Tag Archives: eir4nyc

The Dating Game: Preparing Your Investor Pitch

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The Dating Game: Preparing Your Investor Pitch

Dr. Elma Hawkins

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on how to recognize when investors are “just not that into you.” In business, as in dating, sometimes the chemistry is off and it’s better to simply move on.  But for better or for worse, chemistry is only part of the equation: proper “courtship” is also essential to getting into an investor’s pocket.

Last week, I came across this fun, but insightful article based on the premise that “there isn’t much difference between a bad pickup line and a poorly formulated investment pitch.” Follow this advice, and you’ll stand a much better chance of rounding the bases with investors.

http://under30ceo.com/dating-game-preparing-investor-pitch/#SFADSjR48sZphgoV.99

 

About the original author:

http://www.wheelerdeltorro.com/meet-wheeler/bio/

 

photo credit:

photo credit: Victor1558

via http://photopin.com

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Dec 10, 2013

It’s Healthcare, Stupid – An Interview with Jesse Sandoval

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It’s healthcare, stupid

Jesse Sandoval on the challenges and opportunities of healthcare 2.0

by Dr. Elma Hawkins

 

In American politics, there’s never a dull moment where healthcare is concerned. As the first insurance markets created under Obamacare open this week, some members of Congress are still fighting tooth and nail to shut them down. But wherever you stand on the Affordable Care Act, there’s no denying the need to provide better healthcare to more people at a lower cost. And though the role of the government here is up for debate, the importance of medical and technological innovation is not.

For entrepreneurs and investors, this creates a tremendous opportunity to utilize lower costs in data storage, mining and transfer to improve the final healthcare service offered to patients — a concept central to the emerging paradigm of healthcare 2.0. But according to Jesse Sandoval, an angel investor who has led and advised several health-tech companies, the US industry is falling far short of its potential in this space.

Last week, I had the chance to chat with Jesse about healthcare 2.0, why the US is underperforming in this sector and what needs to happen to realize its major opportunities for growth.

 

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Oct 1, 2013

True COGs in the Enterprise

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True COGs in the Enterprise

by Jerry Korten

 

Many times I see business plans for a startup company where (to be polite) not a lot of work has been done to understand the cost of goods for the item that a startup company wants to manufacture and sell. The lower the price of the item a company plans to sell, the more crucial knowing the true cost of goods will be. Why is this issue so important to a startup? Cash flow. The more profitable you are, the less investment you will need and the more of your company you will keep. Let’s dig down a bit to understand.

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Sep 4, 2013

Interview with Dr. Tom Maniatis, PhD

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by Howard Johnson

 

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Interview with Dr. Tom Maniatis, PhD, Isidore S. Edelman Professor & Chairman of the Department of Molecular Biology and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University

 

I met Tom Maniatis on Mount Desert Island in Maine where we both spend some summer vacation time.  Dr. Maniatis is one of the pioneers of modern molecular biology, having led the development of recombinant DNA methods and their application to the study of the mechanisms of gene regulation.  He coauthored the definitive laboratory manual on genetic engineering, the Molecular Cloning Manual, along with Joe Sambrook and Ed Fritsch in 1982.  His research contributions have been acknowledged by membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and by numerous awards, including, the Eli Lilly Research Award in Microbiology and Immunology, the Novartis Drew Award in Biomedical Research, the Richard Lounsbery Award for Biology and Medicine, and the Scientific Achievement Award of the American Medical Association.

In addition to his distinguished scientific career, Dr. Maniatis founded three biotechnology companies in the past 30 years, including: (i) Genetics Institute, which produced several FDA-approved recombinant proteins, (erythropoietin, recombinant factor VIII and IX and bone morphogenic proteins), (ii) Proscript, where the cancer drug Velcade® (bortezomib) was invented, and (iii) Acceleron, which develops drugs for the treatment of muscoskeletal diseases.  Dr. Maniatis’ contributions to biotechnology were recognized when he received the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine, awarded jointly with Dr. William Rutter and Dr. David Goeddel.

