As a scientist in the pharmaceutical sector, you only want one thing and that is to contribute to a healthy society. You want to create that medicine that will heal people or make treatments more bearable. However, the road to the market and ultimately to the patient is long. And on that road, in addition to the scientific challenges, you have to also deal with commercial challenges – including the application for funding. Where can you find partners who believe in your dream? What do you need for this? How can they help you? These are burning questions and needs for the start-ups and scale-ups of Pivot Park.

This is why Pivot Park had decided to organise a financing event and, on Thursday 15 November, the time had come. The Funding Event took place at Pivot Park. Start-ups and scale-ups had the opportunity to talk to invited investors. A panel of experts with Felice Verduyn–van Weegen from LSPVC, Jalal Es-Sbai from Catalyze, Edward van Wezel from Biogeneration Ventures and Ron Byron from EKOY Investment, shared experiences, tips and do’s and don’ts with the public regarding funding applications. Two keynote speakers, Troels Jordansen from Glycostem and Allard Kaptein from Covalution, shared the lessons they’ve learned and their wise advice. We have added their ten tips. Some of them are open doors, but, according to these experts, these doors are the ones that are most often overlooked.

The do’s and don’ts 

  1. The entire process of applying for funding takes time. Building relationships, the feedback moments, etc. So start approaching financiers on time.
  2. Indicate in time what you need help with. Dare to be realistic and in some cases vulnerable towards financiers.
  3. Show ambition. We Dutch people are often (too) modest.
  4. Map out your growth strategy. How are you going to conquer the world?
  5. Choose your moments to try to get in touch with a particular investor. Don’t interrogate someone. And accept that a no sometimes really is a no. Then try again if you have a significant update of your plans/steps.
  6. Do not see the investor as a counter party but as your future business partner.
  7. Create a one pager as a summary of your business plan.
  8. Know your conversation partner. In other words, prepare well. E.g. about what the fund entails. What types of investment does the fund make? What is the typical ticket size, etc.
  9. Be flexible. And be open to discussion about e.g. a different structure of your company or a different focus of your business plan.
  10. Make a competence analysis of the team applying for funding.

You find an impression of the atmosphere at the event, with special thanks to our photographer Elize Bloks.