Successful Partnering: It Depends on You, but You’re Not in it Alone

17 Dec

By Gregory Mannix, Chief Conference Officer, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

Life Science Nation (LSN)’s Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series enables fundraising executives to network and make connections with key industry players. Because of its unique focus and format, RESI presents valuable opportunities for early-stage companies to meet and partner with investors and strategic partners. However, even with the best systems, partnering can be challenging and competitive.

The conference format has changed radically this year. RESI has evolved from a 1-day, in-person conference to a 3-day digital conference with non-stop partnering serving a global community. Additionally, LSN has added new conferences taking place within Healthtech Partnering Week: 4D Meets AI and Longevity, Health & Innovation, providing five full days of partnering.

LSN partnering events are designed to match fundraising executives with investors who are a fit for their product and stage of development, however, while some companies are consistently successful at 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

  1. Start with brief overview, similar to your “elevator pitch”, that simply introduces your company and describes what you do and what makes you special.
  2. Complete all of the sections in the profile with concise information that investors can easily navigate. The sections to complete are:
    • Technology Overview
    • Alliances and Collaborations
    • Supporting Metrics or Evidence
    • Current Financing Needs
    • Current Investors
    • Current Timeline
    • IP Status
    • Management Team Highlights
    • Recent milestones
    • Personal profiles of attendees at RESI
    • 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:
    • Where your company is based
    • What sector your company is in (biotech, medtech, diagnostics, digital health, etc.)
    • The indication you are treating or problem you are trying to solve
    • Your product’s stage of development
  1. 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.
  2. Stage of your fundraising 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Request the meeting.

REQUEST MANY MEETINGS

Keep in mind that investors are juggling their own agendas 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.

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,  and change your messaging a bit, perhaps focusing each of your follow-up messages on a different area of your company (technology, market and unmet need, management or advisory team, etc.). Be organized and persistent. Use the platform messaging option, email (if you have Premier Partnering), 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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