Preparing for Partnering Events

Partnering events like BIO, JP Morgan, the CLSA Pharma Partnering Day, and many others are critical opportunities for getting your message out to potential partners and investors. But success is never assured and preparation makes all the difference in these meetings. There’s nothing worse than walking into a meeting unprepared or surprised by last minute developments, here’s how Pharm2Market can help.

How Can Pharm2Market Help?

The first step in the process is to determine who to connect with at these events. You can use Pharm2Market to query the pipelines of strategic partners like Pfizer, GSK, Amgen and others. You can search by therapeutic area, therapeutic class, target, company size and more. You can view the pipelines of these companies to determine how your asset might fit their pipeline, and how you might pitch it to them.

Add each prospective partner to your portfolio along with notes and tags. Once a company is in your portfolio, use the Portfolio News feature to see all of the news for companies in your portfolio. We also track news in your community, and across the industry to help you stay informed.

Use our integrated LinkedIn and RocketReach search features to find contacts at these companies and connect with them. By using LinkedIn, you can connect with potential partners and as you post news items about your company, they’ll be able to track your progress via LinkedIn’s newsfeed feature. RocketReach can help you find the contact information like email addresses and phone numbers for the people you need to reach.

Use our integrated Crunchbase and PitchBook features to better understand the finances of potential partners and to understand how recent acquisitions might affect your conversations.

Looking For Investors?

Pharm2Market’s database shows you investors in your area, and across the country. Use the Company search feature to find companies like yours. When you open the Company Profile page, tap on the Investors tab at the bottom of the page, to see who’s been investing in the company.

Tap on the investor card to get more details about the investor and to see which companies are in their portfolios. This helps you build up a picture of their investment thesis.

Learn More

To learn more about Pharm2Market and how it can help your startup company find investors and resources (lab space, equipment, expertise, legal advice, HR services and more), sign up at

Posted in biotech, Drug Development, Drug Discovery, entrepreneurship, Fund Raising, LinkedIn, Partnering, Pharmaceutical | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Common Mistakes Biotech Entrepreneurs Make – The Investor Perspective

Recently, we’ve been interviewing members of the San Diego biotech investment community to better understand the factors that influence an investment decision. Our goal is to use these lessons learned to create tools in Pharm2Market that help investors identify which early stage biotech companies to track and potentially invest in. Moreover, we want to help startup companies better understand the investment community.

During the course of these interviews with investment bankers, angel investors, venture capital groups and family offices a number of themes emerged. These themes were echoed in last night’s Angel Investor Panel discussion at the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange annual event. The panelists included Randy Berholz of Mesa Verde Ventures, Sam Ellis of Tech Coast Angels and Life Science Angels, and Jay Goth of Forentis Fund, and the Murrieta Genomics incubator.

Waiting too late in the game
Too often angel investors are approached by startups who have waited too late to approach the investor community. They’ve either waited until they have significant results to report out, or are ready for clinical trials, and don’t take into account the time required to build a relationship in order to get the investments needed to continue.

The Dating Game
It’s important to understand that engaging with the investment community is about creating long-term relationships. It may take 7 or more meetings over the course of a year or 18 months in order to raise the funds you need.

Often management teams at early stage startups are complete unknowns to the investor community. Investors are more likely to invest in companies where one or more of the principals are known to them from previous transactions. It’s not uncommon to hear an investor state, “if I’ve made money with you before, I’m more likely to invest in you now”. Money begets money.

See The Hill, Take The Hill
In order to build credibility in the investor community it’s important to show progress towards value generating milestones over time. They need to see that you set a stake in the ground, make progress towards it and achieve it. They also need to see that when you fail you’re up front about it, and have a plan for addressing it, or pivoting.

The Company You Keep
“You are known by the company you keep” — Aesop. Beyond using milestones to improve your credibility to investors, credibility is often built through your extended team, in part because those parties go through their own vetting process. Knowing that your company is represented by a well-known legal firm is one of those tickboxes they’ll be looking for. Other investors involved in your company also help build credibility, partners and collaborators, and even your accounting firm can help. Your legal and accounting teams often have the connections that you will need to succeed, so make sure you leverage them.

