Six New Zealand companies have proved their mettle and have moved a step closer to winning a slice of $1 million of business funding.
The selectors for the University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs' Challenge have whittled down a shortlist of 15 qualifiers to a set of six finalists.
About 60 companies entered the challenge. The six still in the contest will continue to compete for a share of $1 million of capital, which can be scooped up by one entrant or shared by up to five.
The finalists are ViFX Limited Partnership, Nexus6, K9 Natural Food, enlight photo, KlickEx Corporation, and Jucy Group. The winners will be announced on October 26.
Selection committee chairman Brian Hannan says the quality of entrants this year made picking finalists difficult.
"The six chosen have huge potential to succeed in international markets, and we hope they can demonstrate in the future what New Zealand companies can achieve," he said.
Now in its third year, the challenge aims to help small-to-medium businesses expand overseas by investing in their operations in the form of a low-interest, three-year loan.
The Dragon's Den-style challenge was founded with a $3 million endowment from New Zealand expatriate and former member of the Business Roundtable Charles Bidwill.
Piako Gourmet Yoghurt, a previous winner, now stocks its product at Harrods and has also signed a deal with Fonterra that will put its yoghurt in supermarkets around New Zealand.
SIX OF THE BEST
* ViFX Limited Partnership
* K9 Natural Food
* Enlight photo
* KlickEx Corporation
* Jucy Group