Before life science entrepreneurs can raise millions of dollars to finance their new businesses, they’ve got to learn “the dance,” Jack Anthony told an Oklahoma audience at the PHF Conference Center last Friday.
Not a two-step or a jitterbug. But the dance that will sell the potential of a business to investors.
“When you are trying to raise big dollars and there is someone across the table listening, you’ve got to do the whole dance right, because if you lose them, they’re gone,” he said. “Learning the dance, leaning the peculiarities of the industry and how to connect with people is very important.”
An i2E Entrepreneur-in-Residence from San Francisco, Anthony was in Oklahoma City to present his workshop called “Closing the Deal” to bioscience entrepreneurs and economic development professionals. The workshop was sponsored by the Oklahoma Bioscience Association and the Bioscience Roundtable.
Anthony covered a lot of ground, with key points made on the bioscience industry itself, the importance of messaging, planning and “closing the deal” when raising money.
Anthony brought to the workshop his 37 years of bioscience experience as both an entrepreneur and investor in medical device and biotechnology companies. He co-founded San Francisco-based BioMentorz a few years ago and has since traveled the world delivering workshops and mentoring entrepreneurs.
At the outset of the workshop, Anthony discussed the importance of developing a good elevator pitch while holding up an i2E publication – The Entrepreneur’s Path: A Handbook for High-Growth Companies — as a resource on elevator pitches and raising capital.
“This is a great little book, and they have two pages in here about elevator pitches,” Anthony told the audience as he held the book up for all to see. “It’s light reading, it’s fun and written with a little bit of a sense of humor. It’s a primer for people in our business who are raising money and bringing a company along.”
There are definite similarities between the Handbook and Anthony’s presentation. They both focus on teaching the “dance.”
“To be helping people understand the dance of doing business development is really very rewarding to me since I’ve spent a lot of my life doing just that,” he said.