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Rocketlab's Peter Beck just misses out in Monaco

Monaco, June 10 (JY&A Media) On June 8, 2017, entrepreneurs from 49 countries descended on Monaco for the 17th annual EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Representing New Zealand this year, Peter Beck of Rocketlab. Peter’s singular vision in creating a company that would challenge the norm and take New Zealand into space was formulated at a very early age.
Peter Beck quote, Monaco, June 9
‘I knew from a very early age that space was something I’m going to work in, as far back as I can remember standing outside looking up at the stars with my father I knew that space was something I had to be involved with. It’s kind of a marriage between engineering and space that has lead to all of this.’
   Rocketlab launched their first rocket into space just last month and they are viewed around the world as a very serious player in the rocket business.
Peter Beck quote, Monaco, June 9
‘I think we’re perceived as the leaders in the small launch vehicle, we’re lucky to be quite clearly in front of our competition with the first flight of our vehicle.’
   However, competing against another 48 world-beating entrepreneurs is tough. The entrepreneurs get just 20 minutes in front of the independent judging panel, who number amongst their participants, former New Zealand winner and chair of the New Zealand judging panel, Diane Foreman.
Diane Foreman quote, Monaco, June 9
‘We spend three hours independently studying each national winner, so by the time we arrive in the judging room we really know the competitors.
   ‘And then we have 20 minutes in the room with each winner to “make magic”.
   ‘Normally it takes around an hour and a half to reach consensus. This time it was four hours 15 of very rigorous debate – but we have a winner and a winner of whom we are very proud.’
   Peter Beck typifies the New Zealand spirit of punching above our weight: his dream was considered by many as an impossible one. He had to raise multi-million-dollar capital, he had to convince the New Zealand and US governments to negotiate a bilateral space treaty, and, of course, he had to build rockets that could reach space—all of which he has done. His story was one that resonated with the global media that assembled in Monte Carlo. He was interviewed by all of the British press, plus major TV networks CNBC, Fox, and the BBC.
   Sitting on the terrace of the hotel in Monaco reflecting on what he has achieved so far, Peter says that his achievements are not so much his own, but they represent his team and the country.
Peter Beck quote, Monaco, June 9
‘It’s a huge honour whether you’re a sportsman or an entrepreneur: representing your country is the ultimate, it’s the ultimate responsibility, too, so I’d better bloody win for the country, I don’t really care for Peter Beck, it’s got to be for the country so that to me is really the prime driver here, being here amongst the most the most amazing people in the world, representing your country. I think it was really well summed up at an event last night: this is the Olympics for entrepreneurs and business and that is really exciting.’
   Earlier in the evening, Peter was inducted into the World Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and although he missed out on the top award which went to Murad Al-Katib of Canada, who over 15 years has taken his company, AGT Food and Ingredients, to one with $1·4 billion in revenues, with around 23 per cent of the world’s trade in lentils and operating in 120 countries.
   Peter still managed some sage words of advice for young Kiwi entrepreneurs.
Peter Beck quote, Monaco, June 9
‘Work hard and don’t give up. There’s going to be a lot of people that tell you it’s not possible; there’s going to be many, many times when it just seems impossible and hard, but we always find a way. Sometimes it’s almost sheer arrogance there’s a barrier in front of you. You can accept that it’s a barrier and stop or you can find a way around it.’

Peter Beck with his EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame Trophy
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Peter and his wife Karen with his EY World Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Trophy
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Peter on stage in Monte Carlo receiving his EY World Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Trophy
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Peter Beck in front of the global media
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Nigel Godfrey
Eureka Productions Ltd.
T 64 21 630-443
E [email protected]