selling the vision - financial communications for life sciences

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A brief introduction to key communications principles for life sciences companies looking to raise money from venture capitalists, grants or public offerings. Teaches you how to market your value proposition effectively.


  • 1. Selling the Vision Early stage financial communications for life sciences

2. The situation 3. Crowded space 66 62 76 39 404 118 700+ companies in Canada and US 4. Looking at biotechs

  • 1,400 biotechs in US
  • 532 in Canada
  • 1,570 in EU
  • Growth sector in India, China and Brazil

5. Life sciences venture capital

  • 31 VC firms in Canada (1:45)
  • 85 VC firms in US (1:16)
  • 220 VC firms in EU (1:7)
  • Canada - $583 million in financings 07
  • US - $10 billion in financings 08

6. Looking ahead to 2009-2010

  • Dark Age Ahead for European Biotechs
  • Canadian IPO Market Worst in 10 Years
  • US Biotech Financing to Reach Record Decade Low

Expect Darwinian change. - Mark Heesen, President, NVCA 7. Financing 8. Capital for the life sciences

  • R&D is capital-intensive
  • Biotechs are cash pigs
  • Burn raterate of consumption of cash
  • Time to failure = cash reserves + expected raises burn rate

Seed capital Private equity Private equity, partnership IPO Discovery Pre-clinical Phase I Phase II 9. Applications

  • Private equityseed to late stage financings
  • Initial public offerings
  • Follow-on/secondary financings
  • D ebt financings
  • M ergers & acquisitions activity
  • G overnment financings/grants
  • P artnering

10. Communicating effectively 11. My theoretical orientation

  • This is about marketing
  • At the end of the day its a sales pitch
  • We are selling a stake in the future financial benefit of intellectual property
  • Upside potential

Nothing happens until something gets sold. - Bob Metcalfe, founder, 3Com 12. Tools

  • Website
  • Investor presentationthe pitch document
  • C ollateral materialsthe leave-behind

13. Goals

  • Hook the audience on your story
  • Spark a conversation
  • Set the stage for your investment bankers to close the deal

14. Principles

  • Know your audience
  • Develop a compelling story
  • C hoose the right spokesperson
  • U se all available/suitable tools to tell your story
  • C reate opportunities for your story to echo

15. Know your audience

  • You will be talking to:
  • Investment bankers
  • F und managers
  • Research analysts
  • Financial media
  • In life sciences many will have PhDs in scientific or medical disciplines
  • Many will have had industry experience
  • Often sit on advisory boards for portfolio companies
  • Tailor each presentation to suit the audiences level of knowledge
  • Be prepared to supplement presentation information

16. Build a compelling story

  • Start with the elevator pitch if you are on an elevator with a potential investor how would you describe your opportunity in the time it takes the elevator to reach the ground floor?
  • Use broad strokes, not exhaustive detail
  • Trim your presentation to 25 minutes or less
  • Typical hooks
    • Unmet medical need Genzymes portfolio
    • Superior technology drug-eluting stents
    • First Medtronic and the insulin pump
    • Cool factor Hemosols artificial blood

17. Executive personality 18. Create the right public face

  • C hoose the right spokesperson/people
  • Is the CEO, founder, president the right person to tell the story?
  • What about the Chief Scientific Officer?
  • Remember that senior executives should be presentpart of the roadshow exercise is allowing investors to eyeball management
  • Invest heavily in speaker preparationsome people have natural charisma, the rest have to learn to be compelling
  • Think of building the leader brand (see article on executive visibility on, Perspectives section)

19. Use a variety of tools

  • We tend to gravitate to low tech presentations and text
  • Consider animation and videoshow dont tell
  • Be creativethis is about selling!
  • Make the presentation part of a web of story elementslinks to website, additional content etc.
  • Help your audiences dig as deep as they want to into your story

20. Make the story resonate

  • C reate opportunities for your story to echo
  • Not powerful in themselves but reinforces main thrust
  • Media coverage, interviews
  • Investment and other conferences
  • Website(s)
  • Supplementary materials (e.g. white papers)
  • Social networks

21. Typical presentation structure

  • SnapshotABC Company is
  • Details how it works
  • Growth plan
  • Market opportunity and size
  • Financial projections
  • Risks and uncertainties
  • Comparables
  • Valuation
  • Use of proceeds
  • Key people
    • Management
    • Board of directors
    • Advisors
  • Summary

22. Paul McIvor 416.516.7095 416.906.1276 C [email_address] 179 Fern Avenue Toronto, ON, Canada M6R 1K2 Contact


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