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Tue 10 Sep 2013, 7:00pm–8:00pm

Where: University of Waikato, Knighton Road, Hamilton, Waikato

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: commsipenz

Electrical engineer Neville Jordan will reveal how he went from cleaning sewers as a teenager to million-dollar business deals in a free public lecture about how to spot the ‘next big thing’ in technology.

The venture capitalist whose work changed telecommunications around the world is travelling New Zealand encouraging and teaching others how to spot and develop new technology.

Neville is delivering the free public lectures in the 2013 IPENZ Pickering Lecture Series, an annual event for the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).

“Looking ahead to the next 50 years it is young people who will make major contributions to the country’s science and engineering. This will determine our general prosperity,” says Jordan, a Distinguished Fellow of IPENZ.

He is speaking first hand after a financially tough childhood, where as a 13-year-old he worked at the local freezing works then cleaned sewers for the local council. After studying engineering he set up his company MAS Technology with just $2000 and at night he operated out of a spare bedroom in his mother’s Wellington house and by day sold defence communications devices out of his car.

However, his hard-work paid off and the company later became the first New Zealand company that listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in 1997 at value of $150 million. It also saw more than 10 of his employees become millionaires as Neville had given away company shares to reward hard working staff who had been producing great results. Together he and his former staff went onto earn more than a billion dollars in net foreign exchange.

MAS Technology was also the launching pad for Neville to develop his technology break-through in telecommunications, which replaced the usual copper wire in New Zealand and allowed masses of data to be transmitted at the same time through electrical devices like radio, TV, the internet and phone.

The experience taught Neville to avoid being blind-sided by technology and that the most successful technological ideas are about the people who create them and their creativity and innovation, he said.

“I can’t predict where the next big thing will come from, but what I do know that our nation will only prosper from creativity and innovation in engineering and technology; the betterment of the human condition depends on it.”

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