Tips for Pitching Your Idea to a Biotech Investor

This article  is part of Biotechin.Asia‘s  series of articles for scientists and life science professionals for starting their own company and setting up their business. The previous article on Why you should pitch your idea, even if it’s to that random stranger?” reiterated the importance of having a coherent elevator pitch which will grab the attention of a potential investor or can help advance your ideas in your day-to-day life. After all, what you are trying to do is convince someone that your idea is worth pursuing! This article will delve more on how to present yourself while pitching to a biotech investor. It was written with inputs from Dr. Eddy Lee and Dr. Yann Chong who are conducting a workshop on the same on June 24th 2016. Click here for more details on the workshop.


Credit: Pixabay

The healthcare and biotech startup ecosystem is experiencing a major upswing with more and more entrepreneurs wanting to do a startup in this space. It is especially attractive since it ranges from a pure biotech-based startup that may focus on immunotherapy to medical devices to providing tools and apps to help patients get in touch with their doctors instantly, which has particularly attracted the techies.

Once an entrepreneur has identified a problem he wishes to address, the next step usually involves looking for potential investors/grants/seed investment which will help them progress their ideas.

Pitching to any investor can be a daunting task but if you have a great idea, a well-thought out business plan and a great team to back you up, it becomes easy to wow the investors and secure the financial backing you need. However, do not underestimate the power of a good pitch-deck!

What investors look for?

The most important part of a pitch deck is convincing an investor “why you think a problem is worth solving”, out of all the problems you could have addressed. You need to do an extensive market analysis and be aware of the competition, current regulatory framework etc. You need to clearly explain how the money you’ve requested is going to be utilized over the next year or so. Most importantly, the team and their passion should help inspire confidence and not raise questions in the mind of the investors.


From the startup’s perspective, you need to have a clear idea about the company’s vision, the ‘real problem’ you are trying to solve and how your product/service is a better workable solution than your current market competitor. You need to have the right team to execute your idea and that would be one of the most important considerations on the part of the investor. Because they invest in ‘people’, not just the idea. You should be able to justify, why you need the funds you have requested and how would you use the funds requested. The pitch deck should be clean, simple, not overly cluttered, with points clearly presented.

It is also important to “keep it real”, as the investors can see through any fallacies.

How to Pitch to a Biotech Investor?

Biotechin.Asia is organizing a workshop on “How to Pitch to a Biotech Investor?” on June 24th 2016, 6 pm to 7.30 pm at NUS Enterprise@Blk71, Singapore that will speak more about what goes onto the slide deck for pitching and what you should/should not say to an investor who knows about the biotech and healthcare space.

The workshop will be conducted by Dr. Eddy Lee, the Managing Partner of Coffee Ventures who will speak on what the biotech investors expect from a pitch deck/pitching session. Dr. Yann Chong Tan, who is the Chief Technologist of Atreca, Inc will present his views from the startup perspective.

Even though this workshop will be applicable to all startups, it will be particularly helpful for those startups in the life science, healthcare, medical device, digital health space and we welcome researchers/biotech startups/entrepreneurs/aspiring entrepreneurs to attend it. To register for the workshop, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

About Eddy Lee:

Eddy Lee, PhD, Managing Partner | Coffee Ventures, Consulting Professor | Stanford University

Eddy Lee, PhD has invested in and supported more than 50 startups predominantly in the US, Singapore and Indonesia. Interest areas include mobile health, big data, IoT and marketplaces.  He has recently relocated from the Silicon Valley to Southeast Asia to tackle unmet needs in emerging markets. He works with entrepreneurs in product development, enterprise partnership, M&A exit, and entering international markets such as the US, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia. At Stanford University, Eddy concurrently serves as a Consulting Professor at the School of Medicine, where he connects academic projects with commercial opportunities. He is also a mentor at Stanford’s StartX incubator where he provides startups with cross border knowhow.

About Yann Chong Tan:

Chief Technologist at Atreca, Inc.

Dr. Yann Chong Tan is a co-founder at Atreca. He led development of the technology underlying Atreca’s Immune Repertoire Capture™ platform while pursuing his dissertation research in William Robinson’s laboratory at Stanford University. He is the recipient of NSS(BS) and NSS(PhD) fellowships from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore. Dr. Tan received a BS in biology from Duke University and a PhD in immunology from Stanford University. In October 2015, the company Atreca, Inc announced  the completion of its Series A funding with a total investment of $56 million.

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