New Luksic Scholars Fund will support 13 beneficiaries with funding for executive courses or research projects

A total fund of US $ 46,000 will be distributed among the 13 winners who have carried out their programs supported by Luksic Scholars between 2007 and 2019, both in Chile and abroad, and come from four countries around the globe.

The Luksic Scholars Fund (LSF) is a new funding opportunity, for up to US$ 5,000, offered by the Luksic Scholars Foundation to members of its network – A.K.A Scholars-, in line with the commitment to support the continuous training and personal development of the Scholars community.

Luksic Scholars is part of the Luksic Foundation and has been supporting men and women to continue their higher studies for more than 20 years through scholarships and educational exchanges. Since 2000, more than 20 programs have been developed and 1,600 scholarship recipients have been supported, 900 of whom are now actively part of the Scholars network.

The LSF was created in response to comments and requests for financial support made by the members of the Scholars network, thus emerging as a financing alternative specially designed so that they can take advantage of programmatic or academic opportunities presented during the current pandemic. This Fund offers two sources of funding: one to support continuing professional development, through online executive education; and the other to support innovative and small-scale academic research projects, in any of their stages.

“This initiative will allow us to continue connecting with the Scholars, and also connecting them with their peers and relevant institutions”,points out Jeff Swiryn, Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

In this first edition, the initiative has 36 virtual applications, both in English and Spanish, which were first evaluated by the Luksic Scholars team through a SAFe evaluation (Suitability, Admissibility and Feasibility.)

In the case of research projects, these were also evaluated by an external Evaluation Panel. The committee, composed by Xue Jian, Professor and Associate Dean, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University; Steve Reifenberg, Associate Professor, Chair in International Development, University of Notre Dame; Georges de Bourguignon Covarrubias, Investment Director, ASSET AGF; and Stephanie Dazin, Director of Nexo Internacional, from the Economics and Business college at University of Chile, evaluated the applications using criteria of clarity and coherence of ideas; originality and creativity of the project; demonstration of the impact of the project; and feasibility of delivery.

After the evaluations, about 30% of the applications, that is 13 out of 36, were awarded funds, thus reaching a total delivered of US$ 46,000.

“This is an opportunity to help Scholars from all over Chile and anywhere in the world, to get through this 2021, so they can expand their international networks. We look forward to a new iteration in the future, once we evaluate the real impact of this fund on the professional and academic profiles of the winner Scholars“, explains Ben Thompson, Project Coordinator at Luksic Scholars.

The winners

The 13 winners of the LSF have carried out their programs supported by Luksic Scholars between 2007 and 2019, both in Chile and abroad. The beneficiaries have participated in eight different programs and come from four countries around the globe.

Simon Smart, an English citizen residing in Chile, participant in the Babson Luksic Fellows program, in 2013, was awarded the fund to carry out the course: “Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies”, from the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School.

Ivana Marsic, Croatian, who completed the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education for Croatia program in 2007, will receive support for her professional career, which she will use to take “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: A Systematic Approach for Building Innovative Products and Ventures”, at the renowned MIT. “I am passionate about entrepreneurship and the process of creating value from scratch. My professional goal is to develop an entrepreneurial generator in Croatia: a company that creates start-ups, which will have to balance experimentation and learning with the selection and implementation of a strategy, through internal teams and scale them globally. The key is to understand what idea is worthwhile and how to maximize the effort to achieve success, “says Ivana.

The Chilean teacher, Francisco Castañeda, was part of the Babson Case Writing Teaching Workshop program in 2010, and will now join the “Business, International Relations and The Political Economy”, a course offered by The London School of Economics and Political Science. “Understanding the major trends in business at a global level allows me to acquire a more concrete vision about how countries like Chile should insert themselves in the international arena. This knowledge will be transmitted to my students,” he explained.

Another Chilean professor who benefited is Alexis Celis, who was part of Babson’s Entrepreneurship Educators Symposium 3 years ago. Celis will carry out the executive education program “Venture Capital: Investing in Early-Stage Startups”, dictated by Columbia Business School.

Belén Guede is a prominent engineer from the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Chile and, currently, Product Owner at Zippedi, an Artificial Intelligence start-up for retail. In 2019, he made an exchange to China for 6 months, as part of the Luksic Scholarship for Chile-China Undergraduate Exchange, and applied to take the “Diploma in Chinese Studies”, also from the University of Chile. “The impact of the course on my professional career will be reflected in developing applicable capacities both in the public and private, national and international world, as well as articulating and carrying out commercial activities and inter-institutional cooperation with different actors in China,” says Belén.

The Chilean teacher, Paulina Gutiérrez, who traveled to the United States in 2017 within the framework of the Babson Luksic Fellows program, will take the “Forming Directors” program, taught by the Adolfo Ibáñez University.

The Chilean Alejandra Astorquiza, participant in 2019 of the Babson Symposium in its last face-to-face edition, will carry out a course on “Digital Marketing: strategy, processes and ROI”, promoted by the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra.

Among those who will receive support for his research is Juan Cristóbal Opazo, who was awarded the fund to carry out his study “Evolution of the N-terminal region of the Golgi phosphoprotein 3 (GOLPH3) oncoprotein”. Opazo, made his Visiting Fellowship at Harvard DRCLAS, in 2016, supported by the Luksic Scholars.

Likewise, Josefa Villarroel, Director of the Entrepreneurship Policies Observatory, who deepened her research on this subject at Babson College during 2016, is developing the project “Ara o te hakake – Discovering the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Rapa Nui”. “This research project will positively impact my professional and personal development. Additionally, it will contribute to my purpose of contributing to the development of more inclusive and diverse ecosystems, this being the engine of my move to Rapa Nui in 2020”, said Josefa.

Dr. Xiao Chen, of Chinese origin and today located in Canada, is working as Professor of Management at the University of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Chen was part of the exchange of MBA students under the Conducting Business in Chile program in 2016. Chen will use the funds for his research project “Climate change and S&P 500 Organizations’ social, environmental, and governance (ESG) performance: A socioecological exploration.” Dr. Chen notes: “This project cultivates an academic network, beyond the Luksic Scholars community, connecting truly distinctive disciplines of the natural and social sciences.”

Chilean Alejandro Cataldo, who traveled to Babson in 2013, will allocate financial support to his project “Effects of family and economic factors on techno-stress in students due to remote learning. Does inequality generate techno-stress?”

On the other hand, Chilean professor Sebastián Uriarte, who continued working in the area of ​​entrepreneurship, after participating in the Babson Chilean Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators SEE in 2015, develops an investigation called “Working with Hybrid Entrepreneurs”. “This project is significant for my academic career, as it will correspond to the final research that I must complete to receive my doctorate. This investigation began in March 2021, being in an initial stage, so the Luksic Scholars Fund will be fundamental to make its implementation viable”, said Sebastián.

Finally, Loreto Cox, PhD in Political Science from MIT, supported by Luksic Scholars during her PhD that began in 2013, is working on “More Options, but Less Willing to Vote When Already at the Ballot Box: District Magnitude and Turnout after the End of the Chilean Binomial System.”