CIE » Newsroom » Student Maina Fuimaono advocates for Pacific innovation

NEWSROOM

Student Maina Fuimaono advocates for Pacific innovation

social media

27 January 2021

Wellington native Maina Fuimaono arrived at the University of Auckland never having heard of innovation and entrepreneurship. Now, the final year Bachelor of Commerce student advocates for it to be a part of every student’s university experience.

Maina is a member of the student team at Velocity, the University’s student-led entrepreneurship development programme run with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is also the Public Relations Officer at the Tongan Students’ Association and was previously Social Affairs Officer at Commerce ‘o Pasifika.

During her time at Commerce ‘o Pasifika, Maina got to know the Vice President who was also on the Velocity team. They introduced her to the programme and inspired her to get involved. Her flatmate also happened to be on the team, and “never failed to remind me of Velocity’s events and competitions.” She says, “That paired with the free ice-blocks during O-week and people in bright orange morph suits – it was hard to ignore.”

A highlight for Maina has been learning more about the variety of innovative start-ups that have come out of the programme, such as Kami. She says, “Before joining Velocity, I only knew Kami as the place where my cousin worked. It wasn’t until later that I became aware of the cool work they do. I admired what they did during the lockdown. With everyone shifting to online learning, instead of spiking their prices they made their product free. I thought that was really wholesome.”

When asked what excites her about innovation and entrepreneurship, Maina responds, “The real question here is what isn’t exciting about innovation and entrepreneurship? In a nutshell, I like that it’s constantly evolving. It boggles my mind that 15 years ago, my dream technology was a Motorola flip phone and a portable DVD player.” She is also inspired by its ability to add value to “practically anything and everything – and it doesn’t have to be monetary value, which is why it is so important.”

Maina recognises the need for innovation in our day to day lives and is hopeful for the future. “I’ve seen that society improves a lot with the help of innovation, not only for the benefit of the local community but for the planet as a whole. In just the last few years, there’s been a great rise in developing sustainable solutions, from e-mobility and new battery technology for greener cities, to alternative energy sources and robotics for sustainable mining. Without innovation in these areas, modern living wouldn’t be possible. However, I think there’s still a long way to go in developing and implementing technologies and processes to overcome societal challenges and inequalities. It’s important that the next generation is able to use their entrepreneurial mindsets to create a more favorable future – economically, socially and especially environmentally.”

Maina sees Velocity as a valuable way of spreading the entrepreneurial spirit and developing innovative capability in local communities such as high schools and cultural clubs around University. She says, “When I first joined, Velocity wasn’t something that was known amongst the Pacific community, and those that had heard of it had reservations around whether they could be involved. I want to change that. Velocity has done so well in building a community, creating opportunities, and giving back and I’m excited to take it even further.”

Thinking about the future, Maina is looking forward to putting the practical skills she gained through Velocity, such as time management and how to work in a team, to use in a career in the stock market or economic analysis. She says, “I see Velocity as a valuable programme for all students – regardless of whether they go on to start a venture. Everyone will need to be a problem solver at some point in their lives, and you gain a ton of transferable skills and experience from either working on the team, entering a competition, or attending an event. Velocity is for anyone who wants to get their foot closer to jump-starting a professional career after graduation.”

Nicholas Bing
Nicholas Bing

social media

27 January 2021

Wellington native Maina Fuimaono arrived at the University of Auckland never having heard of innovation and entrepreneurship. Now, the final year Bachelor of Commerce student advocates for it to be a part of every student’s university experience.

Maina is a member of the student team at Velocity, the University’s student-led entrepreneurship development programme run with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is also the Public Relations Officer at the Tongan Students’ Association and was previously Social Affairs Officer at Commerce ‘o Pasifika.

During her time at Commerce ‘o Pasifika, Maina got to know the Vice President who was also on the Velocity team. They introduced her to the programme and inspired her to get involved. Her flatmate also happened to be on the team, and “never failed to remind me of Velocity’s events and competitions.” She says, “That paired with the free ice-blocks during O-week and people in bright orange morph suits – it was hard to ignore.”

A highlight for Maina has been learning more about the variety of innovative start-ups that have come out of the programme, such as Kami. She says, “Before joining Velocity, I only knew Kami as the place where my cousin worked. It wasn’t until later that I became aware of the cool work they do. I admired what they did during the lockdown. With everyone shifting to online learning, instead of spiking their prices they made their product free. I thought that was really wholesome.”

When asked what excites her about innovation and entrepreneurship, Maina responds, “The real question here is what isn’t exciting about innovation and entrepreneurship? In a nutshell, I like that it’s constantly evolving. It boggles my mind that 15 years ago, my dream technology was a Motorola flip phone and a portable DVD player.” She is also inspired by its ability to add value to “practically anything and everything – and it doesn’t have to be monetary value, which is why it is so important.”

Maina recognises the need for innovation in our day to day lives and is hopeful for the future. “I’ve seen that society improves a lot with the help of innovation, not only for the benefit of the local community but for the planet as a whole. In just the last few years, there’s been a great rise in developing sustainable solutions, from e-mobility and new battery technology for greener cities, to alternative energy sources and robotics for sustainable mining. Without innovation in these areas, modern living wouldn’t be possible. However, I think there’s still a long way to go in developing and implementing technologies and processes to overcome societal challenges and inequalities. It’s important that the next generation is able to use their entrepreneurial mindsets to create a more favorable future – economically, socially and especially environmentally.”

Maina sees Velocity as a valuable way of spreading the entrepreneurial spirit and developing innovative capability in local communities such as high schools and cultural clubs around University. She says, “When I first joined, Velocity wasn’t something that was known amongst the Pacific community, and those that had heard of it had reservations around whether they could be involved. I want to change that. Velocity has done so well in building a community, creating opportunities, and giving back and I’m excited to take it even further.”

Thinking about the future, Maina is looking forward to putting the practical skills she gained through Velocity, such as time management and how to work in a team, to use in a career in the stock market or economic analysis. She says, “I see Velocity as a valuable programme for all students – regardless of whether they go on to start a venture. Everyone will need to be a problem solver at some point in their lives, and you gain a ton of transferable skills and experience from either working on the team, entering a competition, or attending an event. Velocity is for anyone who wants to get their foot closer to jump-starting a professional career after graduation.”


EMAIL
CIE@AUCKLAND.AC.NZ

PHONE
09 923 4526

NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

POSTAL ADDRESS
THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND BUSINESS SCHOOL
PRIVATE BAG 92019, AUCKLAND

 

 

 

WUNAPRUU21