Venture Fund FAQs

What is the AUT Venture Kickstart Fund?
The AUT Venture Fund is designed to give you a kickstart in setting up your own business and to enhance your learning experience, by providing you with an opportunity to develop a business proposal – and winners will receive funding to help them towards establishing their business proposal.

Who can apply to the AUT Venture Fund?
All AUT University students currently enrolled in any area of study can apply to the fund, and alumni within five years of graduation.

Can I apply as an individual or must I be in a team?
You can apply as an individual or in a team, teams can be a mix of current students and alumni. Staff cannot be team members.

Do I have to be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident?
Yes. If you are applying as an individual applicant, you need to be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. If you are applying in a team then the lead applicant needs to be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

How many times each year is the fund open to receive applications?
Once a year. A timetable of dates is published and communicated at the start of each year.

Can I submit more than one business plan per year?
Yes, however, we strongly recommend that you concentrate your efforts on one business idea per year.

Can I resubmit my entry the following year if I am unsuccessful?
Yes, you can choose to revise and develop an idea that wasn't successful in a previous year and resubmit this.

How much is the prize funding?
Prize amounts are listed on the home page.

Will the AUT Venture Fund own part of my business?
No, AUT will not own a shareholding of your business. Your intellectual property is your own.

What are the judging criteria you will use to assess my venture in the final?
The key criteria are the extent to which the new venture is viable, sustainable and profitable and this will be assessed based 50% on your Business Plan and 50% on your presentation and performance in the question and answer question following this. A further breakdown of the judging criteria can be found under 'Venture Fund Details'.

Who is on the judging panel?
The judging panel is comprised of experienced entrepreneurs, venture funders and those working in commercialization.

How can I use prize funding?
Funded ideas receive money to help establish their proposal over an agreed timeframe, based on achieving agreed milestones.

Who decides on the amount of funds allocated and what the milestones are?
The judging panel and Venture Fund management decide on the fund recipient(s), on the amount that the successful recipient(s) receive, and on the milestones that must be met to receive fund instalments.

Will I retain ownership of the intellectual property of my business plan?
You will retain all proprietary rights to your business plan. Copies of your business plan will be circulated only for judging purposes. If the AUT Venture Fund receives any requests from academics, media or members of the public for your business plan, the enquiry will be directed to you. Due to the nature of the competition we will not ask judges, staff or management to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant, but the process is confidential. We suggest therefore that you seek independent protection for any highly sensitive material if you or your team is concerned about confidentiality of such material.

Please note that audio and visual recordings may be made of the presentations at the competition finals.  A brief description of your idea will be used for publicity purposes. Participation in the contest demonstrates students’ agreement to allow AUT to videotape the prize giving ceremony which may be posted on the Internet as publicity for the AUT Business Plan Competition and the AUT Venture Fund.
AUT University cannot take further responsibility to protect your intellectual property. Such protection is ultimately the responsibility of you and your team and we recommend that you seek further legal advice.

Can I be disqualified from the competition?
Yes. AUT University and the judging panel reserve the right to disqualify any entry that, in its collective judgement, violates the letter or the spirit of the competition rules and guidelines.

Last updated: 28-May-2015 7.39pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.