Twice a year, in Q2 and Q4, HIHR aims to organise a pitch and networking event for investment opportunities in Human Health. (Future) Spin-off companies that are seeking their first external venture funding or for very early stage projects that would like to receive feedback on their ideas from experienced investors or entrepreneurs are welcome to apply for a seat. The respective TTO is requested to send in the pitch-nomination or QF-registration.
We follow fixed timelines. Calls for a pitch nomination will go out in early February with March 31 deadline for our pitch event in late May / early June; re our mid-November pitch event, the call for nominations will start in early August with deadline of September 30. Quickfire registrations have an extra few days.
The preparation starts with a call for nominations, which enables us to decide whether there are sufficient qualified spin-off initiatives to organise a pitch event.
Depending on the investment opportunity and complexity of the innovation, some initiatives might be offered a longer or shorter pitch. Long pitches consist of an 10 minute presentation, followed by 4 minutes of Q&A. Short pitches take a 5 minutes presentation, followed by 4 minutes of Q&A.
We allow a maximum of 150 minutes for our pitch event. In the convenient case that more pitches are sufficiently assessed, we will follow a ranking as drawn up by the selection committee and some pitches may be refused after all. On the other hand, in case there are less than 6 qualified pitch propositions, the event will be postponed for another 6 months.
Potential spin-outs not ready for an investment pitch yet òr existing companies who want to receive more in dept feed back on their business case, are welcome to register for tailor-made online sessions of 45 to 60 minutes. These small scale meetings offer entrepreneurial teams/KTOs the possibility to briefly test their early-stage venture concept with a small group of investors/entrepreneurs/KTO-professionals (max. group size of 8 persons, incl. TTO/presenter). See for more information the paragraph hereunder.
On top of this, various networking moments will be built in to strengthen the creation of a network between knowledge institutes, entrepreneurs and investors within the Benelux academic venturing system.
New Spin-off initiatives, actively seeking a venture capital investment that want to present their investment opportunity to our network of investors, entrepreneurs and corporates by means of a pitch are kindly invited to apply for a pitch via the nomination form at the respective event page (see the event page – by scrolling down under ‘HIHR-events’-button). In addition to the nomination form, we request a short 10-minute conversation via MS Teams to briefly explain the application. The respective TTO is requested to send in the nomination. Please note that we follow strict deadlines per editions and check the deadline for the next edition.
The selection committee will review all nominations and set up a program.
Applicants will be notified on a possible placement and further deadlines shortly afterwards.
Applications not granted (because e.g. not pitch-ready yet) will be offered a Quickfire session instead and are welcome to apply again at a next edition.
Depending on the investment opportunity, some initiatives might be offered a longer or shorter pitch. Long pitches consist of an 10 minute presentation, followed by 4 minutes of Q&A. Short pitches take a 5 minutes presentation, followed by 4 minutes of Q&A.
Selected pitch presenters are expected to have followed or follow adequate pitch training and well prepare their presentation – see section hereunder. The quality of the pitches is of vital importance to HIHR. We will offer hereto training and tailormade guidance, including a pitch try-out session – and we will closely monitor the proper preparation. The selection cie reserves the right to withdraw a project if it believes that the quality of the pitch is insufficiently guaranteed.
Nomination is open to any project of our participating knowledge institutions. Nominationforms are available via our eventpage.
The call for nominations usually start in January / resp August of every year. Deadline for submission are gernerally set on March 31 resp September 30.
In addition to plenary pitching sessions, dedicated “quickfire sessions” (QF-sessions) will be offered: small scale online meetings of 45 to 60 minutes offer entrepreneurial teams/KTOs the possibility to briefly present and discuss their early-stage venture project or business case with a small group of investors/entrepreneurs/KTO-professionals (max. group size of 8 persons, incl TTO/presenter). Aim of these small-scale meetings is to lead to a strong interaction between the participants on a (future or existing) business case. In scheduling these meetings, we will tailor the audience as much as possible to the business area of the initiative at hand, i.e. med tech & diagnostics; therapeutics & biotech; e-Health, data-science etc.
Early stage ideas or existing business cases interested in a quickfire session with stakeholders are welcome to register their initiative via the QF registration form of the respective event (see the event page – by scrolling down under ‘HIHR-events’-button). The respective TTO is requested to hand in the registration. A short description of the project will be included in the syllabus of the HIHR-event, to be provided to participating investors.
In all cases, continuation of the QF-sessions depends on the interest of investors and cannot be guaranteed as such. Actual take place and allocation of slots is based on investor interest and availability.
Potential spin-outs not ready for a investment pitch yet òr existing companies who want to receive more in dept feed back on their business case, are welcome to register
Our online Quickfire sessions will be scheduled in the week before the live pitch event, at 9am, 12noon or 5pm and will last 45 to 60 minutes max.
Time slots will be communicated several weeks in advance.
To secure maximum outcome of these sessions and quality of our offering, we ask you to prepare your session carefully together with your KTO-colleague, in line with the following guidelines:
– briefly present your offer (5 to 10 min max) – 5 slides max
– define the topics that you would like to discuss with the investors, i.e. point their feedback towards possible weaknesses / market strategy / board composition / etc.
