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Marketing Collateral for Your Fundraising Strategy

5 Jul

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series & RESI Healthtech Week

If you haven’t heard, Life Science Nation provides consulting services for branding and messaging, both critical to the fundraising process. The LSN mantra is, “We echo to our clients what the investors tell us they want to see”. Through conversations with investors through the years, LSN has the knowledge to help shape your marketing collateral to address what investors are looking for, whether you meet during a RESI Conference or on your own time.

Top Three Pieces of Marketing Collateral You Need

There are three key marketing documents investors generally evaluate to form a first impression of your company: the executive summary, pitch deck, and company website. These three pieces of content have one purpose: they serve to whet the target investor/partner’s appetite and convince them to request a meeting with you and start a dialogue. Below is a list of all supporting marketing collateral you may need for your fundraising campaign. This article will go into further detail on the executive summary, pitch deck, and website and what the content should highlight.

Marketing collateral every entrepreneur needs.

If you are looking for more detailed information on defining and developing your marketing collateral, please read Chapter 6 of Dennis Ford’s book, “The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto“.

What “value” does your business add?

One key takeaway from all your marketing collateral should be the value of your company and its technology. Investors want to easily understand your message and value-add right away, no matter what the marketing collateral. Investors tend to be very busy, but if you can pique their initial interest, you will have plenty of opportunity to provide more information as the dialogue unfolds. The investor does not want to have difficulty understanding your company value so make sure you have a clear message for them.

There is no standardization.

Many of our clients go through a learning curve due to the lack of standardization of the fundraising collateral (executive summary etc.) required by investors. This makes it extremely difficult to provide a course on the basics of fundraising branding and messaging. This has led to the service we provide, creating custom marketing collateral.

An investor can receive as many as 100 solicitations per week. Investors have become experts at skimming and looking for a spark to ignite their interest. If that is not found, they quickly move on to the next opportunity.

How to get started.

An executive summary (ES) is typically no more than 2 pages and can be accompanied by a visual PowerPoint (your pitch deck) of 10-12 slides. Usually, they are sent together when you reach out for an initial introduction as it provides the investor with key background information upfront. The goal is to move them from either document to your website for more detailed content.

Here are five main points we have learned regarding the ES and pitch deck.

  1. Send both an executive summary and a pitch deck. Some folks click on an executive summary and others click on the deck. Most investors have an innate preference for one or the other. Since you won’t know before reaching out, LSN recommends that you send out both.
  2. The executive summary is the story of your company and how you got to your current state.
  3. The pitch deck should reflect what is in the executive summary, but in bullet form, with the addition of more information that shows the value-add of your firm and product.
  4. The pitch deck is your tool to present your company position to investors, therefore replacing your voice. It needs to stand completely on its own because it is read in your absence. Unlike a standard deck used for a presentation with bullets designed to trigger your dialogue, the pitch is being read as it is. The challenge is to be able to deliver the complete message with as few, concise words as possible and no need for a presenter.
  5. Remember, it’s the investor’s first introduction to your company. The investor will not have the full context, and therefore some level of contextual detail may be necessary.

Your website represents your company brand.

Your company website is a detailed representation explaining your company and its technology. It needs to offer a “deep dive” on the company and team, more detailed than is possible in your executive summary and pitch deck. The website should provide all of the detail and context that tell the full story of your company and its value. Even so, it is necessary to maintain consistency with your language and provide a clear message.

If done right and the message comes across, then the target partner will be able to assess that you’re a good fit and decide to initiate a conversation. The executive summary, the pitch deck and the website are all created for one reason – to give enough compelling information that an investor decides to initiate the first meeting.

Remember, it’s about the buyer: a busy investor with cash to allocate. Keep in mind they will do a quick scan of your deck and executive summary. They will be looking for something that will impart enough interest that they will want to have a chat with you and your firm.

 

LSN Summer Reading Series, Chapter 14: “Thirty-One Tips for Effective Fundraising”

29 Sep

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

To bring LSN’s Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto toward a close, we provide some motivational advice and tactical reminders to help a fundraising CEO bring their outbound campaign to a successful resolution.

