Making the IPC Work for You

1 Jul

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

The Innovator’s Pitch Challenge (IPC) is an opportunity for early-stage companies to pitch to a live panel of active investors in their sector, but the pitch session is only a small part of the challenge. A large amount of thought, creativity, and effort goes into the data and presentation of a company’s pitch materials that will be hosted on a dedicated webpage, and the time put into their longer recorded pitch goes beyond the average 4-minute video. The IPC is meant to be one stop along the way to preparing companies for building strategic partnerships with well-matched investors. I chatted with the Life Science Nation research team to learn more about how companies can truly take advantage of this unique opportunity and make it work for them long-term.

What is the greatest value of pitch sessions like the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge?

The pitch session is a unique opportunity for companies to get a great deal of exposure to a large investor audience. With their marketing collateral available on a dedicated page along with a pitch video, all conference attendees can find out more about the company and what makes it unique. Furthermore, the live Q&A session allows the companies to interact with investor judges who are in their sector, along with a live audience to watch their pitch, which often includes other investors interested in learning more about their technology. While there is a great opportunity to find investors who are a fit, more than anything, the IPC is a way to hone your pitch, to make sure you are fully prepared for any questions you may get asked when you are in an initial investor meeting.

What makes a strong pitch page and video?

A strong pitch page and video are centered around good marketing collateral and a company’s ability to tell their story in a concise and cogent manner. A good pitch video should cover these points:

  1. What the company does/what is the technology
  2. What makes the company unique
  3. What is the target market and its size
  4. What milestones you have achieved, and what milestones you are looking to meet with this fundraise

What should companies do to prepare for their live pitch?

Companies only have one minute to refresh the memories of the investor panel before the Q&A starts, so they should make sure to highlight the key value proposition of their company in that minute. It takes practice to give a clear description of their company in so short a time – they should practice! Also, they should think about all the questions an investor may ask, and they should remember, they won’t necessarily all be about the technology. Investors are also interested in a company’s exit strategy, go-to-market strategy, any regulatory hurdles that may exist, etc. An investor needs to know a lot more than just the science, and their decisions won’t be based solely on that either.

What makes a company stand out in a live pitch?

A company stands out by making a clear elevator pitch, followed by clear and cogent responses to investor questions. A company needs to make sure to really listen to the question, and to address it fully. Also, a company should try to avoid bluffing their way through a question they may not have the answer to – investors can tell. It’s OK not to always have all the answers, if the company needs to look into something further, and it’s better to acknowledge that. More than anything, these live sessions are a great way for entrepreneurs to show the passion they have for their companies.

What advice would you offer a company to make the most of their pitch session post-conference?

After each live Q&A session, the RESI team connects all of the companies and investors who participated in their assigned session via group e-mail. The company should make sure to follow up with the investors who were on the panel, to get any tips and feedback they can provide. This may lead to fruitful conversations, a referral to another investor they know who may be interested, or even just some great feedback. This is an excellent opportunity to find out what works and what doesn’t, and to see what questions the company is asked frequently, to know what information they may want to prepare ahead of time or add to their existing collateral. Cultivating and maintaining these relationships will help companies grow their industry network, enabling them to connect with more investors and industry experts in the future.

Are you interested in joining the IPC? Join us for RESI Partnering Week, September 13-17, and join a session that’s a fit for you!

Apply for RESI
Sept.13-15
Apply for RESI AI
Sept.16-17
Apply for RESI Longevity
Sept.16-17

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