As I traversed the winding cobblestone streets of Rome to meet Oliver Page on a sunny Italian winter day I couldn’t help but be inspired. Oliver Page was inspired to make his own iPad Case when he dropped his iPad in 2010. Since then Page, is the Cofounder of NutKase Accessories, has kept his inspiration going with new and useful tech products. Today, NutKase is a tech Accessories company that makes specially customised cases for Tech Education programs around the globe. Page is an Italian-American who grew up in Rome with perfect mother-tongue English. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in many startups. Currently he runs both his businesses in an incubator located in Rome. The incubator is an inviting space of co working and learning. This is the backdrop where I sat down with Page to ask him a few questions one might ask a young tech entrepreneur.
Q1: So, let’s start with the juicy questions, How did you get in the business of tech education?
Hi! So as a tech obsessed teen, particularly with Apple Products, I had to collect them all. I grew up in Rome and in the middle of highschool I received the first iPad direct from the U.S. After my first accident dropping my iPad, I needed a case. At this time, there were not any iPad cases available in Europe. So, being the proactive individual I am, I made my own case. I invented the iHandler, a case with a cross-strap on the back to support hand holding and prevent drops. This case has transformed into the BumpKase which is our bestselling product today.
Q2: And what are your goals now that you’ve been running this business for 7 years?
Luckily, we have been able to grow our business by 50% or more every year and we have connected with International Schools and Businesses in over 45 countries. We have made a lot of growth in our HeadQuarters in Rome an UK, allowing us to reach more Educators with our very protective and Premium product. We are excited to release our Chromebook Cases and iPad Pro 9.7 and 12.7.
Q3: What do you see the importance / future of tech education?
There are some really amazing trends and practices growing in Tech Education. The more IT directors and School administrators I work with, the more I hear about great 1 to 1 device deployments where tech is implemented seamlessly with learning. As a tech enthusiast, I think every student should have access to technology as a tool to learn.
Q4: In relation to your recent trip to BETT 2017 conference (the biggest tech education event of the year), what stood out to you most?
The general focus on VR was interesting and really opened the door to VR integrated in education. I even got to try on a pair of Microsoft HoloLens which are a headset only available to developers currently – priced at 3,000-5,000 pounds this was very cool.
Also, one stand that stood out was the Entreprenaws which is a game interface that teaches children about business and enterprising, as a young entrepreneur I think it is so important for kids to learn about business at a young age.
Q5: We’ve heard many stories about new hologram technology for the classroom in addition to a HumaGram, that can be streamed in many locations for lecturing. What do you think of this technology as the future of education?
I saw this technology in person at BETT 2017 and it was truly great. This is the future of education or communication that people have always pictured, there is a speaker hologram who can interact live with the audience and see each one of them. This will allow people to be in two places at once for seminars, events and conferences. Fantastic product!
Q6: How has technology shaped your educational journey?
In a way, for me tech is my educational journey. I was already running sales with NutKase while in a high school (a project driven by tech) then, I chose to go on a Gap year in Guangzhou, China after high school to do research and development with manufacturers. After going to Lancaster University in UK, I decided to extend my entrepreneurial tech journey to Draper University in Silicon Valley, a school for entrepreneurs and self starters. After working and living in California, I decided to start a new business in my hometown Rome, I was inspired to start an App for a scooter ridesharing service called Scooterino.
Q7: Also, what is your favourite book of the moment?
“Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss is a detailed account of the best practices and habits of world leaders, billionaires and icons.
Q8: What advice would you give yourself as a highschool student at the beginning of your Entrepreneurial journey?
In terms of business, my advice is to never give up even when you are faced with a challenge that seems like the end of your business, it’s not if you find the right solution. When I first started NutKase I learned this lesson when our product manufacturers had been lying about the construction of our cases, instead of using hard TPU protective shell they had been lining the product with used toothpaste boxes. Without this initial experience, I would have never learned this lesson of perseverance.
Q9: If you could sit down to dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Q10: What’s your favorite quote or saying?
Viktor Frankl, A holocaust survivor, once said something that resonated with me “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”