You might not immediately connect Austrade with high tech, but this government agency does a massive job promoting Australian innovations overseas. The Senior Export Advisor first contacted us to help 30 Biotech clients of hers, to un-complicate their pitches for an upcoming forum of overseas investors.
Promoting Australian Innovation
Austrade works with Australian companies big and small, promoting local expertise to a wide array of overseas audiences. A major international forum was approaching and Austrade had 30 biotech companies preparing to pitch their technologies. Austrade wanted their clients to have the best chance of winning attention - and investment.
Deciding the set
We wanted to liaise directly with all 30 biotechs and help them with presentation skills too, but time was against us; we had to prepare something practical they could all use, easily. It came down to creating an Investor Pitch set that senior executives could copy, so they could make their investment cases clearly,and provide potential investors what they expected and wanted.
We decided to include 3 main components: 1. a guide to explain the thinking, and ask questions the execs would need to answer in their pitches, 2. an example of a completed pitch (a 16 slide presentation covering elements like what the technology does, size of the global market, competitors and their shortfalls, key advantages of the client technology, corporate milestones and expertise, revenue streams and projections, marketing strategy, investment needed and schedule), and 3. a blank slide deck, with headings for the companies to fill and corporate styles to add.
Creating the set
This is where it became interesting. We wanted to use a real example, but didn’t want to breach any confidentiality, so we interviewed a more established biotech company, and asked them to let us re-engineer their company and product, change the product name, technology and market, and create a dummy biotech company. ‘Aspira’ a fictitious M3 Respiratory Syndrome treatment, was born.
Preparing the audience
We also wanted to give the biotech clients some hints for better presenting too, as we were pretty sure they wouldn't be polished presenters, yet. We'd have to 'train the trainers', the Austrade advisors who liaised with the biotechs in their own states.
Included in the guide were general presenting hints - like the ideal number of points and words per slide, how to transition between slides, how to organize the presentation to have a strong beginning middle and end, how to handle questions and nerves, and most importantly, the need to practice once it was complete.
Presenting the set
When the 10 page guide and 16 slide example and template were done, it was time to show the 12 Austrade advisors its content, and how to present it to their biotech clients. They listened intently and asked lots of practical questions about presenting. At the end, the Investor Pitch Set was declared a success in theory, and after it had been presented to the biotechs around Australia, a success in fact too. Several of the biotech contacted us directly with positive feedback too. We're pretty happy that Austrade is still using the set to help their clients pitch to investors, four years later.