This is a short overview on the questions and key features investors are looking for before investing in any business. This will help you set out a better strategy and build your pitchdeck.

Before you approach any form of funder/investor, several questions should be answered first:

  1. What do you want to achieve with the investment?
  2. How flexible are you?
  3. How long will it take to achieve my goals set in 1.?
  4. How much resource will it take?
  5. Who do you need to help you? (different investors bring different expertise/bonuses to the table)

Answering these questions will clarify your strategy on which type of funder to approach and also help with building your pitchdeck.

When investors get your pitch deck, they will all look at it with the eyes of an investor and not a scientists. They will generally analyse it by the following criteria: the market, the technology, the traction, the team and the plan.

  • Market
    • Which part of the market?, calculate as good as you can; how much penetration will you get?
    • Nature of market: growing, changing, shrinking, emerging;
    • Dynamics of the market (use open source info on clinical trial activity and NICE guidelines etc. to learn)
  • Technology
    • What can you do that no one else can?
    • Barriers to entry – IP protection strong enough?
  • Traction
    • particularly important if there is no IP (Digital Health companies usually have no/little IP)
    • Get users/patients/Key Opinion Leaders on board, be used by the market and break free of ‘pilotitis’; more on “Public and Patient Involvement” can be found here
    • Sales
    • International opportunity: don’t just focus on the NHS
  • Team
    • Appropriate for business stage?
    • Balance of skills?
    • Board with necessary expertise?
  • Plan
    • Size of raise & valuation
    • Lead investor identified; how much is committed from other investors;
    • Where does this round get you? (technology or sales validation?)
    • What will the money raised be used for exactly
    • Any follow-up rounds?
    • Exit strategy:
      • M&A (why would they acquire you?)
      • IPO
      • Comparables
  • Additional points
    • UK Ltd/Legal structure set up?
    • SEIS/EIS elibility (depends on type of investor)

The pitchdeck should include everything mentioned above. We favour the following structure:

  • Summary
  • Management Team
  • Medical Advisory Team
  • Market Overview
  • Product
  • Business and Revenue Model
  • Competition
  • Funding Requirement and Growth Strategy
  • Exit Timetable
  • Financial Forecast
  • Ownership Structure
  • Contact details

Common pitfalls:

  • Science vs investor pitch
  • Neglecting soft skills (typographical errors, turning up late etc.)
  • Appearance, pitch decks etc.
  • “We know the problem…”; don’t spend 5min explaining the obesity crisis;
  • Don’t overinflate your company
  • Too high valuation
  • Not knowing competitors

We advise to have a pitchdeck as well as a clear one-pager always at the ready to send out to investors.