Innovation Challenge

Entries for the 2021 Innovation Challenge have now closed.

Join us for the Prizegiving night on Thu 20 May to find out who our winners are — you could be one of them!

RSVP now

Could you win $1,000?

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 totalling 1,000 words to showcase your idea. We’ve prepared a template and sample entry so you’ll know just what we’re looking for. Our judges will then decide the ones displaying the potential to fly — and to award $1,000, no strings attached. You can use the prize money to advance your idea and make it a reality, or spend it any way you’d like.

The Rules

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

Judging Process

We have multiple prizes available for ideas related to economic and social ventures. 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 a feedback session to help you develop your innovation further.

Prize Categories

Commercial

This category is for ventures based on any innovative idea that do not fit into the other categories, and shows promise for commercial success.

Social

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

Sustainable Development Goals

A brand new category focused on how your idea can contribute to solving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Why Enter?

Feedback

You’re able to receive tailored feedback for your idea from our esteemed panel of judges — whether you win or not!

Funding

Win $1,000 to acelerate your idea, or spend it any way you like.

Experience

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

Help & Inspiration

Find out everything you need to know to enter the Innovation Challenge at our Innovation Ignited workshop. From tips about the competition platform to details on what the judges look for in a good entry — all will be revealed on 4 May from 6 to 8pm at Unleash Space. There will be an ideation session to help you brainstorm an idea for your entry, a speaker panel to share their experience with the challenge, and the opportunity to ask your questions to the Velocity team. Plus, there’s free pizza and drinks!

RSVP to secure your spot: https://fb.me/e/1liijxcGU

Are you stuck? Need some valuable one on one feedback and advice? Look no further, because the Innovation Challenge Drop-In Clinics are here to help.

The clinics are your opportunity to meet face to face with one of our awesome Velocity committee members, and discuss your entry to give yourself the best chance to craft a world-class submission for the challenge.

Clinic sessions are made available near the deadline — details will be announced soon — stay tuned!

Do you need help coming up with ideas that could win you a $1000? Fill in this template to get those creative juices flowing.

Step 1: What is a problem you have faced in the past week/month ?

Staying at home means that I don’t exercise as much as I used to.

Step 2: How is that problem being solved right now ?

Online tutorials for workouts at home are available on Youtube and other MOOC websites.

Step 3: How can you solve that better ? 

These online courses feel generic and cater to everyone, but I would like workouts and a plan catered to my personal requirements. Therefore I can have an app that asks for age, gender, height, weight, and goal requirements, and through liaising with professionals, generates a plan suited for me.

Questions? We’re happy to help!

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.

What are the judges looking for?
A PDF file of the judges criteria can be found here.
How are the prizes paid?

We will deposit the winnings into the bank account of the team lead. To do this, we will ask you for your bank account details the day after the Awards Ceremony. It will typically take about 4 weeks to get the funds into your account.

How do I qualify for a prize?

—This competition has two different prizes categories – Social and Commercial. Plus, this year we offer two prizes which contribute to solving the UN SDGs.

Social/Commercial
When you enter the Challenge, you select if this entry solves a Social or a Commercial problem. There are multiple $1,000 prizes up for grabs.

COVID-19 Prizes
If your idea helps advance a solution for one (or many) of the UN SDGs, then you also qualify for this prize. Make sure you tick the UNSDGs prize in YouNoodle when you enter. You’ll also be given the chance to elaborate on why your idea is relevant to the SDGs.

What faculty do I have to be a part of to enter?

The Innovation challenge is open to everyone, from every faculty. We are looking for innovation and awesome ideas first and foremost, and we know these can come from anywhere.

I don’t have anything to show for my idea. Can I still enter and have a shot at winning?

Of course! One of our core aims at Velocity is “turning your first class ideas into world class businesses”. We don’t need to see any prototypes of your idea. We just need to hear about the idea!

Where can I get help on my idea?

We are running several help sessions online ranging from dial-in support sessions to innovation challenge workshops, available online and in-person. See the “Help and Inspiration” section above for more information. You’re also very welcome to get in touch with us on social media @velocityuoa, or via email: admin@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

When are the Velocity Pop In Clinic sessions?

We’re planning on running one-on-one clinics where where you can discuss your entry with our awesome committee members, and give yourself the best chance to craft a world-class submission.

​Want to know when the clinics are? Clinics open near the challenge deadline so we can give you specific feedback on your ideas. Follow us on social media @velocityuoa for the latest annoucements.

Will there be a tips and tricks workshop this year?

Find out everything you need to know to enter the Innovation Challenge at our Innovation Ignited workshop. From tips about the competition platform to details on what the judges look for in a good entry — all will be revealed on 4 May from 6 to 8pm at Unleash Space. There will be an ideation session to help you brainstorm an idea for your entry, a speaker panel to share their experience with the challenge, and the opportunity to ask your questions to the Velocity team. Plus, there’s free pizza and drinks!

RSVP to secure your spot: https://fb.me/e/1liijxcGU

 

Where can I get more information on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG)?

17 Goals to Transform Our World

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. 

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

Learn more about the UNSDG here.