BUSINESS

Sir Richard Branson and BNZ CEO Andrew Thorburn celebrate the launch of BNZ Presents - The Virgin Business Challenge with a boat race Sir Richard Branson and BNZ CEO Andrew Thorburn celebrate the launch of BNZ Presents - The Virgin Business Challenge with a boat race CREDIT: BNZ
BNZ Virgin Challenge BNZ Virgin Challenge CREDIT: BNZ

$100K still up for grabs in BNZ Presents: The Virgin Business Challenge

Friday 11 November 2011, 2:44PM
By BNZ
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Entrepreneurs with what it takes to go global have until 17th Nov to stake their claim

Kiwi companies need to get in quick to take advantage of a unique opportunity to take their business to the world. BNZ Presents: The Virgin Business Challenge closes for entries on November 17th with finalists being announced on November 23.

Entrepreneurs will be challenged to pitch to a top New Zealand business panel for a Virgin, BNZ, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia group of airlines prize package specifically designed to connect them to the world.

BNZ CEO and challenge judge, Andrew Thorburn, says he is heartened by the quality of businesses that have entered the challenge so far.

“What we’re particularly pleased to be seeing is the superb calibre of entrants from the online, technology and manufacturing industries who are on the cusp of global expansion.”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, said he was looking forward to meeting the winner and sharing with them the lessons he has learnt on his own entrepreneurial journey.

“Mentoring is crucial to the development of entrepreneurs and can help them overcome many of the obstacles the business world will throw at them,” said Branson.

“We’re always looking for the next big thing and Virgin is looking to New Zealand as a great source of talent and ideas,” he added.

The challenge will be looking for Kiwi entrepreneurs who demonstrate creativity and innovation with the potential to go global, aspire to reach NZ$50m turnover within five years and live up to the Virgin values of being customer centric, challenging the status quo, being ethically driven and having a sense of fun.

BNZ Presents: The Virgin Business Challenge will challenge Kiwi entrepreneurs to demonstrate why their business deserves a shot at world markets and pitch for a prize pack that includes: time with Sir Richard Branson; a $100,000 cash prize from BNZ to support the internationalisation of the business; a BNZ business education scholarship; mentoring from Virgin and BNZ executives; and access to Virgin meeting rooms worldwide.

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia group of airlines will also provide the winning business with a world of opportunity via an exciting travel package which includes domestic and trans-Tasman destinations, as well as flights to the global business capitals of London, New York and/or Geneva.

To enter, entrepreneurs should go to the BNZ website at bnz.co.nz/virginchallenge