X Challenge


X Challenge is a new university-wide competition that gives every AUT student an opportunity to develop an idea for a business, cause or project and participate in a fun entrepreneurial experience (with some great cash prizes to help you take the next step on your entrepreneurial journey).

X Challenge has two streams of competition, The Idea and The Accelerator. The Idea (now closed), invited students to submit a business idea, while The Accelerator includes submission of a more detailed business plan. You don’t have to have entered The Idea to take part in The Accelerator - new entries are awesome too!

As ‘the university for the changing world’, innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise are at the heart of AUT. X Challenge gives every student the opportunity to discover and grow their entrepreneurial spirit.

Your idea can change your life. Let’s make it happen.

Latest news! Entries for stage 1 closed Monday 14 August, and the 40 winners of $250 cash prizes were announced on 28 August.

How does it work?

The Accelerator stage of X Challenge involves submitting a more detailed business plan, including a customer profile and potentially a prototype. Note: You do not have to have entered The Idea to enter The Accelerator.

Stage 2 will culminate in a Dragons Den-style pitch night with 12 finalists on 23 November (finalists will be announced in early October). This will be open to all current AUT students. There is a total prize pool $40,000 of cash prizes as well as heaps of other stuff, including desks in a co-working space, expert IP advice, mentorship and business support. Cash prizes are as follows:

  • Category Winners ($5,000 each)
    • Product
    • Digital
    • Service
    • Social Enterprise
  • Overall runner-up $5,000
  • Overall winner $15,000

NOTE: The overall winner will be selected from the category winners, however, the overall runner-up could be selected from the wider pool of 12 finalists.


To Enter please email your entry document to xchallenge@aut.ac.nz by 5.00pm 4th of October.

Last updated: 26-Sep-2018 10.21am

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