Following up my post on promoting entrepreneurship to students, I got the following release:
An 18-year-old Christchurch entrepreneur has ditched his plans of studying at university, including a $40,000 scholarship, to launch a website designed to inspire young New Zealanders.
Jake Miller has today (Monday, 14 July) launched his new start-up business OOMPHER – a motivational website featuring video interviews with some of New Zealand and the world’s most successful individuals. The aim is to inspire school leavers and people to do extraordinary things through the wise words of leaders in their fields.
In just six months Jake has gained the support of dozens of New Zealand’s high-flyers as well as major corporates, including lead sponsor BNZ.
Fashion designer Karen Walker, Air New Zealand CEO Chris Luxon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, comedy legend Rhys Darby, businesswoman Suzanne Paul, renowned architect Ian Athfield, bungy pioneer AJ Hackett and political leaders are all standing up for the vision of OOMPHER and an 18-year-old in Christchurch. Rarely have so many of the country’s leaders united for a common cause.
Jake has also managed to secure video interviews with international talents such as New York Entrepreneur of the Year Shazi Visram. His sights are now firmly set on locking down Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and film directors Peter Jackson and James Cameron as future interviewees.
By the end of the year his business plan shows he will have 54 interviews on OOMPHER representing nine key sectors: sports, politics, business, arts, entrepreneurship, innovation, media, professions and technology.
As the former head boy of Christchurch Boys High School, Jake was offered a $40,000 university scholarship last year to study law and commerce – but he turned it down.
Convinced that he didn’t need a piece of paper to follow his entrepreneurial dreams, and despite backlash from former teachers and family, he decided to take the risk and see what he could achieve.
In Jake’s own words: “For me, what was missing was the inspiration. I felt I didn’t need to go to university to follow my entrepreneurial dreams – despite a former teacher predicting because of that I’d ‘end up in prison.’ I think this was due to my generally unconventional approach to life.
“A university degree or tertiary qualification is obviously essential for many careers; however research shows that there is a poor correlation between entrepreneurial success and having a framed piece of paper on the wall.
“My dad’s death in the 2010 Fox Glacier plane crash also reminded me that life can be here one minute and gone the next. We’ve got to make the most of it and do what we love.”
OOMPHER will be live from Monday, 14 July at www.oompher.com.
It’s a great site, with lost of interesting and inspirational interviews, Good to see Jake get out there and take a risk, recruiting a team of other young people for the project – plus lots of corporate sponsors.