With illustrations and helpful mottos, this ‘cheat sheet’ chapter will help the reader find their way through the fundraising maze in good spirits. From how to stay optimistic during the tough times, to when to stop marketing to investors, this chapter has it covered.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

Join us next week for the book’s addendum: “The View Beyond Venture Capital.”

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

Chapter 13: “Straight Talk About Finding, Vetting, and Closing Capital”

22 Sep

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

Following the overview of the fundraising process inChapter 12, we get into some of the nitty-gritty areas and explore a few common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Chapter 13 discusses the importance of getting on the road or hitting the phone to engage with relevant investors, and why it’s important to ensure that all the investor prospects you speak with are kept in context regarding the deal. Finally, the chapter explores how to prioritize your prospects to use your runway time most effectively while raising money.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

Next week, LSN will bring you the final chapter, “Thirty-One Tips For Effective Fundraising”.

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

LSN Summer Reading Series Chapter 12: “Anatomy of an Allocation Process”

15 Sep

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

In recent weeks we’ve covered how to make a global target list of potential investors, and the basic techniques of phone canvassing and email outreach required to initiate dialogue. This week, LSN takes a look under the hood of the investment process. How do you turn that initial spark of interest into an allocation check?

This chapter explains how you can move the process forward through the pipeline and describes the people you’ll have to work with in order to make the allocation happen—from the initial gatekeepers to the final decision-makers. We look at how to make a good first impression and how to run a productive meeting with an investor, and explore what will happen during the due diligence process. If you’re preparing to meet with a potential investor in the near future, this chapter will be invaluable.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

Next week, join us for Chapter 13: “Straight Talk About Finding, Vetting, and Closing Capital.”

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

LSN Summer Reading Series Chapter 11: “Email Campaigns”

25 Aug

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

This week, the LSN Summer Reading Series covers one of the most powerful tools in your fundraising arsenal: the outreach email.

From basics like mail merging and segmenting your list to sophisticated tools such as delivery scheduling and analytical tracking, this chapter covers how to use email to introduce your company to an audience of potential investors. This chapter also explains the importance of targeting the right contacts when you send an email and of including clickable links in order to uncover which recipients are engaging with your message.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

We hope you find this chapter useful in moving your fundraising campaign for us. Next week, join us to read “Chapter 12: Anatomy of an Allocation Process.”

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

LSN Summer Reading Series Chapter 10: “Phone Canvassing”

11 Aug

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

Once you have a global target list of investors as we outlined in last week’s chapter, you will want to begin going outbound and contacting these groups. With this week’s edition of the summer reading series, we explain what goes into an effective phone canvassing campaign.

“Chapter 10: Phone Canvassing” goes through the process of reaching out to potential investors effectively via the phone. Now the idea of contacting investors, or anyone for that matter, via a cold call may sound daunting to many fundraising entrepreneurs; however, in the highly competitive marketplace for early stage investment, entrepreneurs should use this and all professional tactics available to them in order to separate from the crowd and garner more attention from potential investors.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

Join us next week for Chapter 11: “Email Campaigns”

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

LSN Summer Reading Series Chapter 9: “Global Target List—Match Your Firm with Investors That Are a Fit”

4 Aug

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

Last week, we provided an overview of the infrastructure required to execute an outbound campaign.  This week, we take a deeper look at how to build your target list of investors.

Chapter 9: “Global Target List—Match Your Firm with Investors That Are a Fit” explains the importance of finding alignment between your life science company and an investor’s interests.  Here we outline how to use information on past financing rounds to uncover potential investors, and how to screen these leads to find active investors that may be interested in your company’s technology.  Finally, we’ll anatomize an investment mandate, and examine the factors that determine fit, including your location, the type of product you’re developing, and the stage of development your asset has reached.

Click here to download/print the PDF.

Next week, join us for Chapter 10: “Phone Canvassing.”

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

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