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Marcelo Bravo

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I have been an entrepreneur for a long time. It’s not just what I do for a living, it’s the way I live. I specialise in ventures in science and technology, typically with some chemistry at the heart. Chemistry was an early passion for me, going all the way back to the Christmas of 1972 when I received a chemistry set. I did two undergraduate university degrees in both chemistry and chemical engineering and then had a long corporate career in R&D. I am doing what I love.

I have founded or co-founded four companies since I immigrated to the UK 18 years ago. I have taken two of these companies public in the past four years, one in advanced materials, the other in pharmaceutical technology, both operating internationally and raising over £40m in funding. One of my companies went into administration. The lessons from my successes and, more importantly, from my many failures, have shaped my approach to business.

Starting and growing your company is like starting a fire,” says Marcelo. “There are three elements you need to start and grow a fire: fuel, oxygen and heat. If you remove any of these elements the fire dies. To start and grow a fire you need to delicately and skillfully dose and balance these three ingredients. Start-up companies are the same. Your three key elements are ideas, people and money.