Skip to content

Paloma Gonzalez, PhD

CEO & Co-Founder, Atacama Biomaterials
Startup Project

Atacama Biomaterials


The New Materials: Platform company for biodegradable new materials, fighting climate change with simple Tough Tech.


Advanced Engineering, Advanced Computing, Advanced Manufacturing


MIT Design and Computation Lab

“The construction industry is one of the most wasteful industries in the world and is responsible for half of the global plastic waste. This waste cannot be upcycled or recycled — it just dies. Our aim is to replace plastics for the construction sector worldwide with biodegradable plastic made of recycled wood pulp, among other renewable feedstock.”

Democratizing Advanced Materials

"In 2019, I won a grant to take MIT and Chilean students to southern Chile, where the majority of Chilean forestry companies are. We were doing research on alternative materials. During this research, I realized that the towns, cities, and industrial sites we were staying in were incredibly fragile. They were dependent on global supply chains that could easily be broken due to the inherent extremes of geography and other factors. It made me think of material systems and technologies that would be possible to develop globally, but with local resources, helping build resilient and sustainable systems."

Building the Team

"I met one of my co-founders, José Tomas, at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in 2019 and started developing Biomaterials 3D printing. In 2020 we invited Jose Antonio, with industry and business experience in Chile. My co-founders and I wholeheartedly believe mass manufacturing green materials for heavy-duty industries is the path to fight climate change."

The Challenges of Scale

"When we created our product WoodPack in 2020, we quickly realized that our platform faced a profound Tough Tech problem. Creating the material formula is only one side of the equation. There are enormous challenges scaling up and manufacturing our material at the quantities necessary to have a meaningful impact on the world."

Becoming a Tough Tech leader

"I was faced with big questions: who will lead this company? How do we scale effectively and efficiently? How do we create a lasting and massive impact? I applied to Blueprint looking for those answers.

I’m a doer. I go. I research. I create. I always thought I would need a person with a business degree to be the face of my company. Blueprint changed my perspective. I saw so many examples of people that are doers like me — researchers that are also business leaders. I saw how passion drives companies like mine. And I could see myself in those who shared their perspectives during our sessions. Now I see myself as the CEO of my company."