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2017 [email protected] global winner Nev Hyman: from Bond to beyond

September 28, 2018

The journey for 2017 [email protected] Global winner, Nev Hyman started here at Bond University almost 12 months ago. Nev recently caught up with the team at Bond and the Gold Coast Bulletin to talk about his experience, lessons learnt and plans for the future for start-up NevHouse

It’s almost a year since his company NevHouse took top honours in the international [email protected] global entrepreneurship competition, but Gold Coast surf icon Nev Hyman is in no mood for looking back.

Instead, Mr Hyman’s focus is firmly on the future, as NevHouse moves forward with a full company restructure, complete with a new board of directors, and executive chairman.

NevHouse creates pre-fabricated homes, class rooms, medical clinics and other community structures from recycled plastic, targeting them at disaster relief areas and emerging nations.

The company has already supplied buildings to settlements and townships in Vanuatu, which Mr Hyman said had led to significant worldwide interest from other regions in need.

Mr Hyman said to scale up a global initiative like NevHouse, the company needed a “five-star” board of directors. He felt that had been the most relevant criticism of the company since its win at [email protected]

Mr Hyman said he would now focus on his roles as founder, patron and “face” of NevHouse, with Tim Carter stepping in as the organisation’s new Executive Chairman.

Late last year, NevHouse received the supreme award at the [email protected] global finals, held at St James’s Palace in London, beating out 25,000 businesses from across the globe.

[email protected] was set up by HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, in 2014 to accelerate the work of entrepreneurs from around the world, putting them in touch with mentors and advisors, alongside access to supply chains and potential investors.

Mr Hyman said [email protected] had been an invaluable experience.

“It’s really easy to impress people when you chuck up a photo (of you) hanging out with His Royal Highness, but probably more important is the access to people that in your wildest dreams you’d never have met.

“What they do is, they definitely follow up with giving you as a company, an opportunity, and they hound you to make sure – ‘are you taking advantage of the people we’re introducing you to’ – so it’s been incredible from that perspective.”

Applications for this year’s Gold Coast [email protected] On Tour event, to be held at Bond University on November 27, close on October 7, and Mr Hyman encouraged local entrepreneurs to enter.

“I would just be saying go in it to win it, but if by chance you don’t win, you’re going to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet, and you’d get exposure you wouldn’t normally get, and it’s up to you to make value from it.”

He said a good start-up was defined by the attitude of the person behind it, particularly in the face of adversity.

“Never say never, and never give up, never look back, which is one of my surfboard sayings – you just have to be resilient, you’ve got to be passionate, you can’t get despondent, you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater…you’ve gotta start somewhere.”

If you're an entrepreneur with a fabulous idea you want to showcase on a global stage, enter [email protected] by 7 October.