Your big moment has arrived – you find yourself pitching your idea to the Mark Cubans, Barbara Corcorans, and Robert Herjavecs of your industry’s Shark Tank. While presenting your idea with enthusiasm, clarity, analytic approach and professionalism might attract general investments, appealing to life science entrepreneurs takes something special. It requires an investor slide deck, also known as a pitch deck.
A slide deck is aptly named because it typically features a collection of PowerPoint slides that communicate your ideas to investors. Capital is the lifeblood of all ventures, including your company. Your investor pitch presentation is the one of the best ways to secure the capital you need to get your product out of the laboratory and onto the shelf.
An investor pitch deck for life science entrepreneurs is different from pitch decks for projects in other industries because biotechnology products typically have lengthier development timelines, higher development costs, stringent regulatory requirements, and the need for highly skilled workers.
Keep your pitch deck clear, concise and compelling. Adapt your investor slide deck design to the audience and the venue. Craig Shimasaki, President & CEO of Moleculera Labs, says “you should always tailor your slide deck to the particular audience and their interests; whereas the number of slides and the depth of information surrounding any particular topic are dictated by the time allocated for that meeting.”
Create a compelling pharma website design before developing a presentation. Integrate many of the key points presented on your website into your presentation, especially any novel pharmaceutical marketing communications strategies used there. During your pitch deck, though, give your investors information about your product or service that they cannot get from your website.
Good advice never gets old, and that is especially true when you apply the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” when capturing the attention of biotech entrepreneurs. A pitch deck helps you make a great first impression and get the investor excited about your business. For best results, hire an ad agency or design professional with experience in creating investor pitch decks.
The first slide should identify the “pain point” your product or technology will solve. Define the problem or unmet need in a way that hits home with the members of your audience. The pain point can be the incidence or economic burden a certain disease or disability, for example, a common problem on early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Provide a little information about you and your company. Offering insight into the reasons you started the business or created the product can inspire prospective investors to participate in your vision.
The team slide introduces the key members and top advisors of your organization, including their accomplishments, successes in other endeavors, and the expertise they bring to the table.
Talk about any previous sales or successes using your product. Discuss all major milestones your product has already achieved.
Create an elevator pitch slide that describes your mission, vision, and value proposition in a clear, succinct way. Back in the 1990s, Vanity Fair editor Michael Caruso created “elevator pitches” to sum up story ideas with his busy editor-in-chief while the two rode in an elevator together each day. Entrepreneurs seized upon the idea as a way of pitching ideas to investors.
Best-selling author Seth Godin Seth once said, “The purpose of an elevator pitch isn’t to close the sale. The goal isn’t even to give a short, accurate, Wikipedia-standard description of you or your project. And the idea of using vacuous, vague words to craft a bland mission statement is dumb.
“No, the purpose of an elevator pitch is to describe a situation or solution so compelling that the person you’re with wants to hear more even after the elevator ride is over.”
Create a realistic assessment of your product or company’s potential market size. Be sure to distinguish between the addressable market, which is the total revenue opportunity for your product, and the available market portion of the addressable market for which you can realistically compete. Outline the two so that potential investors can see the consumer sweet spot for your product.
Identify your competition, including current and future players in your field. Do not be afraid of naming major competitors, as many investors are looking for startups that will someday compete with the behemoths. Draw distinctions and similarities between your company and your competitors, and provide specific ideas on how you will compete. Point out the advantages your product has over the competition.
The next slide should describe your unique selling point, or that “special sauce” that makes your product uniquely qualified to resolve the pain point. It should present your company or product as the best solution to the problem and as a financially rewarding solution too.
This slide should present your patents or patent applications. Include information about progress for any patents pending to give investors a sense of security about the application’s probability of success.
Create an FDA slide that outlines milestones, phases and potential obstacles in the regulatory process. Define any biotech terms that potential investors may not already know and review any FDA regulations or requirements regarding your product. Describe the role and purpose of the FDA as it applies to your product.
The slide deck should clearly lay out your business and revenue model. Specifically, it details what you will charge for your product/technology and who will pay for them. Investors like to know exactly how you and your financial backers will make money.
Investors also like to know how you will use their funds. Lay out your investment strategy in as much detail as a slide presentation will allow. Transparency is essential in every well-planned biotech investor pitch deck.
Your financial slide should include all financial projections and metrics, such as sales forecast, profit and loss statement, the amount you have spent to date, the amount of money made so far, and cash flow forecast for at least five years. Avoid presenting information in spreadsheet format. Instead, use charts that show sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits.
Dedicate a slide to the discussion of reimbursements from Medicare and other payers. Identify processes, policies and resources needed to start billing. Talk about the reimbursement environment for similar products to give your investors an idea of how easy or difficult it will be to work with insurance providers.
Going public with an IPO is a viable option for many biotech startups; others are bought by larger players in the market. Include an IPO/acquisition slide that discusses the potential for initial public offerings and acquisitions.
Risk Scenario slides describe how you intend to manage risks that can result in significant losses if not properly addressed. Biotech can be a high-growth but high-risk industry. In research results published in Nature, Nature, Jeffrey Stewart and his team of associates say, “Venture capitalists are often wary of investing in biotechnology because bioentrepreneurs seldom provide realistic estimates of the value of their technologies.” They also say that many “bioentrepreneurs incorrectly estimate the value of their technology by failing to account adequately for the cost, risk, and time inherent in product development.”
Investors like to know how quickly they will see a return. Include a realistic timeline in your pitch deck.
Before you get into the tank with biotech investment sharks, sell new technology to investors with an impressive pitch deck containing these 17 all-important slides. Create a deck that can tell your story and convey your core ideas even when you are not there to present it, as interested investors may want to review it after you have finished your presentation.