Innovation Challenge

Entries are now closed.

Come along to the prizegiving – May 24th, 6pm, FPAA (260-115)!

To help you prepare check out some details of what the Judges are looking for in your submissions

Find Out Here

Get your creative and innovative juices flowing to be in to win one of the over $40,000 in prizes

Have you got an idea to could change the world?
Do you see a problem that needs fixing?
Would you like to win $1,000? With over $40k in prizes, there’s every chance you’ll win.

What do I need to do?

It’s simple. Write up 1,000 words on your idea and submit it. New in 2018 is that you may use a video as part of your entry. Check-out the FAQ’s for more information about the video entries.

Use our simple template to make entering a breeze. Submit your entry on our dedicated competition website here: www.velocity2018.startupcompete.co

New prizes in 2018:

This year we’re introducing 10 new prizes in the Challenge, below the details:

  • Department of Computer Science prize – AI
  • Department of Computer Science prize – Big data
  • Auckland ICT Graduate School prize – Best use of Data Analytics
  • Auckland ICT Graduate School prize – Empowering Industry with Information Technology
  • Pacific Islander Innovation and Entrepreneurship prize
  • Female founder prize by UniServices
  • Business School prize
  • PhD prize by UniServices
  • FinTech prize by UniServices
  • Creative Arts prize by UniServices

Judging process

We’ve asked industry experts to be our judges. Your entry will be read by at least two experts from the entrepreneurial ecosystem who form a judging group. We also have an experienced moderating panel to read every entry so we can ensure rating consistency across the judging groups. We then gather the judging groups together to decide the best entries in each prize category. Win or not, the judges are on hand at the FEEDBACK NIGHT, on Wednesday 1 June, to help you develop your innovation further.

Make sure you take the opportunity to meet the experts, reserve your feedback session here.

Other prizes this year include:

  • UniServices research prize x 2
  • Chiasma Prize for the best Bio-Science idea
  • Department of Computer Science prize
  • Faculty of Education prize
  • Faculty of Law prize
  • Faculty for Creative Arts and Industry (CAI) prize
  • Faculty of Science prize
  • Department of Property prize
  • AgriTech prize x 2
  • Faculty of Arts prize
  • Faculty of Engineering prize
  • Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences prize
  • Whiua ki te Ao! prize
  • Social Entrepreneurship prize x 8
  • Commercial Entrepreneurship prize x 8

Microsoft BizSpark:

In addition, teams will be offered access to Microsoft’s BizSpark package, including up to a value of $750NZD credit per month for a 12 month period. Find out more about BizSpark here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone enter?
Yes, as long as a core member of your team is a current University of Auckland student or staff member, anyone can enter.

You can enter as a team or individually and best of all it’s free.

When are the drop in help sessions?
The help sessions are in the Velocity office between 11am and 2pm on:

  • Thursday 26th April
  • Friday 27th April
  • Tuesday 1st May
  • Wednesday 2nd May
  • Thursday 3rd May
  • Friday 4th May
I want to enter, what do I need to do?
Entering is simple. Write up to 1,000 words on your idea using our template, enter it, and you’ll be in for a chance to win one of multiple cash prizes. This year, you also have the option of entering a 3 minute video. If you chose this option, you have 400 words left to complete your entry.

Innovation Challenge submissions are entered via Startup Compete, please see above for more information of where to submit your entry. Submission can take around 10-15 mins so please make sure you set up your account early.

Whether you win or not, the feedback from our renowned judges will allow you to perfect your idea and enter it into the $100k Challenge later in the year. Why wouldn’t you enter?

