At the recommendation of the local government, which has been supporting us, we have made a pitch to angel investors. I have been invited to present my pitch on Youtube. This is the third time in my life that I have pitched.
The slides used for the presentation and the video of the presentation are available at the bottom of this entry. If you are interested in the slides and the video, you can view them by going to the bottom of the page immediately. I hope you will bear with me if you can.
I've been presenting at conferences for years, but after two years of representing a startup in a pandemic, "What's the pitch?" I still don't know. I've seen videos of popular entrepreneurs taking the stage and Steve Jobs presenting his IPhone. It doesn't feel very right.
Why is the audience so enthused? Apparently, people find the pitch an interesting talk show. Conversely, there is definitely a point where you think, "Steve Jobs would definitely have something great to say," and if you throw it in there, the pitch will be successful. However, the people I should be appealing to are not COGNANO fans or people who are waiting to buy an iPhone or invest in Apple. For the strangers who came all the way to Kyoto on a hot day to listen to my talk, they would be disappointed if it sounded boring. We must be too different from each other in our industries and interests. ....
In general, biotechnology should not be interesting if you don't know what it is and don't understand it. It would take roughly an hour to follow the logic of how manipulating genes and cells can be used to cure diseases... I was not only talking about the bio-muscle, but I could not understand what was so great about the IPhone even if I put it in my own body. Until recently, I thought it was a cell phone with a glass screen that was easy to operate. It's even harder to convince people what's so great about biotech. If I could talk about it in 10 minutes, I would be beyond Steve Jobs... My heart was breaking, but being already a startup manager, I had no choice but to move forward.
Since my first pitch six months ago, I have looked around the venue and noticed some things that I have wondered about and noticed. Here are the bullet points.
- Investors are apparently clearly divided between IT and biotech companies. The IT sector is overwhelmingly the most attractive in terms of both amount and number of investors, while the biotech sector is in the minority.
- While the IT speakers are young entrepreneurs, most of the biotech speakers look like accomplished individuals or professors (the proof is in the suits they wear).
- Since there are no cases where biotech startups are structurally "already generating sales and profits," the main explanation is "how much they have been recognized by experts.
Therefore, it is suddenly a list of investments, awards, papers, and patents that we have already received.
I think it would be better to innovate the pitch structure itself, rather than imitate others (or is it called a hack by IT people?), since we are a startup, even though we are from a bio-manufacturing background. ... So, instead of explaining the product or technology, why don't people want to invest in biotech?" I decided to make "Why don't people want to invest in biotech? I thought it might be a good opportunity to reflect on why medical drug discovery is so boring, even though it is so important for mankind, and why it is so boring only because it is not immediately profitable.
That said, my awareness did not suddenly become clear, but was greatly influenced by the long conversations I had with IT engineers (Matsumotori-san and Yui-san) over the past two years. With almost no basic knowledge of biotechnology to share, but with people who are trying to understand, how do I reach them? Is there any possibility to sublimate "I don't know" into a new possibility, rather than giving up? In the background, I found myself intuitively feeling a kind of reality or power that says, "I have to listen to what these people have to say," and I have continued to rely on that in my conversations. Indeed, it has now accumulated somewhere in my body. What I was taught was, in a nutshell, "What kind of world do you think is good? I think it was "don't run away from it". In any case, this is a tough request.
In addition, I was fortunate to receive very kind guidance from a business mentor who was introduced to me by the local government. I understand that the lesson is to think about what investors are looking for, but what you can't say now is inevitable, but keep that sense of missing out and don't faint. It's "don't run away" too.
The pitch has to be easy to understand and fun, or no one will listen. And as long as you are on stage, you must be prepared not to run away from the real thing. With that in mind, I took the stage for a little over 10 minutes. When I was shown the recording later, I found that I was not very smooth and not cool, but in terms of content, I think I managed to say what I wanted to say.
I hope you enjoyed it.