The Long Run
Angel investors look at relationships as long term. They realise that they’ll be working with you over a 3-7 year period to help advance your drug programs. They may be on your board, they’ll definitely be taking an interest in your progress, but the relationship isn’t and shouldn’t be treated as solely a financial one.

Build Your Network
Scientific founders often have great academic networks, but poor financial networks. You’ll need to leverage your angel investors to help make warm introductions and expand your network. That network should not only include other potential investors, but potential industry partners.

Failing To Ask Questions, Take Advice or Ask For Help
You’re going to pitch to a lot of investors over time. You will get told “no”. But a big mistake is to fail to ask “why”. You want to know if the problem is in the pitch, or if it’s a mismatch for the investment thesis, or if they’re planning on raising another fund, and they’ll be better placed at the point to consider an investment. There are plenty of potential reasons for the “no” — don’t walk out of the room without finding out why. Remember you’re interviewing your potential investors, as much as they’re interviewing you. Don’t forget to treat it as a two-way conversation.

As your relationship with the investor grows, be open to taking advice. A lack of “coachability” on the part of the CEO, can often spell the end of a relationship. Learn from your investors, rely on them for advice and mentorship. Reach out to your investors for help. When you recruit them, look for what they can bring to the table, the doors they can open, the introductions they can make, the partnerships they can foster.

Hailing Frequencies Open
You will get told “no” a lot. But your company may still be compelling enough that the investor wants to track you. You may be a complete unknown to them, and they want you to establish a track record with them, so they can see your performance over time. And while you may still not be right for them, you might right for someone in their network. So make sure that you keep potential investors updated.

Low-balling Your Ask
In many cases an entrepreneur may low-ball the ask (ask for less money than is truly needed to achieve the milestone). How much runway do you need for the next 3-5 years? What happens if you miss a milestone? Did you pad your asking amount by 20-30% to insure that you have the funds necessary to pivot or overcome that obstacle? Are you paying yourselves and your employees sufficiently to keep yourselves and them focused on the job at hand, and not worrying about the rent or the next paycheque.

You Can Be King Or You Can Be Rich
As Noam Wassermann noted in his article in the Harvard Business Review, you can either be king or you can be rich — but you can rarely be both. Wassermann noted in his article that three years into a venture, 50% of founder/CEOs have surrendered day-to-day management of their companies to others.

There are a variety of reasons for this (outlined in the previous article), but it’s important to put this as a mental milestone on your radar as a founder. Most founders will not see a company through to its IPO. It’s important to realise that and plan for it.

Blinded By Science
Investors see a lot of pitchdecks during the course of a week. But one mistake they repeatedly see is dissertation length pitchdecks from biotech entrepreneurs. Keep it short and simple. Know your audience. Most of them will not have PhDs and will not be specialists in your particular area. If they’re interested, they’ll dig deeper so be prepared with a white paper or other explanatory materials for a followup conversation. But the deck itself should be short and to the point.

The answers they’re looking for include:

  • What is your value statement?
  • Who is your team and what experience do they bring in getting a drug out the door?
  • What is your product?
  • Who are you helping? (what’s the indication and total addressable market)
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Who are your partners & collaborators
  • What are your milestones and how will you use the investment to achieve those milestones

Guy Kawasaki’s book “The Art of the Start” outlines what a pitchdeck should contain and what it should not and Owen Klaaf’s book “Pitch Anything” is another good resource that can help you nail the messaging.

Startups live or die depending on their ability to communicate the value of what they’re working on to a lay audience. If you can explain it to your Mom in 5 minutes, and not lose her in the process, then you’re hitting the communication sweetspot — assuming that your Mom does not have a PhD in Biology or Chemistry.

In any case, keep it simple and brief.

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Pharm2Market June Newsletter

Pharm2Market – Business Intelligence for Biotech Communities

Things have been pretty busy this month at Pharm2Market as we continue to grow our business intelligence service in the communities we serve.

Community Outreach

We’ve been continuing to work with LaunchBio, the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE), and the San Diego Biotechnology Network (SDBN) to expand the reach of our programs.

This month we’re appearing at the SDEE’s Angel Investor panel event, and showcasing how Pharm2Market can help drug discovery startups find the investors and partners needed to bring a drug to market.

