Meeting US president will be big thrill for city teen

Joshua Harrington is going to Malaysia to listen to United States president Barack Obama.
Joshua Harrington is going to Malaysia to listen to United States president Barack Obama.

An Invercargill teenager is looking forward to an "amazing experience" in Malaysia that will include listening to United States President Barack Obama.

Joshua Harrington, 17, was awarded a scholarship to take part in Global Startup Youth and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in October, where Mr Obama will give the keynote address.

Joshua is one of 250 young people worldwide chosen from thousands of applications to attend the events.

He had been told three others from New Zealand will also go - two from Dunedin and one mentor from Auckland.

"It will be a pretty amazing experience, I am excited about meeting Obama. He will be inspiring and I will be taking all his advice on board," Joshua said.

Global Startup Youth is a three- day side event of the summit where youth try to come up with solutions for world problems in health, education and the environment.

Now in its fourth year, the summit is an initiative to spur job creation through entrepreneurship by connecting young innovators to resources, ideas and each other.

Joshua, who has had various web-based businesses since he was 13 years old, will get the chance to showcase his work to world leaders and venture investors in Malaysia.

He attended the Invercargill "Startup Weekend" in June where entrepreneurs with digital ideas were inspired to start a business.

The leaders were impressed with his ideas and urged him to apply for the youth scholarship.

"I was surprised I won but I would not have had the confidence without Invercargill startup. My advice for other young people is take opportunities like this," he said.

A former James Hargest College pupil, Joshua is now working with the school implementing a homework education application he designed.

Joshua's mother, Tara Flynn said she was proud of her son and happy he had good business mentors in Invercargill who he could trust with his ideas to protect his future.

The Southland Times