Video is my thing! Tell me the details!
  • Video must be an absolute maximum of 3 minutes. You can go shorter than this.
  • Make sure your voice is clear and audible. We cannot stress this enough. If we can’t understand what you’re saying, a transcript cannot be auto-generated and it may lessen your video quality.
  • The video can only cover Section 1 – “What is your idea/innovation?”. This is weighted with 40% grading. Sections 2, 3, 4 and the Public Disclosure Summary must be written.
  • Your video must be submitted with a transcript (see How to Auto-Generate a Transcript in our Video How-To’s if you have not written a script).
  • Video entries are entirely optional . Entrants are still free to submit by writing a 1,000 words to win a $1,000.
  • Video entries will be marked with equal weighting to written entries. However they are a huge opportunity to incorporate your creative flair and get your idea noticed further afield.
  • We want to hear about your idea, not to show off your video editing skills. Please don’t include any music or use content that is not yours to use.
How do I upload my video?
Here’s a step-by-step guide for you. And if you would like more help, just email challenges@velocity.auckland.ac.nz
Still have more questions about video? This FAQ is for you.
All the questions (and answers) we could think of here.
How are the prizes paid?
The prize money is paid directly into your bank account. Full details on the procedure for this are in the letter each winner receives at the Prize Giving Ceremony on Thursday 24 May 2018.
How do I qualify for the other prizes?
Whiua ki te Ao!

Entries must:

a) submitted by an individual or team that identifies as being Maori* OR

b) be based on Kaupapa Māori that promotes Māori values or advances Māori issues

*at least one team member must identify as Maori.

Pacific Islander Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Entries must be submitted by an individual or team that identifies as Pacific Islander

AI

Sponsored by the University of Auckland Computer Science Department and open to all entries which use artificial intelligence (AI) in their submission.

Big Data

Sponsored by the University of Auckland Computer Science Department and open to all entries which use data science techniques or which incorporate big data in their submission.

Best Use of Data Analytics

Sponsored by the Auckland ICT Graduate School and open to all entries that utilise data driven analytics to empower people and organisations with actionable intelligence and transformative insight.

Empowering Industry with Information Technology

Sponsored by the Auckland ICT Graduate School and open to all entries which greatly ease one or more pain points in industry through the intelligent introduction of information technology.

Female Founder Prize

Sponsored by UniServices and open to all entries which have a female lead/founder to encourage more females to start their entrepreneurial journey.

FinTech Prize

Prize sponsored by UniServices and open to all entries that in areas like payment, financial literacy, security, identity regulations, lending, investing or asset management.

Arts/Creative Arts/Design Prize
Prize, sponsored by UniServices, and  open to all entries which create, integrate or promote arts/creative arts or design as the primary goal OR use arts/creative arts or design as part of the solution.

What are the UniServices Research Prizes? (2 x $1,000 up for grabs)
UniServices Research Prizes – 5 x $1,000 up for grabs. Velocity and UniServices are working together to encourage and stimulate the commercialisation of University of Auckland research and technology.

There are 2 x $1,000 prizes available for researchers at the University of Auckland who enter, into the Innovation Challenge, an idea that is based on the commercial application of their own research or research from their Lab or Department.

What are the UniServices PhD Prizes? (3 x $1,000 up for grabs)
UniServices Research Prizes – 3 x $1,000 up for grabs. Velocity and UniServices are working together to encourage and stimulate the commercialisation of PhD research.

There are 3 x $1,000 prizes available for PhD students (and their teams) who base their entry on their PhD research. Please refer to the Velocity website for more details.

UniServices prize rules of engagement
In order for an entry to be eligible for this prize the team must include a current Masters, PhD, Post Doc or Staff member from the University of Auckland and the research that they enter with must (preference for it) be(ing) their own or from their own Lab or Department at the University of Auckland.

If a prize is won it is up to the team that enters to determine who will share in their prize. The prize is given as a bank deposit and can be spent however the team decides to. UniServices will not share in the prize. It is recommended that the team determines the split in advance.

When entering the Velocity Innovation Challenge the team entering does not require from UniServices any rights / access to the intellectual property. Nor by entering the Velocity Innovation Challenge is the intellectual property assigned in any way to the entrants. Any future access to the intellectual property needs to be discussed with UniServices.
There are no sign-offs required (e.g. from your P.I, UniServices) to enter the Velocity Innovation Challenge and be eligible for the UniServices Research prize. If the research is not your own it is strongly recommended that you consult the person’s whose intellectual property it is prior to entering.