Software Changes

We’ve updated the Company and Investors page to make it easier to quickly link out to related services like Twitter, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn. You’ll find a menu icon in the upper right corner of the page with links to these services and more.

PitchBook – contains profiles on hundreds of startup companies and investors. We’ve added support for PitchBook to Pharm2Market to make it easier for investors to understand the investment potential of drug discovery companies. We’ve also integrated PitchBook into the Investors area to help startup companies better understand the investors they pitch to.

RocketReach – is an extensive contact database. We’ve added support for RocketReach to Pharm2Market to make it easier for RocketReach subscribers to quickly find contacts at drug discovery companies, and at investment companies.

Learn More

To learn more about Pharm2Market and how it can help your startup company find investors and resources (lab space, equipment, expertise, legal advice, HR services and more), sign up at

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Pharm2Market April Newsletter

Things have been pretty busy this month at Pharm2Market as we continue to grow our business intelligence service in the communities we serve.

Software Updates

We’re always looking for new features to add to Pharm2Market and this month we added:

  • Target-Based Searching –  making it easier to find local companies with experience and expertise in addressing specific drug targets. 
  • Activities Filtering – making it easier to see filter the growing list of database updates.
  • Improved Stat Chart Readability – making it easier to filter companies based on a variety of different statistics.
  • Getting Started Tutorial – making it easier for new users to explore some of the features and benefits of the Pharm2Market application. We also started working on video tutorials to make it even easier to get started.

In addition, we’re working on an All Access Pass feature that will allow users to access data from all of our communities.

San Diego Community

San Diego Community Growth

We continue to grow our San Diego Community database with updated pipelines for a number of local companies. We’re also continuing to meet with local biotech leaders through organizations like the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), Biocom, San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE), San Diego Biotechnology Network (SDBN), JLABS, the San Diego Venture Group (SDVG) and the San Diego Economic Development Corporation to identify challenges and areas where we can help grow the community. We also published some of our findings on the San Diego Community in our San Diego By The Numbers presentation.  Don’t forget to check out the Events section of Pharm2Market for events in your community.

San Francisco Community

San Francisco Community Launch

At the beginning of the month we launched our latest community, San Francisco, with over 220 companies in the database. We summarized some of our findings about the San Francisco community in our San Francisco By The Numbers presentation.

Boston Community

Boston Community Progress Report
We’re continuing our curation work on the Boston Pharm2Market Community, towards our planned June launch date.  The database currently stands at 120 companies and growing daily.

LaunchBio: Larger Than Life Science

LaunchBio – Larger Than Life Science

This month we partnered with LaunchBio at their Larger Than Life Science event. We demo’d Pharm2Market for drug discovery companies, CROs, consultants and investors; discussed the challenges that drug discovery startups face, and some strategies for addressing those challenges. We were really pleased with the response and feedback, and look forward to meeting and engaging with more members of the community.

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Larger Than Life Science

Join us for beer, demos and panel discussions this Apr 25th from 4-7pm at LaunchBio’s “Larger Than Life Science” event at BioLabs new Towne Center facility.

We’ll be demonstrating Pharm2Market, a new business intelligence platform for drug discovery communities. We’ll be showing you how you can use Pharm2Market’s database to find new investors and customers. Stop by and get a discount coupon on your first month.

You’ll also get to hear panel discussions on “Virtual Growth in San Diego” and “Crowdsourcing Science”. You’ll also get a chance to “Ask A Lawyer” for advice on setting up your company or protecting your IP.

Register at the link below:

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San Diego By The Numbers

In December, we launched Pharm2Market, a new business intelligence platform for biotech communities. The San Diego database has profiles for over 250 local drug discovery companies, over a dozen local investors, and 110 resource companies that provide everything from reagents to real estate services.

In this presentation, we take a look behind those numbers to get a better understanding of the community, to identify new business development, investment, and partnering opportunities.

To take a look at the companies behind these numbers, login to Pharm2Market

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San Francisco By The Numbers

In December we launched Pharm2Market’s San Diego database with information on over 250 companies and their pipelines. This month we’re launching our San Francisco community database with data on over 220 companies. In this presentation we breakdown the numbers behind the community and give you a better idea of the business development opportunities in the drug discovery companies. We also give you a peek at the most active investors in the community.

To learn more about Pharm2Market, login today.

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