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Mentor to entrepreneurs receives global award

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Geoff Whitcher, the founder of the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is one of only 18 people globally to have won a Rhodes Trust Inspirational Educator Award.

Launched this year, the award highlights incredible teaching around the world.

A one-man social network and tireless champion for entrepreneurship, Geoff founded Velocity (originally called Spark), the University of Auckland’s student-led entrepreneurship programme which has helped launch more than 100 ventures including PowerbyProxi, Fishpond, Thought Wired and The P3 Foundation.

He also backed the launch of Chiasma, a professional student-led organisation that creates links between academia and the wider science and technology industries.

Geoff has mentored dozens of students over the years, and helped more than 20 students to secure scholarships to complete masters-level study at universities around the world.

He’s known affectionately as the “grey ghost”, quietly nurturing, extending and connecting behind the scenes.

Metro magazine last year named him as one of Auckland’s most influential business figures.

Rhodes Scholar Alice Wang, who gained a Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford, nominated Geoff for the award.

“Geoff had a vision of building a better New Zealand through developing the potential of young people, and has touched the lives of many young entrepreneurs and students through his energy and dedication to student organisations,” she wrote in her letter of nomination.

“It’s difficult to describe, with any comprehensiveness, the way that he has inspired and encouraged me in my studies, but to name a few – he gave me opportunities (and the occasional nudge) to extend myself intellectually and personally, he took a genuine interest in what I wanted to achieve and supported me in reaching those dreams (including aspirations for the Rhodes Scholarship), and he showed me what a single person can do to build a whole community of thinkers, doers and learners, all striving to make New Zealand a better place.”

 

CIE founder Geoff Whitcher

CIE founder Geoff Whitcher.

CIE founder Geoff Whitcher

CIE founder Geoff Whitcher.

social media

Geoff Whitcher, the founder of the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is one of only 18 people globally to have won a Rhodes Trust Inspirational Educator Award.

Launched this year, the award highlights incredible teaching around the world.

A one-man social network and tireless champion for entrepreneurship, Geoff founded Velocity (originally called Spark), the University of Auckland’s student-led entrepreneurship programme which has helped launch more than 100 ventures including PowerbyProxi, Fishpond, Thought Wired and The P3 Foundation.

He also backed the launch of Chiasma, a professional student-led organisation that creates links between academia and the wider science and technology industries.

Geoff has mentored dozens of students over the years, and helped more than 20 students to secure scholarships to complete masters-level study at universities around the world.

He’s known affectionately as the “grey ghost”, quietly nurturing, extending and connecting behind the scenes.

Metro magazine last year named him as one of Auckland’s most influential business figures.

Rhodes Scholar Alice Wang, who gained a Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford, nominated Geoff for the award.

“Geoff had a vision of building a better New Zealand through developing the potential of young people, and has touched the lives of many young entrepreneurs and students through his energy and dedication to student organisations,” she wrote in her letter of nomination.

“It’s difficult to describe, with any comprehensiveness, the way that he has inspired and encouraged me in my studies, but to name a few – he gave me opportunities (and the occasional nudge) to extend myself intellectually and personally, he took a genuine interest in what I wanted to achieve and supported me in reaching those dreams (including aspirations for the Rhodes Scholarship), and he showed me what a single person can do to build a whole community of thinkers, doers and learners, all striving to make New Zealand a better place.”

 


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