Don’t Bet On That Public Pitch Session To Win You Investment

28 Aug

By Lucy Parkinson, Senior Research Manager, LSN

lucy 10*10If you’re a regular attendee of life science investment conferences, you’ll have found that most of these conferences offer 15-minute presentation slots as a means of attracting scientist-entrepreneurs to the event. An exclusive speaking spot in which to tell the whole crowd about the breakthrough technology your company is working on can certainly sound like an attractive offering. But in reality, LSN has found that the 15-minute model offers very poor value to entrepreneurs.

Many presenters arrive at the event anticipating this chance to speak about their technology to a large audience of interested investors; however, entrepreneurs will invariably find that these 15-minute presentations are only attended by other CEOs looking to garner IP and positioning, and vendors hoping to sell their services to the presenters, while the attending investors are busy networking or taking partnering meetings elsewhere. Investors have limited interest in watching these public pitches and therefore these presentation opportunities provide low value to an entrepreneur seeking investment. Rather, the best way to share your presentation with an investor is through one-on-one meetings where you will have the investor’s full attention and can engage in a back and forth discussion about your opportunity. Receiving an investment requires building a relationship with an investor; it’s much easier to begin that relationship with a personal meeting rather than a public pitch.­­

This is why, after experimenting with the 15-minute model at our first ever RESI event and discovering up close how flawed it is, LSN turned our back on the public pitch approach. Instead, we doubled the number of partnering slots available at RESI and created a new form of presentation that provides much more value; the RESI Innovation Challenge. Rather than limiting their presence to only 15 minutes, we showcase our innovators on the exhibition floor for the entire duration of the event. RESI Innovators are provided with an easel to display a poster board marketing presentation, and each attendee is given ‘RESI Cash’ to ‘invest’ in the innovators in a virtual challenge, with winners announced and prizes awarded at the end of the day. While our available slots for the Innovation Challenge have sold out, our partnering software is already live and there are still hundreds of meeting slots available.

The opportunity for both marketing and personal engagement provided by the RESI presentation and partnering model has been praised by both investors and innovators. If you’d like to see how it works for yourself, please join us at Fenway Park on September 17th.

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