Attention all budding young Bay of Plenty entrepreneurs...a new fund making up to $100,000 available to up-and-comers under the age of 35 to assist in appointing top-notch mentorship is up for grabs.

The University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs' Challenge 2014 has announced its inaugural EC-35 Fund offer aimed at connecting talent with wisdom, to be run alongside its sixth annual challenge providing selected companies with a total of $1 million in funding to go global.

For the first time, up to $100,000 will be available to entrepreneurs under 35 (as at January 1, 2014) to fund the appointment of a world-class advisor or executive director for a three-year term to enable business growth.

And ex-pat financier Charles Bidwill, whose initial multi-million-dollar donation kickstarted the Challenge in 2009, says this funding could well be critical to young upcoming international business superstars based in New Zealand.


"The value gained from spending time with senior firm partners when I was just starting out at 22 cannot be overstated," Mr Bidwill said.

"The wisdom and insight gained back then - just listening and learning from the best - has, without a doubt, benefited my entire business career."

Business school dean Professor Greg Whittred said good governance and experience is an invaluable asset for young entrepreneurs, and working alongside an expert who can add insight to strategy and the key building blocks needed for growth was extremely powerful.

"Whether it's raising capital, entering international markets or recruiting new talent as you build out your leadership team, the right advisor or director can bring their skills, experience and their networks to the table," Professor Whittred said.

"If you are looking for ways to take your business to the next level this could well be the next step you are looking for."