Emerging Director / Hamilton Airport - Hamilton, New Zealand
- Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours
- Strategic Management
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Greg Johnston is a talented young entrepreneur who’s passionate about high-growth start-up ventures and social enterprises. And he gets a kick out of helping other people turn their great ideas into profitable business ventures.
He was recently appointed to a new role as Emerging Director of Hamilton Airport. Greg also continues to run his own company on the side; Ventureval, a strategy and growth advisory company that supports Kiwi business entrepreneurs to develop sound strategies for validation, business, marketing and sales.
As the former CEO of Manta5, Greg worked with the founders of Torpedo7 to market an innovative new hydrofoil pedal-powered bike which allows users to plane across the surface of lakes and rivers - as if they are cycling on water.
"My role as CEO was to lead our team, develop the commercial strategy and facilitate design thinking so our designers and engineers could develop the most innovative product possible, whilst keeping the end-users and commercial viability in mind. We've been fortunate to test our prototypes with dozens of self-selected enthusiasts which is helping inform the final design of our production-ready product.
“Entrepreneurship can be a challenging journey,” says Greg. "When you come up with an idea, it’s often daunting to push towards founding the business, but there are methods you can use which make the validation and launch pathway easier.”
At university, he majored in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship & Innovation as part of a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours degree.
“If you’re looking to start your own business, the BMS(Hons) degree is ideal", says Greg. “It provides you with a solid grounding across all the key business areas, including strategy, accounting and marketing. I still use lots of the frameworks that I learnt during my degree today."
Greg also enjoyed many opportunities to develop his skills outside the classroom, such as getting involved in business case competitions. He was part of a talented group of students whose idea for an online immigration business saw them take home the $30,000 winners’ prize at the Innes 48-hour Business Start-up Competition.
He also helped another Waikato team claim victory at the SDS International Business Case Competition in Queenstown.
Greg was vice-president of Enactus Waikato; a global student organisation that runs not-for-profit entrepreneurial projects designed to improve local communities. He led the Waikato team to back-to-back national victories, and they went on to represent New Zealand at the Enactus World Cups in Kuala Lumpur and Washington DC.
He also mentored aspiring young entrepreneurs at the University’s Innovation Station by helping them to test and validate their product ideas.
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