1m per annum
  • Be operational for at least two years
  • Be able to provide financial accounts prepared by an independent accountant for two years
  • Be GST registered
  • Submit only one application per business
  • Agree to all terms of The University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs’ Challenge
Applicants must not be:
  • Property or banking related
  • Engaged in activities that might result in being in breach of any law, regulation, undertaking, provision, voluntary code or practice, or policy which the applicant is obliged or accustomed to observe.
Ideal candidates will:
  • Demonstrate identifiable, sustained financial performance
  • Have financial accounts to an acceptable standard
  • Be currently exporting, or have the potential to export 

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Critical Dates

  • Applications open

  • Application Deadline

  • Finalists announced

  • Deadline for finalists’ full submission

  • Investment Committee site visits to finalists

  • Finalists present to Investment Committee

  • Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Awards Ceremony

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Apply Now

Registrations for the University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs’ Challenge (2015) are now closed.

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Application Process Part One for the UABS Entrepreneurs' Challenge

Application PART 1

The application process is a two-stage process. Part One is compulsory for all applicants, Part Two is required only if you are selected as a finalist.

Mandatory requirements:
Register here to be emailed official Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Application 2015 form. Complete the application form and include:

  • A one-page CV for each member of the management team
  • A simple financial summary
  • A 200-word public disclosure statement
Important dates:

  • Thursday, August 27, 5pm 2015: Deadline for all applications
  • Tuesday, September 8, 5pm 2015: Applicants will be notified by email with regard to their status, successful or otherwise.

Terms of Entry:
All applications will be reviewed to confirm that they satisfy the eligibility criteria as defined by The University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Eligibility Criteria. Applications that are incomplete or that do not satisfy all eligibility criteria will not be considered.

Throughout the review process applicants may be requested to provide further information regarding their entry. Failure by the applicant to provide requested information may prejudice their application.

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Application Process Part Two for the UABS Entrepreneurs' Challenge

Application PART 2

If your initial application is successful, you will be notified and invited to submit a full proposal. Finalists will have three weeks to complete and submit full proposals.

Important dates:

  • Tuesday, September 8, 5pm 2015: Finalists notified
  • Wednesday, September 30, 5pm 2015: Deadline for finalists’ full proposal
Mandatory requirements:
Completion of full proposal, including a signed copy of the terms and conditions and with all supporting material including:
 
Executive Summary:

  • A description of the core product or service and the target market
  • A discussion of the current status of the business and the business opportunity
  • An outline of the growth plan that the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge funding will support
  • Brief profiles of the management team discussing relevant experience
  • Funding and Growth Plan
  • An outline of the funds required and how they will be used
  • A breakdown of costs
  • An outline of the milestones and KPIs
  • A return on investment projection
  • Summary of current funding received
  • Written explanation of how the business will service the debt
Financial information

  • Full annual reports for the past two years
  • Two-year Balance Sheet and P&L
  • Two-year forecasts with assumed annual debt repayment *

* (Base forecasts on receiving the full funding you’ve applied for. Please take into account annual debt repayment of the loan in your forecasts. For consistency, please assume a commercial interest rate).

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Due Diligence Process for The University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs' Challenge

Due Diligence Process

All Entrepreneurs’ Challenge finalists will be required to submit full due diligence information as required by the due diligence partners.

Important dates:

  • Tuesday, September 8, 5pm 2015: Finalists notified
  • Wednesday, September 30, 5pm 2015: Deadline for finalists’ submission
  • Monday, October 19 – Wednesday, October 21, 2015: Finalists will be expected to host onsite visits by members of the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Investment Committee
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2015: Assuming no issues are identified through long form review and due diligence, all finalists will be invited to present to the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Investment Committee at The University of Auckland Business School
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015: Successful applicants will be publicly announced at the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Awards 2015

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Terms and Conditions for Entrepreneurs' Challenge | The University of Auckland Business School

Terms & Conditions

All decisions of the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge will be final (with the exception of any interpretation of the Terms which will remain at the sole and absolute discretion of The UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge) and no correspondence will be entered into.

You may be disqualified if you attempt to directly or indirectly approach any member of The UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge or its partners in connection with the Challenge (other than where invited to do so by the Investment Committee) or in any other way attempt to inappropriately influence the outcome of the Challenge.

The UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge reserves the right to amend the timetable for each stage of the Competition at its sole and absolute discretion.

The UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge, in its sole and absolute discretion, reserves the right to cancel, suspend, terminate or modify the Challenge if fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond The UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge’s reasonable control adversely affects The UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge ability to conduct the Challenge as contemplated in these Terms, subject to New Zealand law.

Click here for the Full Terms and Conditions of the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you provide me with the key dates of the Challenge?Expandx

    9 July 2015
    Applications open

    27 August 2015
    Application Deadline

    8 September 2015
    Finalists announced

    30 September 2015
    Deadline for finalists’ submission

    19 – 21 October 2015
    Investment Committee site visits to finalists

    28 October 2015
    Finalists present to Investment Committee

    17 November 2015
    Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Awards Ceremony

  • What does a typical investment look like (how much money is loaned and over what period of time?)Expandx

    The Challenge will invest up to $1 million per annum divided between the successful applicants. We anticipate making investments of between not less than $200k in the form of an interest-bearing loan repayable over a three year term.

    The terms of loans for the 2014 Entrepreneurs’ Challenge included the following:

    Example 1: Up to $400k loan with an interest rate of 5% and no security. Interest and principal repayments throughout the term of the loan and the agreement to provide two times the interest costs at the end of the loan term.

    Example 2: Up to $300k loan with an interest rate of 5% and no security.  Interest and principal repayments made at the end of the term of the loan. Equity rights included a Warrant to invest up to $300k into the Company at a future funding round, the right to convert the loan if there was an IPO and/or another funding round.

    Example 3: Up to $500k loan with an interest rate of 5% and no security. Interest paid quarterly in arrears and principal repaid in whole at the end of the loan.  Proposed termination payment equivalent to total interest paid assuming certain performance milestones are met.

  • How can I get more information?Expandx

    If you would like more information or have any questions about the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge and its activities, please contact us here.