A massive congratulations to all winners in The Pick:2017. View the winners

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


The Pick:2017 was designed to be a business ideas challenge for the local, everyday people of Northland.

It wasn't about inventing the next Facebook or Xero, we just wanted to know what simple business ideas Northlanders had.

Any idea could've taken out this comp, find out which ones did →

Planning session; drawing on whiteboard and participants on bean bags


Northland is full of great ideas.

The sole purpose of The Pick:2017 was 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.

Here’s how the competition worked...


Ideas fitted 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 entrants themselves fitted 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


Stage two Launch

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


Stage Two judging day


Stage Two Winners announced.
View the full list of winners →

Person giving presentation, whiteboard


Stage 1 – 20 winners

$5k worth of support and professional services to help take the business from idea to concept. Including:

  • 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

$30k worth of support and professional services to help take the business from concept to action. Including:

  • 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 were judged by our sponsors and the top 20 ideas moved onto stage two.

Stage two: The top 20 ideas pitched to the following judges on 29 November from which 5 supreme winners were selected.

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

Winners & Finalists

After four long and intensive months of validating and refining their business ideas, our finalists of The Pick:2017, Northland's business ideas competition submitted their portfolios and pitched to the panel of judges.

We are proud to present the five SUPREME AWARD winners as well as the recipients of the Top Innovation, Commitment, Youth and Judges Choice Awards.

View the full list of winners and 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


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