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5 marketing B2B tips to get your healthcare start-up funded

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Did you know that about 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs crash within the first 16-18 months of starting their venture and up to 75% of U.S-based medical device start-ups go bust! 

We are in a cut-throat world in which only the very best survive! So even though you may have the best technology, a great management team and the company is showing strong development progress – if investors don’t know about you and who you are – it can all come crashing down! 

Based on our experience supporting fundraising activities for tens of healthcare start-ups – including medical device, health-tech, mhealth, pharma and biotech start-ups – we have put together what we consider our top 5 B2B marketing tips to help get your start-up funded.  

1.     Have the ultimate pitch deck

We cannot emphasize enough how important an amazing pitch deck, one pager, executive summary and website are! They are the primary touchpoints that your investor will see about your company.

“The classic partner in a VC firm is exposed to 5,000 pitches every year!” Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partners

So your company needs to stand out. Take time to know your market positioning and refine your business model. Then create a striking brand look and make sure each slide, website page or summary section effectively communicates your messages.

 “You don’t have a second chance to make a great first impression - so make it count.” 

2.     Get your name out there

A.  Social media it

Yes – this is easier said than done. It is also one of the hardest parts of the fund raising process for a start-up struggling with cashflow to justify spending money on. But it is essential.

As a healthcare start-up trying to attract investors – if you are not already on Linkedin you should be! And here is why:

Studies show that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites & blogsLinkedin has over 61 million senior level influencers!

Taking time to enhance your personal Linkedin and Company profile, and being regularly active through sharing, writing thought leadership articles and commenting in relevant groups is critical to your fundraising strategy. 

Linkedin also provides you with ready-made groups that can help you find influencers (those people with large networks in your field) who may be able to connect you with an important investor! 

Check this blog our for a list of some great investor-start-up Linkedin groups and for Israeli start-ups, make sure you are a member of Venture Capital Café, with a specific spotlight on Israel. 

Last but not least, consider Twitter and Youtube.

Twitter has a huge active USA population – it is Donald Trump’s favourite! So if you are looking for an investor in the USA – it might be worth getting a profile up. Youtube is the second most frequently used searched search engine and generates the highest pages per view per visit at 2.99, so get a channel and add your company or product video.

B.  PR it

Considered a bit old fashioned these days but PR still has an important role to play. Integrating PR activities into your social media and email campaign strategy is the ideal! 

For healthcare targeted PR releases, our experience is that the online newswires, Businesswire or PRnewswire have the most comprehensive healthcare lists around. They offer customization of news lists and garner the most traction quickly. Despite being the world’s #1 news release service, we have had less success with PRweb in the healthcare field.  

Make sure you are also contacting the major healthcare outlets directly. Some good ones for the healthcare and investor sector are:

An article in one of these “big ones” can rapidly move your start-up from a nobody to a somebody. 

For Israeli-based start-ups – take the time to make sure you get some local PR in English too, not just Hebrew. Remember the majority of your investors will read English, and potential investors abroad read many of the English versions of the Hebrew websites profiling your PR.

And share, share, share! Share your great news on social media, through email campaigns, on the investor platform Crunchbase, on email signatures, on your websites – make as much noise as you can!

3.  Be remembered – your investor is a key stakeholder

“Say it, say it, say it again” has long been an adage and best practice in the advertising and marketing space. 

Take a page from the marketing experts, and focus your communication plan on repeating your investor messages at regular intervals through outreach activities. This is where stakeholder management of your investors is key! 

A. Try a CRM

Probably only a very small proportion of those investors you contact will invest. You therefore need to know the exact status for each of them so you can follow-up effectively. For example, the date of last correspondence and content alongside where are they based and Linkedin connections. You may have a work trip to Germany next week – which investors could you easily meet there during that trip?

This is where getting a CRM such as Insightly (we love it here!) is strongly recommended. You can then easily manage your approach to each of your stakeholders whether they are a private investor, VC, strategic investor, in-between man (finder) or anyone else.

By linking your CRM with your Linkedin connections and researching a list of investors in your field – you will be on fire!

You will have the tools to quickly get your news out there helping to nurture growing relationships with a large number of potential investors, while easily being able to track your progress.

Your chance of getting funded has drastically increased.

B. Update your investors regularly

We hear pitches from many companies aiming to improve their communications to their investors. Yet, sadly, ongoing activities to keep the company's name in front of potential investors by keeping them updated regularly often slip through the cracks or get delayed until the last minute…

Investing in a quarterly newsletter both for your existing investors and for potential new investors is a highly persuasive tool for strengthening investor relations. It ensures your investors regularly hear from you and know of your progress as well as your challenges. All of which keeps them interested, especially when you successfully overcome a challenge with a creative solution!

Taking the time to design and execute this very influential letter or newsletter will demonstrate to the investor your company approach and put a face behind your amazing technology. Remember you are one of thousands approaching them so you need to stand out! And after the investment, keeping them informed regularly shows that you appreciate them even after they've signed the check!

4. Be focused

With so many investment opportunities out there, it is easy to get lost. Our advice: make sure you have a clear investor recruitment strategy.

Treat finding an investor like managing any other project for your company: 

Do your research. Spend time researching or speaking with your Board and advisors to make a list of VCs, private investors, strategic investors and supporting associations and organizations who have a specific interest in your field, especially those to whom they have a connection or can make an introduction.Set timelines of targeted activities to reach your funding milestone. For example, by month 3, I want to have connected with 300 investors. 

By month 6, I want to have 10 highly-interested investors including a strategic investor. Integrate your business development activities effectively. Align all your communication activities, conference attendance and investor road trips to ensure you meet your timelines. 

Outsource the activities you can! Fundraising activities fall heavily on the CEO. By having a clear strategy and timeline, you can now easily allocate the “supporting” fundraising tasks to other experts. This lets you dedicate your valuable time to successfully growing your company so you can then step in to close the deal with interested investors - of your choice!

5.  Leverage every opportunity

Potential investors are everywhere. So make sure you are ready for any situation.

Being prepared with a 30-second elevator pitch and a longer 3-minute pitch for any scenario is a must. Ensure both you and your management team know your companies key messages inside and out, and you are communicating them in a style that is clear and persuasive.

Remember: about 60% of a message's effect may come from non-verbal clues, so take note of how you and your team present and communicate.

At the end of the day, investors invest in you and your company's people. Make sure you and your team are prepared with the messages and ability to deliver them so you can really “wow” each and every potential investor.

You have dedicated time and resources to find interested investors, now you must make sure you “close the deal”.

Wishing you luck!

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