Juan Pablo Muñoz recently won the Explorer programme for entrepreneurs in Tarragona and has undergone extensive training at international institutions and universities through specialist programmes for students
Juan Pablo Muñoz has been a student on the Master’s Degree in International Markets at the URV and has undergone extensive training at international institutions and universities through specialist programmes for students. He recently won the Explorer programme for entrepreneurs in Tarragona for his idea to create a platform for the internationalisation of small and medium businesses. His prize is a trip to Silicon Valley in November.
What are the reasons that lead you to undertake mobility visits?
Initially it was to do with the goal that I set myself when I graduated in engineering, which was to explore as many places as possible through these types of programme. However, as you gain experience, you realise that they also enable you to broaden your circle of contacts on a global level and your multicultural perspective, in addition to giving you a profound immersion in the culture of the country.
What have given you on a personal level and in terms of training?
On a personal level, these experiences have helped me to become more adaptable, they have strengthened my character and they have taught me how to deal with different challenges. I feel that I am now more empathetic and creative and I have changed the way that I look at the world. The training has been varied and I would place particular emphasis on the development of leadership skills that these programmes offer.
How do mobility programmes benefit students?
It is the opportunity to leap into the unknown with practically no risk, to get out of your comfort zone and grow exponentially as a person, to contrast your country with other countries and to broaden your network of contacts.
Why did you decide to participate in the Explorer programme?
I have a lot of initiative and I like to challenge the status quo, so I thought that the Explorer programme would be the perfect opportunity for me to create value for society whilst training as an entrepreneur.
What is the idea behind Aliconnector?
It is a web platform that seeks to help micro, small and medium businesses to find commercial allies in international markets in an easy, effective and economical manner. It is a service that complements the efforts of public and private organisations to support businesses in their internationalisation processes.
How and with which resources will you bring the idea to fruition?
We have a well-defined action plan whereby we hope to continue receiving the support of local and international institutions, to adjust our value proposal, to launch the platform and to perfect our communications strategy. We are currently actively trying to obtain funding, hopefully we can enter a business accelerator or strike up a strategic alliance that will provide us with the resources we need to move forward with the idea.
How has the knowledge you acquired during your master’s degree at the URV helped you to develop the project idea?
In every way imaginable! It has not only been the knowledge acquired during the master’s, but also all of the support that I have received from the university since the beginning. It has enabled me to have incredible international experiences and I have always had the support of my professors, my coordinator, the International Centre of the URV and my classmates. This has been key to the success of the idea.
When you have finished your master’s degree and with the entrepreneurship project on the table, what are your plans for the future?
Entrepreneurship is an exciting world but also one of uncertainty and risk. In fact, I liken the Aliconnector project to having a child, it requires that you give it your time, effort and dedication, but it also gives you a great deal of satisfaction and joy and makes your hair stand on end when you think and talk about it. On the other hand, large corporations and international organisations also have many good things to offer. In both worlds you learn a tremendous amount and they complement each other because what learn in one you can apply in the other, so for now I will continue to combine them until I reach the time when I have to choose one or the other.