Entries are now closed and finalists have been selected. View the finalists here

Programme supported by NorthlandInc
Person drawing on glass wall with post-it notes


The Pick:2017 is a business ideas challenge for the local, everyday people of Northland.

We’re not asking you to invent the next Facebook or Xero, we just want to know what simple business ideas you have.

Any idea could take out this comp, but are you up to the challenge?

Submit your business idea in snap shot form; tell us why you and your business idea are unique and throughout the steps in this competition we could help you tick the business plan boxes and launch your very own business.

All entries are treated confidentially; we won’t steal your idea -but if you’re successful you’ll be shouting it to the world.

Planning session; drawing on whiteboard and participants on bean bags


Northland is full of great ideas.

The sole purpose of The Pick:2017 is to increase the number of businesses in Northland and to promote what a great place Northland is to be entrepreneurial. We want more people challenging their 9-5 norm and doing what they are passionate about.

Northlands Economic Development Agency, Northland Inc and Northlands newest business and events hub, The Orchard have tools and resources available to springboard dedicated, local entrepreneurs from idea to application.

Remember that awesome business idea you had that one time?

Hold onto that thought. Here’s how it works...


Your idea will fit into 1 of 5 categories:

Tractor icon Rural
Apple icon Health & Well-being
Knife & fork icon Food & Beverage
Aeroplane icon Tourism
Lightbulb icon General

And you yourself will fit into 1 of 3 sections:

Person icon Youth (under 25)
Person icon Māori
Person icon Open



Stage one Launch


Entries Close


Stage One top 20 winners announced
View the full list of finalists →


Stage two Launches

Throughout stage two there will be various workshops to build your concept.


Stage Two judging day


Stage Two Winners announced. 1 per category.

Person giving presentation, whiteboard


Stage 1 – 20 winners

Up to $5k worth of support and professional services to help you take your business from idea to concept. Includes:

  • Mentorship
  • Orchard hot desking time
  • Professional skills support
  • Industry connections
  • Support to develop business plan
  • Start-up workshops

Stage 2 prize – 1 winner from each category

Up to $30k worth of support and professional services to help you take your business from concept to action. Includes:

  • An assigned business mentor for 1 year
  • Permanent desk in The Orchard
  • Professional skills package
  • Industry connections
  • Support to gain investment
Full prize list

Judging Criteria

Stage one: all of the ideas will be judged by our sponsors and the top 20 ideas will move onto stage two.

Stage two: The top 20 ideas will pitch to the following judges on 29 November and there will be 5 final winners.

Judging Stage 1 weighting Stage 2 weighting
Clarity of idea
Does it make sense and are you passionate about it?
50% 5%
What sets this apart? Why are you the best person to run it?
20% 5%
What’s it going to take to launch off?
10% 20%
Will people buy it?
10% 35%
How successful will it be? ROI?
10% 35%
100% 100%
Meet the Judges


After two tough weeks, our judges have narrowed 147 business ideas down to just 20 top FINALISTS and 2 WILDCARDS. Congratulations!

View the full list of finalists here →
Person working on laptop


Resources for people to learn more about starting up a business:

NorthlandNZ Start-up Resource Hub The Pick 2017 Poster
People having a business conversation


Please use the contact form for queries or support. Or email us at