A pitch deck is a collection of slides used to communicate your company and investment opportunity to different groups of potential investors. These slides should contain a complete summary of all the essential topics and risk elements that must be addressed when building a successful biotechnology company. In essence, it is a well-thought-out sequence of critical information about the various aspects of a company’s business and commercialization strategy. This information is succinctly outlined in slides with imagery that helps the viewer quickly comprehend and assess the desirability of investing in your company.1
The template tool is built around a “4-3-2-1 +1” design. Four stands for the four “framing” items that begin the template: Working Title, Key Research Question, Key Papers, Motivation/Puzzle – collectively, these four pieces serve to give broad context to what then follows as more “specific” project-based information. Three represents the three essential ingredients: idea, data and tools. Two represents the two basic questions a researcher has to convincingly answer: ‘What’s new?’ and ‘So what?’ One represents the ‘Holy Grail’, the (incremental) contribution. Together these four items can be viewed largely as an exercise of “framing” or providing “big picture” context – the “what” and the “why” relating to the broader field of research.
A 2-page pitching template (1000 words ± 20%)
5 golden rules ⇒ make your chosen 1000 words:
Table 1. 11 elements comprising the template tool
Table 2. Pitching template with cues 3
Another key element in your communications toolbox is a corporate presentation. Start-up companies will benefit from a basic set of slides that can then be further customised to address the information needs of specific audiences. Good presentations are simple, concise, and compelling. Forget the adjectives, buzzwords, and business cliche´s—but do use active verbs and be concise. The best presentations are also highly visual. Audiences remember more of your message when key points are conveyed through images and charts rather than through words on a screen. In fact, research shows that we read and retain visualised messages up to 30% better than text because 50% of our brain is involved in visual processing. So, if you must use words, limit their number to make the text as scannable as possible. Overcrowded slides become unreadable in the average large-scale meeting room.
Keep your audience’s specific needs and interests in mind. In these days of busy schedules and ever-shortening attention spans, you need to make an impact quickly. If you have not demonstrated to your audience why they should want to learn more in the first few minutes of your presentation, you have probably lost their interest.
Describe your business idea, what makes it new and exciting, and how it will deliver what your audience wants—whether that is a great product, or strong, timely investment returns. Then elaborate on that overview with the details of your science, the market opportunity, the work you’ve accomplished to date, and the backgrounds of your team members. If you are seeking financing, how much do you want to raise and how will you use those funds? How will you create real value out of your idea? And how will an investment in your firm or the licensing of your product bring financial returns to your listeners, and in what timeframe?
Finally, once you have your basic presentation and plenty of backup slides to respond to anticipated questions, practise your delivery. Even for the best companies with great people and stories, an under-rehearsed, ill prepared presentation can spoil a potential financing or collaboration. One venture capital investor tells of a highly anticipated company presentation that turned into a disaster for the presenting firm. The presenters were unpolished, had inadequate slides, were unprepared for questions, and offered no financial information. As a result, the potential investors were not impressed, and the presenting company was unable to regain their interest.
With the rise of the Internet as a primary medium for communications, graphics have become an essential part of the communications toolbox. Informativeness of the projects presented on medical crowdfunding platforms is a hygiene factor that can elicit users’ trust. Medical crowdfunding platform operators should develop more functions that contribute to the information richness of the website, such as providing a wider range of information categories and the functions of uploading pictures and videos.5 Not only are they useful for your website, presentation, and fact sheet, but the availability of photos and other images will open the door to better Web visibility and media coverage. At a minimum, have highresolution photos (minimum 300 dpi) available of your management and corporate logo. Visual or video representations of how your product or technology works, including animations and product photos where relevant, are also a plus. All these elements have multiple potential uses, including to provide additional visibility and internet pick up for press releases. Moreover, project initiators need to elaborate more on their situations and charitable appeals to inspire potential donors logically and emotionally.4
According to the rules of dynamism, logos should be clear and understandable, not too detailed, and have enough contrast to the background. The design of the website should also be consistent with the design of the logo as it conveys credibility.6
Fundamentally, balance is defined by how the optical weight, in other words the weight of visual elements, is distributed across the website. It is affected by the sizes, colors, and locations of elements on the web page.
There has not been much research focusing on the direct effect of balance and symmetry on the perceived credibility of the website, but according to Sonderegger, Sauer & Eichenberger7 it has been shown that website’s aesthetical presentation does affect credibility, and users tend to trust websites more if the websites are visually appealing to them. This seems to suggest that balance and symmetry does positively influence the perceived credibility through aesthetic appeal. 8
Quality of information and quality of service were shown to significantly influence perceived value. It contributes to enhancing the knowledge of the importance of information quality and service quality by extending the results of prior studies to the social commerce context.
When targeting men, companies should emphasise information quality by providing relevant, reliable and up-to-date information on the products and services offered, and provide tools that allow users to share interesting information about the shopping process. On the other hand, when targeting women they should emphasise service quality, for example, by enhancing customer service through different channels, such as chatbots, forums and the telephone, and provide the most personalised treatment possible, and guarantee transaction security both by offering a reliable means of payment (e.g., PayPal), and a transparent returns policy respectful of consumers’ rights.