Thu, Feb 23, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese woman, partner win Gigabit Challenge in the US

Staff Writer, with CNA

A Taiwanese woman won a business plan competition in the US and US$250,000 in startup cash by drawing on her difficult job-hunting experiences.

Sonia Lin (林容如) said yesterday that she and her US partner, Mitch Schneider, beat 113 entries from around the world in the Gigabit Challenge.

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

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

Lin, co-founder of US human resource firm Kauzu, said her proposal included building a platform that matches jobseekers and employers in a faster and easier way.

The idea of starting a job platform came from her tough experience of trying to find employment in the US after completing a master’s degree in education at Northwest University, Lin said.

The 29-year-old ended up working for a non-profit Asian American group, where Schneider invited her to join the competition.

The launch of her business in the US was “an accidental yet amazing twist,” she said, adding the expected launch date for online services was July or August.

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