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Four MBA graduates selected to start up their company in Chile

September 10, 2013

A team of four 2013 MBA graduates—Jean-Michel Beaudoin, Lauris Bonnet, Daniel Tardif, and Simon Turcotte—will be among the next Start-up Chile cohort. Out of 1,386 submissions received from 63 countries, only 85 projects were selected for this exclusive program. Created in 2010 by the Government of Chile, Start-up Chile aims to attract young entrepreneurs with great potential to start up their companies in Chile in an effort to position the country as a centre of excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship in Latin America.

The 85 projects of the 2013 edition were selected by experts from Silicon Valley (entrepreneurs, scholars, investors) and the Subcommittee of entrepreneurship and innovation of InnovaChile, using the following criteria:

The four graduates will be awarded a US$40,000 budget to start up their company: MissingLINK. This coming November, the team members will travel to Chile for a seven-month stay during which they will engage in the Chilean entrepreneurial ecosystem, receive support to start up their company and attend different events.

The idea for MissingLINK came about at the second edition of Startup Weekend Montréal, organized by HEC Montréal on the weekend of February 8-10, 2013. As part of this event, participants had to develop a business project within 54 hours. MissingLINK, an academic relationship management solution, is intended to strengthen the links between students, graduates, researchers, management and recruiters to facilitate opportunities for collaboration. To this end, MissingLINK includes a platform using social media to put various stakeholders in contact, depending on specific needs and interests, with the objective to help everyone to reach their goals. For instance, students and graduates may use MissingLINK as a networking tool, while recruiters may use it to seek candidates, and student associations, to find support, guidance and funding sources for their activities.

“Though Facebook® is part of the daily lives of students, the network is limited to their close circle of friends and acquaintances and is used primarily for entertainment purposes,” explains Jean-Michel Beaudoin. “LinkedIn® is quite static and not very well suited to the reality of students, as the scope of the user’s network is limited. MissingLINK aims to serve the academic community by helping its members to get in contact with those persons likely to help them in taking the next step to reach their goal. MissingLINK is therefore meant as a dynamic platform where participants do not hesitate to engage openly the more powerful network to which they belong de facto: their alma mater.”

An intrapreneur with more than 10 years of experience in information technologies (IT) at the international level, Jean-Michel Beaudoin served as President of the HEC Montréal-MBA Student Association (AEMBA) in 2012-13. Engineer Lauris Bonnet has more than seven years of experience in managing industrial projects and held the role of Director of entrepreneurship at the AEMBA. An engineer also, Daniel Tardif has over six years of experience as a programmer analyst and IT business analyst. He also assumed the responsibilities of Vice President of the AEMBA. Simon Turcotte is an experienced biotechnology researcher who lived in Silicon Valley for several years and contributed to the start up of Volochem. 

Simon Turcotte, Lauris Bonnet, Jean-Michel Beaudoin, and Daniel Tardif.


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