Entries now open!

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Entries close 12pm (noon), Mon 10 Aug


What do I need to do?

You may have an idea to solve: a social issue, an environmental problem, exploit a market opportunity or even one based on university research.

Create an entry to show how your idea could become a venture. Judges will then decide the ideas displaying the potential to fly. Those entrants who make it through to the shortlist will win a place in the Velocity Launch Pad Programme. Here you will receive mentoring and workshops to discover how to translate your idea into reality.

The finalists additionally compete for the $100k Velocity Grand Final for seed-capital and support in growing their venture!

The Rules

A full set of the Velocity Challenge rules can be found below. It is very important that these are read and clearly understood. 


Why Enter


Get access to industry experts, university advisors, and tailored feedback throughout the $100k process


Win generous seed capital that could kickstart your venture


Come together with friends, build your very own venture, and make an impact on our world



The Prizes

There’s a total prize pool of over $100,000, which includes mentoring and development!


Each of the 15 teams that make it through to the Qualifiers gain entry to Launch Pad, valued at $5,000 per team.


First Place


seed capital

+ Entry to Venture Lab*



seed capital

+ Entry to Venture Lab*

3x Category Winners

Entry to Venture Lab*

*Entry to Venture Lab is valued at $15,000 per team.

All $100k entrants can receive feedback from leading New Zealand industry experts.




New Venture

This category is for ventures based on smart, innovative ideas which are not based on University research.

Social Entrepreneurship

For ideas that solve social and environmental problems, and provide social and environmental benefits.

University Research

For entries based, entirely or in-part, on research undertaken by staff and postgraduate students at the University of Auckland or other research institutes.


Help & Inspiration

Hosted by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I2B is a high-intensity bootcamp designed to give a good understanding of the basics of building a business case and starting a venture. Free for everyone at the University of Auckland to participate.

Workshops commence 7 July. Find out more here.

You might have heard of them, but what are they? And why should you book a session?

A clinic is a 25-minute one-on-one session with someone from the start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem. You talk about your idea, and the mentors provides you with expert advice, probing questions and suggestions on how to improve your idea.

Many of our mentors are normally paid to give advice, so to get access to these people for free is an opportunity not to be missed.

The mentors have a wide range of expertise, so select the one that you think might be most helpful for you.

Find out more about our mentors here.

In this workshop, you will get practical tips on how to make your entry into the $100k Challenge standout. Want to know what the judges are looking for, hear from past winners and have an advantage over others – this workshop is for you. Planned for Tuesday 4 August at 6pm – we look forward to seeing you there.

Secure your place now at: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/100k-challenge-workshop-2020-tickets-112381985544

Click here for a PDF document with a Lean Canvas that can be used as your business model. Please note that any business model canvas can be used. 

Key Events

100k Qualifiers Ceremony

This is the event you’ve been waiting for. Our judging teams have deliberated, and now you are about to find out which 15 teams will make it through to the next stage. Who are the entrepreneurs and change-makers of the future? Come to the $100k Qualifiers all will be revealed. Celebrate with the winners and, with our yet to be announced keynote speaker, this is an event you do not want to miss.

100k Workshop

In this workshop, you will get practical tips on how to make your entry into the $100k Challenge standout. Want to know what the judges are looking for, hear from past winners and have an advantage over others – this workshop is for you. Planned for Tuesday 4 August at 6pm – we look forward to seeing you there.

Secure your place now at: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/100k-challenge-workshop-2020-tickets-112381985544

Judges Feedback Night

This evening provides an awesome opportunity to receive feedback on $100k challenge entries from our expert judges. The feedback will be invaluable and will set your entrepreneurial pathway toward success!

Questions? We’re happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enter the 100k by myself / do I need a team / how many people are required in a team?

It is recommended that you have at least two people in a team. The $100K Challenge is more fun with friends! 

Do all team members have to be University of Auckland students or staff members?

To enter the challenge, only one person needs to be from our University, so feel free to reach out to others around you too! 

Does Velocity assign people for a team?

We do have a Discord Channel where teams looking for more members advertise for positions. We recommend asking friends, classmates, and workmates if they would like to join your team. 

Can a team comprising of the same number of people enter an idea twice?

Yes they can. However when your team gets selected to join the Launchpad programme, you’ll have to make a choice. You can only be part of one venture during the Launchpad programme.

Can judges / other teams steal my idea?

No, they cannot. We make all judges and participants sign a Non- Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that is legally binding. Rest assured, your hard work is safe with us! 

Does our topic need to relate to business/innovation?

No, your idea can be about absolutely anything. It could be a new business idea, a social innovation, or a piece of research that is ready to make money.

What do we need to do to enter?

It’s pretty simple really – follow the link on our website to check out all the guidelines about the challenge and create a 2000 word business proposal. Then from there, just make sure you submit it before the deadline!

At what stage in a start-up do we need to be to enter?

Anything that is not already earning revenue or was entered in previous $100k Challenges is fair game. 

Is there a guideline that can I can use while preparing my entry?

Yes, you can download a venture summary template and guide at the top of this page!

How many people from my team need to submit the entry?

Only a single entry is required, so just one person needs to submit. 

How many people win?

The $100k Challenge is done in two parts. In the first part, 15 teams are selected to enter the Launch Pad programme (valued at $5k per team). From there, five teams will be crowned winners, and receive entry into the Venture Lab incubator in 2021, plus the first and second prize also receive seed money for their venture. 

What is the challenge process?

Prepare your entry and submit it by the deadline. If you qualify to go on to the next round (announced at the Qualifier’s Ceremony), then you go on to enter LaunchPad, a series of 6 workshops set over 6 weeks. Plus each team is matched with two mentors, who will help you to craft your business plan and create a presentation for the judges. The five winners are announced at the $100k prizegiving ceremony in October.

What are the prize amounts?

1st place: $15,000 seed capital + VentureLab incubator programme

2nd place: $5,000 seed capital + VentureLab incubator programme

3x Category Winners: VentureLab incubator programme, valued at $15,000

How many teams qualify?

15 teams qualify for the Launchpad programme.

Is the Challenge a full-time commitment if you qualify?

This is a tricky one. Teams shouldn’t worry about this unless they qualify, at which time we will have a conversation with them. Ultimately, the teams will get as much out of the programme as they put in. There is not a formal time requirement, but their mentors will get quite irritable if the team doesn’t give it a good solid go. 

Who are the 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. 

Other than clinics and workshops, can I get any additional help?

Yes you can. You can drop into the Velocity office anytime, or email us with any queries at: admin@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Does Velocity take any stake in the prize money?
No, the money is all yours to use on starting your venture.