Top Takeaways for Pitching from the WIB, JLABS, and J&J Innovation Lobster Pot

24 Mar

By Christine A. Wu, Research Analyst, LSN


The Lobster Pot was boiling last Wednesday at the Women in Bio and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Shark Tank-style pitch event in Cambridge, MA. Organized by the LSN team, eight female life science CEOs gave 6-minute pitches proceeded by short sessions of feedback from five female investors.

So how hot did the “chef” investors boil these “lobster” CEOs? Below are common critiques to fundraising entrepreneurs – be sure to take these into account for your next presentation.DSC03757

Address your Audience

Keep in mind who your audience is and tailor your message appropriately. Take into account their background and expertise – what do they already know? What areas require more explanation? Does the audience already know your target market? Will the audience understand you? Often times, the entrepreneur will take a longer time to explain the overall market when the investor is already familiar and instead wants other questions to be answered (i.e. the science and data, management team, revenue generation, etc.). Especially if your audience has a scientific background, be sure to include your mechanism of action if developing a therapeutic product. Knowing your audience will give you a better idea of what can be briefly addressed and where to delve deeper.

Address the Patient Impact

Take a step back from your clinical evidence and remember to give a broad overview of what this all means for the patient population. What are you trying to change? Think about compliance, symptom monitoring, reimbursement, your endpoint. How are the patients going to use your technology and how will it change their everyday lives?

Explain how to get to the Provider(s)

It’s important for investors to know how the technology gets into an actionable set of hands. Look past the fundraising and commercialization process and answer how the technology will be ultimately distributed, analyzed, and utilized. If you are developing a direct to consumer technology, make sure to mention the pricing and distribution model along with regulatory involvement. Furthermore, you need to address how to convince physicians to give up their current gold standards of care, especially if you’re in an established disease market. Additionally, if developing a diagnostic, be sure to address how you control false negatives – how comfortable are you and how comfortable will the physician be with its diagnosis/validation?

Include your Development Timeline

You should summarize your entire development timeline in one easy slide. This includes the reimbursement pathway; the FDA regulatory process and approval; the clinical trials and commercialization strategy; and where you currently lie.

Include how much you are currently fundraising, what milestone it will get you to, and the future inflection points. If your technology is currently on-the-market, include its revenue generation.

Keep your Slides Simple

Slides should be easy on the eyes. A common critique was that slides had too many words, not enough visuals, and that slides can often times be consolidated. Can the audience look at your slide and know your point in just a few seconds? It was also advised to know your pre-money valuation, but not to include in your slides, as it would likely be as high as you will get and more difficult to negotiate down the road.

Address your Competitors & Strategic Partners

You must address who your competitors are upfront. Demonstrate how the technology compares to anything else being developed and on the market. On the other end of the spectrum, include who might be strategic partners. These will demonstrate your knowledge of your market segment in its entirety.

Show your Management Team & Advisers

Be sure to acknowledge your team and the experience behind it. Who is supporting you and who are your advisers behind the scenes? Show off your team as thoroughly as you can.

Practice your Pitch

Deliver your overall vision at the start – be sure to nail down the introduction. You should start with the problem; how it is treated today; what’s wrong with the current therapy; and how you are addressing it. If under a time crunch, practice your pace. You should be clear and direct. Let your passion come through the presentation and show ownership in its delivery.


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