When biotech start-ups go to present, the common belief is that the technology, biologic, assay, or molecule will be the catalyst for awarding funding.

No, it won’t. The fact that you have something that might work and be beneficial to some subset of people worldwide who suffer from a specific condition is how you got in the room. Whether you leave the room with funding is based entirely on what you focus on for the investors.

Today I will share with you the three things to focus on in VC meetings to get funding. There is one overarching factor in every one of these – you MUST provide value for the investor.

Value of Technology

Focusing on the value of the technology is obvious, but it is usually buried in your presentation – technical details, lacking clarity for anyone outside of the company, or viability of the technology. We hear quite often from investors that startup presentations could not get to the point or get bogged down in the science. When you consider how to show the value of the technology, it is important to recognize that you are speaking to business people, not scientists. The science is fascinating, but the value of the technology is in what it can do, the likelihood of its completion, and the size of its effect. As you consider your presentation, take a critical look at how you explain the value of the technology with respect to the interests of the investors.

Value of Team

You can have the best therapeutic, best drug, or best research, but if the investors do not believe that you can deliver on that final product, you will not get funding. You only get a short time to build that confidence with them. If you do not have strong speakers across your team of presenters, then investor confidence will not get built. You must invest in practice time and resources for two reasons: (1) to make sure that your message and presentation is clear, and (2) to communicate that you have a strong team. A team with strong relationships that will enable you to produce the outcome you have stated you can. Without practice and a focus on improving your team members’ speaking quality across the board, you will not achieve your funding goals.

Value of Time

Very often you will walk into a meeting and be told instead of 30 minutes you have 15 minutes or 10 or 5. Most importantly, if you cannot finish in the time they provide, you will not receive your funding. If this happens, what do you do? How do you prepare for this? To start, it is important in your presentation preparation that you know your material. Research tells us practicing your presentation six times will improve your presentation. So, at a minimum, you want to do that. Beyond that, you need to identify your theme and story. When you have to cut your presentation down, what stays? What tells the story? What is important? Practice isn’t just going over the information. No matter how much time you are given, it is KNOWING the information so that it will resonate with your investors.

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Dr. Ian Turnipseed

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