On 8 September 2022, at Alien Technology Transfer we had the pleasure of hosting the first of our Investor Days, a series of events dedicated to connecting our network of selected companies with an international pool of investors, with each appointment to focus on a specific industry.
As this first edition was dedicated to health, we selected companies with the potential of shaping the future of the European and worldwide healthcare sector. All of them, in fact, were recently awarded a € ~2.5 M non dilutive grant from the European Commission through the EIC Accelerator funding scheme. 12 innovators based in EU countries, Israel and Switzerland, pitched in front of specialist investors as they are currently looking to raise between € 2-15 M of further funding.
The technologies showcased during the event ranged from augmented reality, to echocardiography, along with cancer treatment, nanomaterial-based devices, multiparametric imaging for surgery, and much more. The presentations pitched very promising solutions, and were overall characterised by a remarkable high quality.
“It is our true pleasure to give the opportunity to these amazing companies to present their own technologies. The entrepreneurs we work with stand out for being well-prepared and extremely passionate about what they do. Given the difficult time that the VC market is going through, it is crucial that companies are given their well-deserved visibility” - our CEO Valentina Loisi comments.
After the event, we reflected on the value and challenges of events that connect companies with investors by offering the possibility to present their innovative business cases. We talked with Gregory Shuster, NanoVation’s CEO and Co-Founder, and Dovydas Matuliauskas, Ligence’s CFO, innovators that both took part in the Alien Investor Day - Health.
What is the biggest added value of pitching sessions for companies?
All companies would agree that the biggest added value of pitching sessions is the maximisation of everyone’s time. On this, Mr. Shuster comments that “Connecting with the relevant groups of investors, which are tailored to my company's industry and its stage of development, leads to efficient meetings and overall good use of everyone's time.” He adds that “[Pitching events] create a relatively intimate environment, keeping investors in focus and not overburdening their attention with tens of different pitches one after the other. On top of that, it creates a warm introduction to investors we had no direct access to, which is much more effective than cold emails.”
In addition to this aspect, Mr. Matuliauskas also stresses that companies highly appreciate the possibility to pitch to several investors simultaneously. “Ultimately” he says, “the organisers will always make sure to follow up with interested investors making it easier for us.”
What are the main challenges in private fundraising?
There are several challenging factors that come in the way of a company looking to raise private funding. Getting investors’ initial attention can be a tough job when you do not have a direct or personal connection with them, Mr. Shuster comments. On top of that, Mr. Matuliauska rightfully points out the difficulty of finding the right partners who actually understand what the company does.
Ironically, the challenges don’t come to an end once you give your company a good chance to present your technology to the right investors. Pitching a project is definitely hard work too. Who would not struggle to fit the whole explanation of years of research, work and professional dedication in 5 to 10 minutes?
“I guess some of the biggest challenges with short pitches are to decide what information to present and what to leave out, and to figure out the best way to convey complicated messages in an efficient, simple and clear manner, while keeping it very concise,” replies Mr. Shuster.
According to Mr. Matuliauskas “Obviously the greatest challenge is to tell the audience in simple terms what we do and then conveying only the most important key points. In my experience, any evidence of commercial traction is the most important thing to tell the investors.”
What is the must-have in a pitch presentation?
A pitch presentation will be extremely dense with important information. When asked if is there a key factor that should stick with investors about the company, Mr. Matuliauskas refers to the team’s commitment: “I want investors to sense the professionalism of our team after the pitch, and this is the greatest message to bring home.”
Alien Investor Day - Energy coming soon!
If you talk to any entrepreneurs, it is quite clear that raising private investment is a full time job that adds on to running a company. At Alien Innovation Consulting we are doing what is in our power to support EIC Accelerator winners of a € 2.5 M grant with an additional up to €15 M equity investment by directly putting them in contact with investors that fit their investment needs. After the successful first appointment dedicated to the healthcare industry, we are thrilled to announce that our second Alien Investor Day will be dedicated to Energy and will take place around mid-December 2022 (date TBC). Stay tuned for more!
Find out more about the first Alien Investor Day - Health (8 September) and have a look at the companies that participated here.
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