Thursday, 15 March 2018 16:41

Giving back helps next generation do better

Mashup, a learn-by-doing ideation event for local teens, is being held again in March. It’s a chance for youth to not only come up with great, problem-solving ideas, but to test them using real world techniques, while being mentored by experts giving back their expertise and experiences.

One such expert is Erika Harvey, an American entrepreneur living in New Zealand. She’s worked for Fortune 500 companies and co-founded InVenture to support entrepreneurs and startups. We spoke to Erika about Mashup, why she got involved and why she believes it’s important to let parents know that local teens should take part.

What is your background?

I’ve worked for some of the world’s largest technology and advisory companies, identifying ways businesses could achieve better outcomes. This led me to start experiencing life as an entrepreneur by building businesses in my free time. I’ve created seven businesses and am currently working with my husband to create Redline Fishing, which is developing New Zealand’s first digitally enabled fishing vessel, with technology set to revolutionise the commercial fishing industry and its sustainability.

What made you want to be part of Mashup?

I love working with teenpreneurs and am a huge proponent of lifelong learning.  I’ve been in the emotional trenches of building a business, so I understand the work that goes in to taking an idea and turning it into a profitable business. This is my third year as a mentor for Mashup and I truly enjoy helping others navigate their way through the various stages of starting a business.  Young people have an amazing opportunity today to truly change the way we live and work and I love being able to share in their journey of learning.

Why should teens take part in Mashup?

Mashup will give you frameworks that enhance your thinking, develops your skillset, and introduces you to new tools, along with a community of like-minded individuals. The best way to predict your future is to create it, so why not test the waters now by joining Mashup?  

What sort of skills will teens learn at this weekend?

You’ll walk away armed with a variety of new business and technology skills. By using them, hands-on, you will gain hands-on insight you can’t find in a book.

If you’re unsure if you (or your child) should participate, just do it! You have nothing to lose and you’ll leave inspired, with connections to a whole community ready and willing to support you in any future endeavours.

Why should other entrepreneurs/business owners become mentors?

Mashup, and programs like it, are only as good as the volunteers who get involved. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner who is passionate about sharing your own experience, knowledge, and giving back so the next generation can do better, sign up!

As a bonus for your time, you’ll also be rewarded by meeting other incredible mentors you may find beneficial to your network.

So, if you love supporting people to step outside their comfort zone, have knowledge to share, have had successes and failures and stories to tell, and want to make a difference in the community, I can’t wait to meet you!

Want to be a mentor? Let the team know at this link:

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