Kiwi businesses given the chance to be schooled by the best

00:35, Jul 06 2011

Up and coming New Zealand businesses with international potential will have the chance to win one million dollars of funding and a masterclass with Saatchi & Saatchi CEO, the University of Auckland announced today.

The University's Business School Entrepreneurs' Challenge, now in its third year, is expected to attract a large number of entrants keen to take advantage of the $1 million in funding available.

Two days of 'unplugged hanging out' with Kevin Roberts in his own Auckland home will be offered to the eventual winners.

School Dean Professor Greg Whittred said the offer by one of New Zealand's most successful businesspeople was a unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs and their business teams to tap into Roberts' extensive knowledge and expertise.

''It's not often that you are given a chance like this, particularly in an informal setting in someone's home.
''We are pleased that Kevin has been able to find the time to present eventual winners with this unique prize, and believe that those taking part will gain valuable insight as well as new networks for their enterprises.''

The money is part of $3 million donated to the School by ex-pat financier Charles Bidwill, who wanted to assist young Kiwi businesses to go global with innovation.

Dubbed as ''KR Unplugged'', Roberts' global CEO masterclass is billed as demonstrating what it takes to win in today's world, how entrepreneurs can enjoy life even more, and how to accelerate growth, connectivity and success.

Roberts, an Honorary Professor of Innovation and Creativity at the Business School, has described the sessions as fun and ''no holds barred''.

Past winners include Piako Gourmet Yoghurt, which is now stocked in Harrods in London and has signed a lucrative contract with Fonterra; Allpress Espresso, the first Antipodean coffee roasthouse to establish in London; and Biomatters, which produces leading bio-informatics software for molecular biology and animal husbandry and has established a base in the United States.

Entries close on July 25, with winners announced later this year. For more information see the entrepreneurs challenge website.