X Challenge idea competitions

X Challenge idea competitions

If you’re working on a project, trying to get a start-up off the ground, or perhaps you’ve got the beginnings of a great idea but don’t know what to do with it – X Challenge is for you. Get real, meaningful experience in launching a start-up – and there’s $30k cash plus other prizes to win.

X Challenge runs two competitions each year at AUT. We kick off with The Idea, to get you writing down your startup idea – or ideas (we love serial entrepreneurs) – in a page or less. Later in the year The Accelerator supports you to develop your idea further and explore how it would work in the real world.

You can enter one of the X Challenge competitions, or both of them – by yourself, or as part of a team. The Idea and The Accelerator are open to all AUT students. Everyone has ideas – and we’re ready to help you take yours to the next level.

X Challenge 2021 has finished

Find out about the winners

The Idea competition: describe a business idea

Got an idea for a business, cause or project? – tell us all about it in no more than a page, and get the chance to win cash prizes.

The Accelerator competition: develop a business idea

Do you have an idea to explore a market opportunity? Or an exciting new way to solve a problem? We can support you to make it a reality.

Events, resources and support for X Challenge participants

There's heaps of opportunities to get support and guidance during your X Challenge journey. Join our workshops and 1:1 sessions, and check out our online resources.

Finalists 2020
Two finalists holding award for Judge supreme prize X Challenge Finals 2020
Finals winner
X Challenge Grand Finals winner thank you speech
Group photo of participants
X Challenge finalist group photo 2020
All finalists in a photo
X Challenge Finalist Group picture with judges and Vice Chancellor 2020


“I’ve run start-ups before, but X Challenge was a game changer. It allowed me to meet supportive mentors as well as other experts who believed in my idea and helped me fine-tune my approach.”

Mohd Akhtaar - Mindful Muslim, 2020 Supreme Winner

"X Challenge was one of the best learning opportunities I experienced during my six years at AUT. It helped our idea move from a concept, to something tangible with the potential to launch."

Aimee Moss – giveagood, 2019 Runner Up

"X Challenge is such an amazing opportunity to grow your skillset, and ways of thinking and working. It helped us (Flat Essentials) reflect, learn, and adapt, especially as we went through the ideation process."

Finlay Barnett – Flat Essentials, 2019 Finalist

Contact us

For any enquiries, please contact

Shayna McWhirter