MBA Program

The Power of an Entrepreneurial Mindset: WHU MBA Alumnus Matias

Supporting start-ups and finding new ways to help ideas thrive

From traveling worldwide to dabbling in the personal safety industry, Matias Concha Bidegain is a graduate with a wealth of experience. Graduating from the Full-Time MBA in 2021, we caught up with Matias to find out how his career has progressed since leaving WHU.

Like many MBA students, sampling life abroad is not a new concept but the norm. After participating in an exchange program in the USA, living for a year in Australia, traveling through Asia, and returning to Chile, Matias and his now-wife found they missed that international perspective.

“It was definitely a challenge moving here as I couldn’t speak much German,” smiles Matias. “However, my wife has German heritage and family here, so Germany was a second home for her. I always wanted to keep the door open to an international degree after I finished a double degree at PUC (Pontificia Universidad Católica) in Chile. This, combined with what WHU could offer me, was the right time and choice. I am very pleased with the outcome.”

Previously part of Walmart Chile as Head of Digital Finance, Matias also worked alongside start-ups, reminding him of his early days in Genesis Ventures, a Chilean leading Venture Capital (VC) firm. “It was something I really enjoyed and wanted to return to. The MBA at WHU seemed like the right path to get me there.”

“The strong entrepreneurial ecosystem attracted me to WHU,” he adds. “It has incredible alumni, and the length of the program was just right for me as I didn’t want to commit to a two-year MBA.”

When asked what Matias remembers the most about his time at WHU, he highlights exposure to new ideas and discussions with his classmates. “A formal course in entrepreneurial finance was something I was never exposed to before, and it was one of the classes I enjoyed the most. I had courses like Strategies for Dynamic Market Environments with Professor Enrique Kramer (a visiting professor at WHU), in which the discussion was on another level. Now as a member of the alumni association, it’s incredibly active. You can guarantee someone will answer in ten minutes if you reach out. It’s a very supportive and engaged network.”

Today, Matias combines his love for corporate VC with his experience and knowledge from the MBA. He now works with consumer goods giant Henkel as an Investment Manager within corporate venture capital funding, scouting for potential investment opportunities in start-ups. “We’re talking social commerce, MarTech, and generative AI; it’s important to stay ahead of the hot topics now. Given certain commitments in my personal life, I would not try to become a founder since it requires deep commitment in hours and focus. Nonetheless, what I love about working in venture capital is the access to different ideas and companies. Sometimes you don’t know if you would like a topic until you spend time on it, go to conferences, and meet people who are experts. It inspires and motivates you.”

His advice for anyone considering an MBA? “Enjoy the process and get your goals straight. Have a clear idea of why you want to do an MBA. One year is not long; before you know it, you’re preparing applications for your next role. Know what kind of career you want and what you want to get out of the MBA.

It’s the combination of time, energy, and money at the same point in life, which is rare. So, if you are studying full-time with people from around the world, take time to connect. This is a peer network that you can be honest with while developing your career. That is priceless.”  

Be inspired by the entrepreneurial community at WHU. Find out more today