MedCity Influencers

Perfecting the fundraising pitch

Few things turn off an investor faster than an entrepreneur getting defensive or combative during a pitch as it foreshadows how the entrepreneur would act under more pressure.

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The general goal in fundraising is to convince investors that you are a great leader with unique skills or understanding with an innovative, high margin, intellectual property-protected solution to a very significant problem and a plan for sustaining the competitive advantage and value over time. Yet the best idea can be hamstrung by poor preparation and a weak pitch.

Delivering your pitch to potential investors with the right attitude and content are critical to moving to due diligence. According to Pamela York, General Partner at Capita3, a growth financing company focused on scalable companies led by women, “Many entrepreneurs seek capital from the perspective of ‘I have an awesome product’ or ‘I need to raise money so I can hire people.’ The perspective that works best is understanding why your company is an excellent investment opportunity, and being well prepared to provide investors what they need to make their decisions before, during, and after the pitch.”

Investors want to see steely, easy, genuine, leader-like confidence telling a convincing story. Get investors to smile and even laugh during your pitch. Convince investors that you are coachable so they will want to partner with you. Few things turn off an investor faster than an entrepreneur getting defensive or combative during a pitch as it foreshadows how the entrepreneur would act under more pressure.

The information that potential investors will be answered by these questions:

  • Who are you and your team and why should investors have confidence that you will succeed?
  • What problem are you solving and how significant is the problem to all the stakeholders? (Use market data to develop a market model and illustrations showing the opportunity.)
  • What is your solution to the problem and how will you sell it? (Describe the user experience and bring a prototype.)
  • What are your clinical, regulatory, economic value and reimbursement pathway plans, if applicable?
  • How is your approach creative or original vs. competition and how will it be protected by intellectual property?
  • How will you grow the venture and value vs competition over the long term?
  • What is your exit strategy?
  • What funding are you seeking?

The best presentations look sharp and tell a clear story so invest in the services of a professional communications and graphic artist. Practice your pitch a minimum of thirty times and ensure you can deliver the key information within the time period allotted. A few pitches I’ve seen were so well rehearsed and persuasive that investors were excited and eager move to due diligence. Other pitches only answered half these questions or didn’t have any slides, which doesn’t inspire confidence. However, be careful to not reveal information that could compromise your ability to be successful without a confidentiality agreement.

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A fundraising pitch delivered with the right attitude and strong plan for making the most of a significant opportunity will motivate investors to support you and your business.

Photo: Adam Taylor, Getty Images

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