SUCCESSFUL PARTNERING: It’s Up to You

15 Mar

By Gregory Mannix, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

Life Science Nation’s Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference series is a great opportunity to network and make connections with key players that can help move your company to the next phase. The RESI conference series, because of its unique focus and format, is by far the best opportunity for early-stage companies to meet and partner with investors and strategics. But, like everything else in life, it is competitive and it is challenging.

I have worked with many sell-side RESI attendees. Some are consistently very successful getting many good investor meetings at each and every RESI conference they attend, while others struggle to get any meetings at all.

So what is the key to success?

Clearly, your degree of success is directly proportionate to the effort you put into it. There are 4 key elements to successful partnering:

  1. Create a compelling and complete profile for your company and yourself on the Partnering Platform
  2. Spend time on developing an outbound meeting request message
  3. Request as many meetings as possible
  4. Follow up frequently

Yes, this is a big task and a lot of work over the weeks leading up to a conference, but the effort you put into partnering will determine the outcome. Let’s have a look at each key element of your partnering strategy.

PROFILE

a. Start with brief overview, similar to your “elevator pitch”, that simply introduces your company and describes what you do and what makes you special.

b. Complete all of the sections in the profile with concise information that investors can easily navigate. The sections to complete are:

  1. Technology Overview
  2. Alliances and Collaborations
  3. Supporting Metrics or Evidence
  4. Current Financing Needs
  5. Current Investors
  6. Current Timeline
  7. IP Status
  8. Management Team Highlights
  9. Recent milestones
  10. Personal profiles of attendees at RESI

c. Upload your logo, your website and any supporting materials for investors to review, like an investor deck and Executive Summary

OUTBOUND MEETING REQUEST MESSAGE

Make your message compelling as this is what the investor is going to see before deciding whether to look at your profile in more depth. Include the key points, without making it so long that you lose the interest of the reader. The key elements should include the following:
1. Introduce yourself, your title, and the name of your company. Although obvious, you might be surprised by how many people don’t do this.

2. 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. Here are five key data points that are likely to affect investor fit:

a. Where your company is based
b. What sector your company is in (biotech, medtech, diagnostics, healthcare IT, etc.)
c. The indication you are treating or problem you are trying to solve
d. Your product’s stage of development

3. 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 grab the investor’s interest.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Request the meeting.

REQUEST MANY MEETINGS

Keep in mind that investors are juggling their own agendas for the day of the conference and are in high demand. Use the RESI Partnering Platform to determine which investors are a fit for you, and request meetings with all of those that you target. Our data show that the fundraising companies that get the most meetings sent out upwards of 50 invitations. See graph below:

FOLLOW UP FREQUENTLY

A common pitfall in partnering is to not follow up sufficiently until you achieve your goal: to get that investor meeting. It is usually not sufficient to send a meeting request out and just wait for the answers to come rolling in.

The best strategy is to begin your outreach as soon as the Partnering Platform opens. This will give you time to follow up sufficiently with investors you want to meet with. After sending out all of your initial meeting requests, wait for about a week. At that point, send a message through the Partnering Platform using the “SEND A MESSAGE” option to all those who have not answered you after a week, simply reminding them that you hope to meet with them at RESI. If you still don’t hear back, continue to reach out. Be organized and persistent. Use the platform messaging option, email (if you have Premier Partnering Plus), LinkedIn, telephone… whatever it takes to get a response back.

If you follow these steps, you will see the results and have a better partnering experience.

HAPPY PARTNERING!

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