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Business School entrepreneur honoured in Asia

University of Auckland Business School alumnus and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Mitchell Pham, has been honoured in Ho Chi Minh City, with the local government recognising his contribution to entrepreneurial leadership and international impact in the city's booming hi-tech industry.

The New Zealander of Vietnamese heritage, arrived in New Zealand as a young refugee and while a student at the University of Auckland, established the first company in what later became the Augen Software Group, with friends. He is now a director of the group in New Zealand and chairman of its wholly-owned operation in Vietnam and the affiliated Kiwi Connection Tech Hub (KCTH).

Mitchell is also chair of NZTech and FinTechNZ, co-chair of the NZ-ASEAN Business Alliance (ABA), Asia:NZ Foundation's Honorary Advisor, NZTE's Beachheads Advisor, NZ Asian Leaders' advisory board member, KEA's World Class New Zealand member and awardee.

Ho Chi Minh City is not just Vietnam's largest centre of commerce and industry, but also the leading tech hub in one of Asia's largest and fastest-growing digital economies, behind only China and India.

The award marks 15 years since Mitchell established Augen's subsidiary and started to direct its engagement and participation in Vietnam’s rapidly-growing hi-tech industry, working together with NZ-born business partner and the group's CEO Peter Vile. The honour, received auspiciously in August, coincides with Augen’s 26th birthday back in Auckland.

Kiwi tech firm Augen helps New Zealand businesses accelerate custom-development of software solutions and digital products for both domestic and international markets.

Mitchell’s involvement with the University of Auckland Business School continued after he graduated, personally as well as through Augen and KCTH. He has worked over many years with the Department of Information Systems & Operations Management, the NZ Asia Institute, the Asia Savvy conference, and the MBA programme.

Mitchell’s latest honorary role as Entrepreneur-In-Residence gives recognition to his many years of contribution to the business school as well as the wider University, and supports the continuation of his ongoing efforts to connect the school to industry, both at home and abroad.

“There is much value in external connections, whether it is from alumni, or industry networks. Connecting students from the Business School with industry both inside and outside New Zealand benefits everyone,” says Mitchell.

Professor Jayne Godfrey, Dean of the Business School says Mitchell’s work bringing industry connections together with University resources is hugely enriching for everyone. “Mitchell’s involvement with the Business School allows students from our programmes to learn from the best in the world.”

Mitchell is also an example of how diversity and inclusion benefit Kiwi business and industry, especially when many tech entrepreneurs, investors and skilled professionals are migrants to the popular country that is known for its ease of doing business, clean and safe environment, transparent systems and tolerant society.

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