Zoe Hobson and Rueben Skipper, from Upstart Business
Incubator, are excited about the launch of a YouTube
competition for Otago secondary school pupils. Photo by
Upstart business coach Rueben Skipper believes
development of the micro-exporting sector has "huge potential"
for the New Zealand economy - and the sector could be something
Dunedin becomes known for.
He estimated if every New Zealander made $20 per week in
foreign currency from some online activity then
micro-exporting would be the third-biggest export from New
Mr Skipper came up with the concept of a Make Money On
YouTube competition, which will be launched by the Otago
Business School, Upstart Business Incubator and Audacious
The competition, in which entrants produce their own videos
and compete to get the most views, is open to Otago secondary
school pupils and is designed to educate them about the
benefits of micro-exporting and develop business talent in
Micro-exporting was a developing sector in the New Zealand
economy, in which individuals made money providing products
and services via the internet.
One prime example was YouTube. In 2011, operators of YouTube
channels made more than $US200 million ($NZ250 million) from
The competition, which opens on August 1, already had the
support of prominent New Zealand YouTubers including Matt
Mulholland, a comedian who has achieved more than 12 million
video views, and Shannon Harris, who has more than 50,000
subscribers and achieved 5 million video views on her YouTube
makeup review channel.
Competition winners will receive cash prizes and scholarships
for the Otago Business School up to a total value of $5000.
All winners will also be invited to a workshop at Upstart to
assist them in building their channel into a business.
"We aim to achieve over one million total views, directly
reach 20,000 people through entrants and their families and
involve a minimum of 20 out of the 27 schools in Otago. This
competition has the potential to be huge," Mr Skipper said.
In the difficult economic times, he said, instead of trying
to build $50 million companies, he advocated trying to build
a million $50 companies.
The competition was pitched at teenagers because they were
the ones who were on YouTube often and they knew the market.
"They already do this. They already make YouTube videos every
day. They do it without thinking," he said.
There had already been a great response from schools - "The
kids love it" - and it was hoped to roll it out nationally.
Upstart wanted to hear from anyone wanting to be a
competition ambassador in schools, to help spread the
message. There was a $150 prize for the ambassador who could
encourage the most people to enter.