This podcast with Emilia Diaz, a Chilean entrepreneur who dropped out of university at age 22 to run the biotech startup Kaitek Labs, is one of my favorite podcasts so far. And it’s one of the most necessary.
In the US, we celebrate entrepreneurs who learn lessons from failure. I always knew that I’d be able to get a job if my startups didn’t work. I still know it today.
But in Latin America, people shun failure. And a large company might not see a failed startup on a resume as a plus. Not to mention the social costs of a failed startup in a region where personal pride influences many day to day decisions.
So when Emilia Diaz’s startup, Kaitek Labs, a one time high flying Chilean biotech startup failed, she was not only facing having to grieve for herself, her team and her investors, but also publicly.
She could have stayed out of the spotlight, but she made the courageous decision that pushes ecosystems forward: writing a post-mortem on her personal blog. It’s an inside look on what went wrong. what she learned and what she would have done differently. I think Emilia is too hard on herself, but listen to our conversation and you be the judge.
Emilia continues to play an active role in Chile’s startup ecosystem, consulting and mentoring the newest generation of entrepreneurs. In this episode of Crossing Borders, we discuss Emilia’s decision to start a business, how she won a CORFO grant to grow Kaitek, some of her mistakes, and the famous post-mortem for her startup.
We also discuss what it is like to be a female founder in Latin America vs. other parts of the world and why Emilia thinks every entrepreneur should write post-mortems for their failed startups. Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to hear the rest of Emilia’s story.