 

I asked Tom to answer a few questions of potential importance to NYC bioscience entrepreneurs.

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Jul 2, 2013

Tips on Dealing with Equity

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By Jerry Korten

Verifying balance sheet

 

“How much equity should I have?”

If you are starting a company, or are a part of a startup and are a key player, some ownership (equity) in the company is usually part of the deal. A founder of a company, if she or he is alone, owns the whole shebang.  If you are the owner of a company and you want to convince somebody with necessary and critical skills for your company to succeed to come aboard, you may need to offer them equity, because you probably can’t pay them otherwise. And if you need financing to get your business off the ground, you may need to swap equity for those funds. How much equity should you give away? How much equity should you ask for when you are working for a startup?

Well, like any New Yorker, I would first answer: “it depends.” Which isn’t helpful, I know. But I have run across many situations where what has been offered or what has been asked for is wrong. And I will tell you why.

A company is worth some “notional” amount when it hasn’t proven that it can make what it says it can, or when it hasn’t proven that sales will occur as management imagines they could. The value of a company is typically based on some combination of potential future earnings and intellectual property that gives the company an effective barrier to competition. When investors invest in a company, they agree to some valuation of the company that reflects these issues and more. And when stock is apportioned, everybody has something which will only have value if and when the company either is sold or distributes profits to the shareholders. When you own stock in a startup company, or when you have options, that piece of paper and a metrocard will get you on the subway. In other words it is worthless until the company becomes successful.

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Jun 27, 2013

Interview with Dr. Robert Darnell, MD, PhD, President and Scientific Director, New York Genome Center

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by Howard Johnson

 

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Interview with Dr. Robert Darnell, MD, PhD, President and Scientific Director, New York Genome Center

I recently had the opportunity to tour Bob Darnell’s laboratory at Rockefeller University.  Dr. Darnell is a leading expert in RNA genomics.  His career in research and medicine has spanned more than 25 years and includes his current roles as the Heilbrunn Professor and Senior Physician at The Rockefeller University and as a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. In addition to his position at Rockefeller, Dr. Darnell is an Adjunct Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is an alumnus of Columbia College and received his medical and neurology training at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and the Weill Cornell Medical College.

In November 2012, Bob took the helm of the New York Genome Center (“NYGC”). He has been involved with the growth and advancement of NYGC since its inception in 2010, as a member of the original group of New York scientists that helped to shape the Center’s early direction.

NYGC is an independent, non-profit genomics and bioinformatics institution located in Manhattan. Founded with the support of 12 of the area’s most prestigious research and healthcare institutions, NYGC’s unique collaborative model is already accelerating the potential for genomics research to transform clinical care in New York and beyond.

This model unites a diverse group of hospitals, research centers, technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, cultural institutions, and philanthropists who share a common goal of advancing biological research for the purpose of improving human health.

I asked Bob to answer a few questions of potential importance to NYC bioscience entrepreneurs.

 

1.  Why do you think genomics will “crack the code” for the innovation economy?

First, there are tremendous pressures to innovate healthcare right now.  Rising patient care costs, a rapidly aging population with more expensive treatment needs, reimbursement challenges, costs for development and paying for medicine, to name a few.  Genomics will play an increasingly important role in helping address the above concerns through faster and more efficient development of targeted diagnostics and medicines tailored to individuals.

One good example includes the sequencing of gene variants encoding individuals metabolic enzymes (P450 liver enzymes) that will help determine dose and potential toxicity to drugs—so called pharmacogenomics.  Consider warfarin, a drug taken by millions of people each day, where currently each person has a dose individualized by trial and error to be titrated to just the point where their ability to make blood clots is reduced, but not excessively so.  Understanding an individual’s metabolism by sequencing offers reduction of risk and increase drug effect for each person.  Other great illustrations are coming from the world of cancer…each individual patient’s tumor of one type—breast cancer, for example—turns out to be different, despite the same tumor label.  Sequencing each patient’s tumor reveals what mutations are present in that patient that are most amenable to treatment with pharmaceutical drugs.

