Mark Tapanes: The Forever Entrepreneur

Born in Orange County, Mark Tapanes is a music lover who enjoys helping local startup companies reach new heights. He graduated from LMU in 2010 and initially tried to start his own company. He was interested in the intersection between finance and technology. Through a connection with a childhood friend, he started working for a local fintech company called Booker. After a few years, he moved to a new start up called Connectifier, a leading software provider that helps recruiters fill jobs using data. A little over a year ago, the company was acquired by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn depended on Mark and many of his colleagues to transition the company over to the LinkedIn team. While he learned a lot during his time at the company, he missed the startup environment. This led to him to joining the startup Teamable, a software that allows employee referral programs to move effortlessly, and improve company recruitment where he worked with companies like Microsoft, Lyft and Slack to help them leverage networks and make faster hires. 

Mark stated that attending LMU was definitely a factor in his success. Because it is such a small school, you are involved is so many things (Mark even started a fraternity while an undergrad), and learn how to find smaller things where you can make a larger impact. He realized he wanted to be a part of a team and help with operations and recruiting. This is much harder to do at a big company. He noted that working at a startup is great because one always learns new skills, and can see their impact daily.

Still, startups are not perfect. With a startup, you’re always on call. You must be willing to take calls and respond to meetings at all hours of the day and night, which makes the work-life balance a challenge. As a business major at LMU, Mark learned about entrepreneurship and marketing. A true millennial, Mark has always been a self-starter. LMU only encouraged this exploration.

Written by Lindsay Western, MBA '17