Second-year computer science and business student and Vice-Chancellor's Significant Student Scholarship recipient Olaf Wrieden is heading to Melbourne in July as one of 30 top student entrepreneurs chosen from around the world to attend the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) Summit.
Olaf is not new to the world of entrepreneurship and has been actively involved in innovative start-ups through the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), a programme offered to high school students.
In 2016, Olaf was the co-founder and CEO of Chopped NZ, an award-winning YES company, that turned oak, rosewood and dark walnut timber wastage into hand crafted chopping boards.
The Chopped NZ team won the Dragon’s Den first prize in the regional finals, the YES South Auckland Company of the Year Award, and Olaf was awarded the YES Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the South Auckland region.
Olaf is now a business mentor for students in the YES programme and says he has learnt to manage his time well balancing these responsibilities with his studies. “If you’re busy, make sure it’s with something you either enjoy or are able to learn from. Sometimes the best way to find time is to stray from what's become ‘routine’ and try out something different,” he said.
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