Friday, 15 July 2016 4:26pm
Otago alumnus Logan Elliott (at right) meets with business magnate Sir Richard Branson
You may have heard of digital natives – the young people for whom all things IT-related come naturally – but what about digital nomads?
Otago alumnus and entrepreneur Logan Elliott identifies as one of this growing tribe who use information technology to work “remotely” on projects. The term also ties in with Logan’s belief in an “entrepreneurial spirit” – you have to actively travel and meet new people to seek fresh perspectives and innovate in business, he says.
Logan’s first taste of entrepreneurship came selling pine cones, pet lambs and free-range eggs as a child on his family’s farm near Christchurch.
At 17 he was part of of a Young Enterprise team that won “Company of the Year”, and a trip to China, with their anti-cheating cell phone detector ‘StopCom Cell Track-r’.
Logan’s interest in science and technology led to undergraduate study in Biotechnology at Otago, where he also became “heavily involved in creating things with amazing people”.
He started the Applied Sciences Student Association, ran festivals and conferences and learnt to perform with fire.
After graduating with his Bachelor of Applied Science in 2009, he completed a Master of Entrepreneurship (MEntr), which set him up with “some incredible networks.”
“I have a wide range of supportive mentors and entrepreneurs who inspire me, encourage me and also share the ups and downs of start-up businesses. It also gave me the confidence to be outgoing and extremely passionate about getting out there and making real things happen.
“It was actually while doing the feasibility analysis paper that I had a “eureka” moment and realised the figures I put into the spreadsheet all stacked up and that my hobby could become a viable business,” he says.
Logan discusses Highly Flammable and the University of Otago Business School Audacious Challenge in 2014.
This hobby, performances with fire juggling, underpinned his co-founding Highly Flammable in 2010.
The fast growing entertainment business now provides fire shows and other pyrotechnics, stilt walkers, mirror men, living statues and other creative performances at a range of corporate, community, private and sporting events. The venture has branched out to Wellington and Auckland and has more than 50 performers on its books, who appear at major music festivals and public events nationwide.
In addition to running Highly Flammable, Logan has guest lectured on the Master of Entrepreneurship programme in Dunedin, mentored other entrepreneurs, and more recently launched Lifetime Creative to help creatives and performers achieve in business.
Logan’s future plans are to keep growing Highly Flammable and “potentially look to launch it overseas in the next five years.”
“I’ll also keep growing Lifetime Creative and aim to eventually help thousands of people start their own businesses each year.
“The challenges for these businesses include keeping an entertainment company growing in a relatively small market with a niche offering. For Lifetime Creative it is finding enough time to grow it in between running Highly Flammable and travelling the world!”
Logan now spends most of his time running his businesses remotely from various locations in New Zealand and overseas.