(Expand to See Examples based on fictional products and awards)
1. Describe the need for your product. Describe the problem that it will solve and who has that problem.
For example, “Isolating proteins for biochemical research or manufacturing is a delicate, rate-limiting step that can take hours, even days, and small human errors often accumulate to produce an inferior quality isolate.”
2. Describe your solution and its unique value clearly in language everyone understands.
For example, “I created a device that automates the most time-consuming and sensitive step of isolating proteins, saving hours of lab time and improving the quality of the isolate.”
3. Describe the target market, who would benefit.
For example, “Our target market is any lab that isolates proteins, whether for research or mass production. They will benefit from using my device to automate their isolation process.”
4. Talk about yourself, team, and your research including training and achievements.
- What is your training and experience that prepares you to develop this idea?
- What projects/products have you worked on? Be sure to include a description of any leadership role.
- Who have you studied with or worked for and what did they accomplish?
- What is your lab known for, including awards and projects produced?
- Describe publications and presentations, as well as publications you are working on.
- What is your vision for your research?
For example, “To develop this product, I draw from my experience leading a team at Ionetics, Inc. that isolated a newly identified cytokine involved in aging. We received the 2019 NCA Cytokine Discovery award for that work.”
5. Describe the business including purpose, history, technology readiness level, and needs.
- Purpose and mission
- History and current state of development
- Business model, partnerships, and reimbursement strategy
- What the company needs, including any funding raised to date, its yield, and future funding needs and plans.
For example: “My partner and I are determined to solve the problem of toxic reactions to nut mycotoxins via a detoxification device. It would be purchased by nut distributors and used on the nuts immediately prior to packaging. It will add to the cost, but our research shows that there is a market among health-conscious consumers who are willing to pay a little more for enhanced food safety. We have formed an LLC and are working with a prototyping company to develop the first model. We have raised half of the $1 million we need to bring the fully developed product to market.”
6. Explain your achievements so far including patents, prototypes, progress toward regulatory approval.
- Patents or patent applications
- Prototype or precursor development, product stage of development?
- Regulatory pathway and timing if relevant.
For example: “We have a provisional patent through the end of this year when we will submit our patent application. We have worked with our patent lawyer’s offict to complete research that confirms that our claim is unique, so we are confident that our application will be approved. We are in the 2nd year of a Phase II SBIR award, have completed the prototype, and are starting the clinical trial. Based on our prototype testing, we are confident we will meet lab safety testing and certification standards.
7. Describe risks, risk mitigation, alternatives
For example: The main risk is that consumers with allergies to nut allergens may eat nuts that have been processed to remove mold, and assume our detoxification makes the nuts safe for people with true nut allergies. It does not. To avoid this misunderstanding, we will make no claims about having an impact on allergies and will require food distributors using our detoxifier label the nuts with a warning that they are not safe for individuals with nut allergies.
8. Check for competition and be prepared to discuss it.
Have a year’s worth of burn rate in the bank, because it can take that long to raise money. If you are seeking a loan, include a plan for how you would re-pay it.
For example: “Our main competition is the current, less effective surgical protocol. The data supporting better surgical outcomes by using our product is clear, but we are running into inertia and the convenience of doing business as usual. We need administrators inside the system to act as champions for our approach, which is why we are seeking funding to offer free training to them.”
Sources: Consolidated from multiple web pages to focus on those most relevant for forming biotech start-ups.
On Communicating with Non-Scientists
Be sure to prepare your talk for an audience with diverse backgrounds. Consider how best to present science to an audience that has some members who do not have a science background.
- Presenting to an audience with a diverse background is challenging. It is best to find some common ground among the audience. This is easy to do at the outset when you are describing the need for the product, but lose touch with some of the audience later as you describe the technical ideas. Remember you cannot stay in the deep technical details too long. Return to the common ground periodically, more often at the outset of the talk.
- For investors, keep in mind that they are most interested in the bottom line.
Presenting your Science to a Diverse [Background] Audience and How should scientists communicate science to investors? – from Communications Skills Training Series, B-BIC Skills Development Center