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Jun 18, 2013

Finding an Angel Who Will Help Your Company Earn Its Wings

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by Dr. Elma Hawkins

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Finding an Angel Who Will Help Your Company Earn Its Wings

 

In a previous post, I discussed the importance of recognizing when an investor “just isn’t that into you.” In this post, I’d like to talk about investors who very well may be into you, but potentially for the wrong reasons.

Specifically, I’d like to talk about angel investors, who are playing a steadily growing role in helping start-ups take flight.  Smaller, nimbler and less regulated than their institutional counterparts, angels can truly be a godsend for young companies.  If you’re not careful, however, they can just as easily send your venture down in flames.  To prevent your angels from becoming your devils, you must select them as carefully as you would your employees.

Think like an employer

The hiring comparison is helpful because I know that oftentimes, start-up fundraising feels more like a job application — or even worse, like begging.  But with angels, it’s important to think of yourself as the employer, because for better or for worse, they bring more to the table than just money.

In the best of cases, they bring wisdom, experience and a knack for growing businesses.  But in the worst of cases, they can come with all kinds of baggage, hidden agendas and other flaws that could prove ruinous to your business.

To maximize the chances of a successful angel relationship, I encourage entrepreneurs to write a “job description” that identifies what they are looking for in an angel — and equally important, what they’re not.

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Jun 11, 2013

The Close

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by Jerry Korten

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Starting a business based on your invention is one thing. Getting out and selling it is another. Some people are naturals when it comes to selling. Some not so much. Selling happens all the time, whether to potential investors or pitching your product to customers. You even have to sell to make a deal happen with another business. Always the transaction has to “close,” that is, you have to ask for the sale. It is surprising how difficult this can be for many who are new to this field. Those of us who are “experienced” (/ikˈspi(ə)rēənst/ modern English adjective describing having failed before) have the benefit of having had to ask many times for a sale. How does the newcomer learn to close a deal?

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Jun 4, 2013

Interview with Dr. Ron Cohen, Founder, President and CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.

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by Howard Johnson

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Interview with Dr. Ron Cohen, Founder, President and CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.*

 

A close college friend, an individual who had suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident, introduced me to Dr. Ron Cohen in 1995.  I was interested in helping to start a company that was focused on new therapies for spinal cord patients, motivated by a desire to help my friend and others with his condition, and Ron was a physician entrepreneur interested in the same goal.  I became a founding investor and board member of his new company, Acorda Therapeutics.  Eighteen years later, Acorda is publicly traded (NASDAQ: ACOR) with a market capitalization of $1.35 billion.  It’s first product, AMPYRA® (dalfampridine) was tested for many years in spinal cord injury, but was eventually approved by the FDA in 2010 for multiple sclerosis patients as a treatment to approve walking.  Today, AMPYRA® and Acorda’s other product, ZANAFLEX® (tizanidine hydrochloride) for spasticity, have annual sales of over $275 million in the U.S., and Acorda is testing several other new therapies for nervous system disorders in clinical trials.

 

I recently asked Ron to answer a few questions of potential importance to NYC bioscience entrepreneurs.

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May 28, 2013

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

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By Dr. Elma Hawkins

 q&a

 

This week, I decided to tap my fellow entrepreneurs for insights on the biggest mistakes that they have made in their own start-ups.  They also shared some pearls of wisdom about what it takes to succeed.

My biggest mistake:  Quick to hire, and slow to fire

On success:  Understanding that the only question on an investor’s mind is around getting paid. “When do I get paid?” “How do I get paid?” “What’s the risk associated with getting paid?”  And after time their only comment to management is “PAY ME!” Every communication from an entrepreneur needs to address these questions:  “Here’s how you get paid. Here is the pathway. Here is the strategy.  Here is the back-up strategy. Here are the multiple shots on goal.  Here is how we have de-risked execution.  Here is our great management.  Here is how we differentiate ourselves from the competition.  And here is how you get paid!”

David Fineman
Founder, President and CEO if KineMed
 
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May 21, 2013

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