Meet Christopher Westerlund a native from Gothenburg working with Korean company Matica Biotechnology in College City.
Could you tell us a bit about Matica Biotechnology and what you do?
Manica Biotechnology is a contract development and manufacturing company that produces virus-based cell and gene therapies, vaccines, and other precision medicines for clients. Matica Bio is a CDMO specializing in viral vector production for cell & gene therapies. They are aiming to establish a global manufacturing solution, ensuring that robust processes are developed and manufactured and accelerating the approval process for your products. Being head of finances means being in charge of an organization’s finances and ensuring the company is as profitable as possible. Some of the duties of a head of finance include conducting risk management, approving or rejecting budgets, forecasting financial results, and assessing risks in financial transactions. I deal directly with investors, banks our internal board and is involved in any needed fundraising activities.
You have your office in College Station, outside of Houston. Could you tell us a bit about that environment and why you choose to settle there?
A leader in agricultural and biomedical innovation, this metro area continues to attract global companies and top talent. College Station-Bryan’s location within the Texas Gulf Coast region offers companies significant advantages, like access to the Port of Houston’s global distribution network and one of the fastest internet highways in the nation with 1 GB/second download speed. Connectivity to four of the largest metros in the U.S. will place your business in the center of the state’s 29 million residents. The Brazos Valley is also an international leader in engineering, agriculture and biomedical innovations thanks to world-class research at Texas A&M University, the largest public university in Texas and second largest in the nation. The Brazos Valley was ranked No. 2 in the 2019 Forbes ranking solidifying this community’s commitment to small business. Businesses from around the globe continue to invest in College Station-Bryan as well, with companies like Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies and iBio expanding the region’s Biocorridor. In other words, access to talent, land and proximity to Houston with economics that makes sense for our owners and potential future investors.
Why did you choose to become a member at SACC Texas and what do you expect from your membership?
SACC Texas connects companies that want to do business with each other and talent between employees, employers, investors and companies to invest in. The connection to the Texas business community and other chambers offers opportunities to network and make business connections in a professional but relax atmosphere. Being an international company Matica Bio has enjoyed both the Texas and international connections SACC TX has provided us.
The biggest difference is the shear enormity of the market here. I think Houston alone is over half of the size of the Swedish economy. That scale can make it difficult to identify where to focus on and how to approach customers, which is part of the reason we’re focused on Swedish customers in Texas, where we have some level of built-in trust.