From the Road: LSN Fundraising Boot Camp

4 Sep

By Jack Fuller, Director of Business Development, LSN

Jack 2

LSN has developed the Life Science Fundraising Boot Camp, a training workshop that we present around the world. I recently had the opportunity to travel to a number of life science organizations throughout the southern and western U.S. to teach entrepreneurs about the changing investor landscape. After traveling to four cities in as many days, and presenting to companies with assets and technologies in various stages from discovery through clinical, I was struck by the deep need for information about tactical skills for fundraising. A VC can pontificate about the current regulatory environment and speak in broad terms about developing a strategic plan for a company; however, virtually no one is willing to tell the life science community that fundraising can require making up to 30 phone calls a day for 9 to 18 months.

If you’re looking at that number in disbelief, ask the most successful fundraising executive you know what it took to get funding. On every team there is a person, be it the CEO or an intern, who has to make the calls and send the emails to build the relationships that will eventually lead to allocations.

By demonstrating the power of a sophisticated outbound investor campaign to companies, LSN is working to bring a professional fundraising approach to a segment of the community comprised of mainly scientist-entrepreneurs. These folks are often new to the experience of raising financing or out of touch with current best practices and, therefore, unaware of the enormous power of outbound marketing and canvassing to build relationships with potential investors.

The Fundraising Boot Camp breaks the fundraising process into six major components:

  • Differentiating between the historic and the current investor landscape and players
  • Debunking the major myths around fundraising (see “The Top 10 Most Common Fundraising Misconceptions), understanding the difference between a “referral” and a “fit,” and realizing that fundraising is a numbers game
  • Breaking down the various types and components of investor mandates
  • Positioning and creating marketing collateral
  • Creating a global target list (GTL) of interested investors
  • Organizing and executing an outbound fundraising campaign

With additional material from LSN’s new book, The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto, and from our CEO Dennis Ford’s graduate-level course at UMass Boston on Entrepreneurship Sales and Marketing, LSN’s Fundraising Boot Camp teaches life science entrepreneurs the tactical fundraising skills required to raise capital for early stage companies.

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