Growth companies in the hunt for a funding boost again have a chance to tap into $1 million available through the University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs' Challenge.

Now in its second year, the Entrepreneurs' Challenge - funded by a $3 million endowment from expatriate businessman Charles Bidwill - is designed to boost New Zealand companies set on becoming a local or international success story.

Up for grabs is up to $1 million in funding on favourable terms and mentoring from business leaders with applications opening this Friday.

Dean of the University of Auckland Business School Greg Whittred said with one annual funding round under its belt the business school was prepared to finance companies with a higher risk profile than last year.

Winners are selected by a seven-strong committee that includes Kim Crawford Wines co-founder Erica Crawford, science and technology investor Neville Jordon and former Forsyth Barr executive director Don Turkington.

"I think the committee and Charles are relaxed about us being a little more aggressive in our willingness to support companies who are earlier in the growth cycle than we did on the first round," said Whittred.

"That means there is likely to be greater potential for us to take some equity positions in these companies."

Whittred said companies needed to be seeking at least $200,000 in funding and the Entrepreneurs' Challenge was prepared to invest up to $1 million in the right business.

Funding was given last year to coffee company Allpress, smart water meter developer Outpost Central and hot water heating control company Senztek. Allpress and Senztek have used the financing to fast-track growth in Britain.

Allpress is set to open a new roastery and espresso bar in London this year, with Senztek due to send its chief executive to Britain to boost its presence in the market.

Outpost Central has continued its marketing push into Australia, where it has found a ready market for its water metering technology. "It's nice to see the actual investments coming to fruition," said Whittred.

The ideal candidate for this year's competition will have a minimum revenue of $1 million. Entries close at 5pm on July 19.