The “Chilecon Valley” bubble is a weird one. Four years ago, people wrinkled their nose at you when you called yourself an entrepreneur. Today, they treat you like a rockstar and maybe even throw money at your face – especially if you’re a foreign entrepreneur coming to the country. There is an oversupply of tools, help and attention directed at entrepreneurs in Chile just now, which should seem like good news. The bad news? We are getting far too comfortable with all these entities babying us, and once the bubble bursts (if indeed it does) we will be left with nothing – because we have not built any sustainable structure.
“The biotech market in Chile is in absolute infancy.” – This blunt statement is how Markus Schreyer starts our interview. Markus, a German investor and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of international industry and market experience, is now dedicated to supporting the development of a proper biostart-up ecosystem in Chile. He knows we’ve tried to do this before. Two of Chile’s main VC funds had a biotech phase a couple of years ago in the country’s first wave of biotech entrepreneurship and innovation, and nowadays there are indications that something is again happening or at least trying to happen. For instance, consider Austral Incuba, biotech-based business incubators, numerous decentralization initiatives, and the opening of Centers of Excellence built and run by Fraunhofer Pfizer and Bayer under the sponsorship of the government’s production development corporation.
Originally written for Nature Biotechnology. Check out the full post in the Trade Secrets Blog.