Behind the Curtain of RESI Partnering

6 Oct

Natasha Eldridge, Marketing Manager – RESI Conference Series, LSN

Organizing RESI Partnering was an amazing experience for me, and with the help of Alisdair Stamps from Meeting-Mojo, RESI Boston successfully had more than 1,300 meetings.

Now, I would like to remove the curtains as the Wizard of Oz or RESI and share a few tips on what I learned about partnering and getting meetings with investors.

Investor Profiles Are Filled Out in Depth

I have been to many partnering conferences and rarely see investor profiles filled out besides the name of the attendee representing the firm. A strong differentiator of the RESI Conferences is LSN’s ability to populate investor profiles with their up-to-date investment preferences and criteria. The reason for this is to help fundraising companies make the most of their time by meeting with the right investors.

Through the search options, you can find investors that are actively investing in your technology type, indication, and phase of development. You don’t have to imagine a list of investors looking specifically for your asset(s) because we put that list together for you.

It’s a Numbers Game

One request to a few investors is not going to cut it. You can generate your list by using the search function – now use it.  Research and message the entire list of investors.  At LSN, sometimes we have to contact investors 5, 10 or 25 times to get a response, and we know the investors! Don’t be disappointed if you do not hear from an investor immediately.  They may be very distracted by other matters, or out of the office on a trip. The point is they are busy, so keep messaging them until you get a response.

Partnering Requests Are a 10-Second Pitch, Not a 350-Page Novel

Actually, according to a recent study by Microsoft most people have an attention span less than a goldfish, or just 8 seconds. Now that you know an investor might spend about 8 seconds reading your request, what do they need to know about your company. Well, it only takes these 6 key elements to get your message across in a short amount of time.

1st — Introduce Yourself

Introduce yourself, your title, and the name of your company. Although obvious, you might be surprised by how many people don’t do this.

2nd — Introduce Your Company

Give a brief overview of your company so that an investor can determine from the first sentence whether you are a fit for their investment mandate. Remember, every investor is unique and therefore not every investor is a fit for your opportunity. Here are five key data points that are likely to affect investor fit:

Where your company is based

What sector your company is in (biotech, medtech, diagnostics, healthcare IT, etc)

The modality you are using

The indication you are treating or problem you are trying to solve

Your product’s development phase

3rd — Key Value Proposition/Elevator Pitch

Use the next part of the email to describe the key value proposition of your technology. This should include a high-level description of the core technology and its major differentiators from currently available products or solutions. This is the core of your messaging and should reveal enough information to pique interest.

4th — The Stage of Your Fundraising Campaign

You should clearly state where you are in the fundraising process (beginning, middle or end) and what the use of those proceeds will be. This way an investor can gauge if your round is a fit for their capital allocation.

5th — Reaffirm

You should do your homework on every investor you reach out to and reference a relevant data point to reaffirm the reason you are reaching out.

6th — The Next Step

Finish the email by laying out when you plan on connecting with them and how the both of you should connect. As this is a conference partnering message, this can be as simple as telling them to accept the meeting request if they would like to meet up.

By sticking to these fundamentals you will make it a lot easier for an investor to identify you as a fit for their investment strategy. This will lead to higher response rates and more productive meetings.

Company Marketing Materials Need to be On Point

Take a look at your marketing material. Is it full of graphs, charts and before & after pictures of mice? Can an investor immediately identify the value proposition of the company and products? Humans relate to stories and investors are the same. Make sure your charts, graphs and pictures (and words) are creating an amazing story about your assets. Again, do not create a novel to tell your story. Stick with a maximum 2-page Executive Summary and 10-12-page PowerPoint Pitch Deck.

So What, You Had a Few Scheduled Meetings? Ad-Hoc Meetings Matter

I have spoken with several investors who enjoy meeting companies on the fly, after a panel session, or during the cocktail reception. I have also spoken with several companies who got funded by talking to investors companies on the fly, after a panel session, or during the cocktail reception. Either way investors and fundraising companies are using the RESI Conference to build relationships. Sometimes you will hit it out the park on your first time at bat or first RESI Conference and get funded and sometimes you need a few more times at the plate to get your first hit or attend several RESI Conferences to meet the right investor.

Partnering opens for RESI San Francisco on December 5th. Take this time to get prepared and I will see you in San Francisco.

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