Pacific Wave draws young millionaire

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 09 September 2017, 12:00AM

The Pacific Wave Conference was a popular draw card at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel yesterday.

The event was also used to launch government’s I.C.T Sector plan. 

At the opening, the Chair of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Peter Kiely, Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gerry Brownlee, were present.

Fiame praised the event for its potential in achieving the bigger picture for the Pacific region.

 “Technology has helped us around some great challenges,” she said.

“I hope the Pacific Wave conference will bring around greater regional activism and further enhance our Blue Pacific vision.” 

As for the government’s Communications sector plan for 2017/18 -2021/2022, Fiame said the I.C.T sector is clearly crucial to the Samoan economy.

She said all Samoans stand to benefit greatly from “our ability to put to good use the latest and most relevant advances in digital technology.”

The ultimate goal of the Pacific Wave Conference is to unleash technology to enable new capabilities, skills, careers and lifestyles within the Pacific to drive prosperity for the livelihoods and wellbeing of people. 

The theme at this year’s Pacific Wave Conference is “ Prosperous Futures through Technology.” 

The location for the conference is fitting considering that Samoa’s much anticipated Tui cable is poised to create those very opportunities and prosperity for businesses here.

Co-founder and C.E.O of Crimson Education, Jamie Beaton, whose wealth is estimated at NZ$40.5 million was the keynote speaker.

For many in the audience especially the college age kids, it was hard to believe that this young man only started his company when he was an 18 years old with his braces still on. 

Beaton, who is now 22, may have looked and sounded like a fresh faced teenager but his genius mind was on display as he took everyone through his journey emphasizing that age and money shouldn’t be an obstacle. 

His presentation fulfilled the conference’s commitment to encouraging youth entrepreneurship and hit a note with many in the audience,” he said.

 “When I started, I literally did not know what I was doing but I had an idea because I had personal experience in applying to the U.S to to Harvard and Yale for scholarships and I thought I can help other people do this,” Beaton said.

 “So I used Skype, I used Google mail and I used Facebook to find our first students and it was as simple as that. 

“I didn’t have any capital to start with and it was only after building the business after a year that we started receiving funding.

“The thing that’s important to emphasize is that entrepreneurship these days with the internt-based on free platforms and products means you can try so many things very cheaply, you can learn fast and you can experiment cheaply and hopefully build an awesome business.” 

Other key speakers of Samoan descent included C.E.O of Vend in New Zealand, Alex Fala. who spoke about having the tools and the talent required to be successful in a digital world.

The C.E.O of Upguard in Silicon Valley U.S.A, Mike Baukes, spoke about understanding the challenges and benefits for developing states in embracing the digital era. 

This was also a great event for aspiring and established local entrepreneurs who had the opportunity to mix and mingle with successful entrepreneurs on a global scale and gain firsthand knowledge and advice about growing and managing their business on any level.

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 09 September 2017, 12:00AM

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