ABQ's Entrepreneur Community Attracts Chilean Startup
November 12, 2015
ALBUQUERQUE – A former Microsoft employee turned entrepreneur in Chile is choosing to open his first United States office in Albuquerque over larger cities because of the vibrancy of Albuquerque’s startup community and the support he is getting from local government and business leaders.
Gerardo Riquelme R., managing partner of consulting firm InsightsPM, is in town this week – his second Albuquerque visit – to finalize some deals with prospective customers. If those go through in the next few months, he says, he will be able to move forward finding office space for the company, which was formed in Santiago, Chile, in March.
“Initially, before I’d given it much thought, the obvious choices [for an American location] were Miami and Dallas due to connectivity reasons,” he said referring to the flight accessibility. “But, the entrepreneurial ecosystem caught my attention here. There’s a huge buzz and a lot of excitement around startups. It’s not just a great opportunity, but I get the feeling I want to participate in this; I want to be a part of all the excitement here.”
Riquelme became familiar with Albuquerque’s innovation district a few months ago through a City program to encourage foreign direct investment locally. It included a residential and commercial real estate tour; meetings with business attorneys; meetings with potential customers to see if a local market exists for InsightsPM; and an introduction to Innovation Central initiatives and entrepreneurs.
“The manager of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Trade Alliance, Randy Trask, put the tour together, and that for us was priceless,” Riquelme said.
When considering housing affordability, the high energy of the entrepreneur ecosystem, the potential customers, the accessibility of local government and business leaders, he said, “Albuquerque is sort of the whole package in bringing your stress down in making this type of international business move.”
InsightsPM, which aligns process execution with strategy for high-level executives, applied for a U.S. patent in October.