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Taiwanese wins Google-inspired business plan contest

2012/02/22 20:00:48

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) A Taiwanese woman has won a business plan competition in the United States and US$250,000 in start-up cash by drawing on her bitter job hunting experience.

Sonia Lin said Wednesday that she and her American partner Mitch Schneider beat another 113 entries from around the world in the Gigabit Challenge.

The contest, organized by Kansas City, Missouri and business communities there, was held to seek the best ideas to utilize the ultra-speed fiber network provided by Google Inc. The results were announced Jan. 18.

The competition originated from Google's initiative to build an ultra-fast broadband network in the city that can generate Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

Lin, co-founder of an American human resource firm Kauzu, said her proposal included building a platform that could help create job matches between job seekers and employers in a faster, easier way.

The idea of starting a job platform came from her bitter experience of trying to find a job in the U.S. after completing a master's degree in education at Northwest University, said Lin, 29.

She ended up working in a non-profit Asian-American group, where Schneider invited her to join the competition.

Lin, who was born and raised in Taiwan, said she thought she would end up working in a school in her home country.

The launch of her business in the U.S. was "an accidental yet amazing twist," she said.

She said the job firm would start providing online services in July or August this year and would also incorporate social networking sites to make job hunting more fun and more meaningful.

Lin also expressed her gratitude to Schneider, whom she described as "a mentor and a friend" who gave her the opportunity to show her ideas in the contest.

(By Huang Kuo-fang and Jamie Wang)
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