– prepare 5 questions for the investors
Two weeks in advance we arrange a call with one of our experts to pre-discuss the scope and focus of your session.
The session will be led by a moderator, one of our HIHR-experts and will follow the following structure:
– 1 minute intro of the Quickfire concept and brief intro of the participants by moderator
– 5 minute explanation of the business-idea or -case (with slides) by presenter
– 5 minute questions from audience, specifically on the introduction (company aim should be clear to everyone)
– floor to presenter to address the questions/topics they would like to discuss with the audience. Presenter to prioritize their own questions and discussion per topic; presenter is in the lead.
Registration is open to any project of our participating knowledge institutions. Registration forms are available via our eventpage, available at the call for nominations (January / resp August of every year). Deadline for submission is usualy set on March 31 resp September 30.
Default facility is MS Teams; however, it is possible to use another platform of your preference.
Pitch-Nominations and QF-registrations
Nominations for pitches and registrations for quickfire sessions can only be submitted via the Knowledge Transfer Offices of the participating PRO’s and follow a time-path with strict deadlines. The call for nominations opens by means of an invite to the KTO-contact persons of all participating PRO’s.
– New Spin-off initiatives, actively seeking a venture capital investment can apply for a pitch via the nomination form.
– Early stage ideas or existing business cases interested in a Quickfire session with stakeholders are welcome to register their initiative via a QF registration form.
Both forms are available at the event page – by scrolling down under ‘HIHR-events’-button.
The call for nominations usually goes out in January / resp August of every year. Deadline for submission is generally set on March 31 resp September 30.
PRO’s are entitled to hand in as many nominations and registrations as they wish, provided they match the qualifications of HIHR and will be given the required guidance from the respective KTO.
To apply for a long or short pitch, HIHR welcomes
– spin-off initiatives that are looking for their first commercial equity round / VC-funding
– and that can, but are not necessarily founded yet.
In addition, projects/ideas that are not ready yet to raise venture funding òr investment opportunities who want to discuss more in dept their business case are welcome to register for a quickfire session with experienced investors / corporates to get feedback on their initiatives.
HIHR focuses on investment opportunities and ideas in the domain of Human Health in the broadest sense (Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Medtech and eHealth).
Confidentiality and privacy regulations
Please note that confidential information should not be shared on the nomination/registration form, in the summaries of the selection propositions, nor on the slides of the final pitch, as there is no specific secrecy obligation for investors/attendees or for the HIHR organization.
Contact information of the KTO-contact person and presenter will be shared with HIHR-attendees, unless otherwise specified on the nomination form.
Projects will be pre-selected by a relevant advisory committee to assure quality and to maximise impact. The selection committee assesses the nominated spin-offs, classifies the nominations into longer or shorter pitches and reviews the presentation of selected spin-offs.
Quickfire sessions are not submitted to a selection process. However, continuation of the sessions depends on the interest of investors and cannot be guaranteed as such.
Quality of pitches and guidance
The quality of the pitches is of vital importance to HIHR. Only with well-prepared and well-trained pitches, addressing the required elements, we will be able to attract relevant investors for upcoming events.
The quality of the pitches is a primary responsibility of the respective KTO. Local KTOs are expected to provide guidance/training/coaching in fine-tuning the pitches of their spin-off initiatives.
In addition, HIHR offers together with her partners guiding / coaching to the selected pitchers, as to ensure a high quality level of our pitches. We strongly encourage all our pitchers to participate in this training, as our experiences show that the transition from researcher to an entrepreneur is often being underestimated and requires a fundamental change into a more market oriented thinking. Please note that the selection committee reserves the right, even at the very last moment, to withdraw a project if it believes that the quality of the presentation is insufficiently guaranteed.
The pitch training consists of the following parts:
1. Pitching is selling. Your main goal is to attract attention and to win a face2face meeting with a VC. Do not merely present a technology but rather tell an appealing business story. Check out here the Pointers for creating a focused, effective investor pitch and practice !
2. Introductory webinars: Thanks to our partners we offer two introductory webinars in which investors tell what they want to hear and how they want you to present your story:
– J-Labs in collaboration with INKEF Capital: Don’t go Pitching in the Dark: How to Navigate Investor Interactions – April 2020
– INKEF Capital: How to boost the chances of your project success from day one (and secure the investors‘ money too) – April 2021
– Jeff Skinner: Resonating with Investors – April 2022
Selected pitchers will receive a link to these respective webinars.
3. An online Pitch try-out training session several weeks before the pitch-event.
A panel of experts, consisting of investors, corporates and KTO-experts will provide direct feed-back and share practical tips on effective presentation skills and increasing your chances of successful fundraising. During our last editions, the panel consisted of the following people:
Ivan Burkov – INKEF Capital
Sandra Cauwenberghs – Galapagos
Gideon Bevelander – JNJ-Innovation
Bart Laenen – Arnold&Siedsma / LC Patents
Bram Perdu – KULeuven
Annick Houbrechts – ULiège
Clemens Ostrowicz – ULuxembourg
We strongly encourage all our spin off initiatives to participate in this training. Throughout the years we have noticed that this training is key for delivering a successful pitch. We therefore have decided to offer this on line training to all our pitchers and ask them to try out and present their pitch to a panel of experts, who will provide feed-back and will share practical tips on effective presentation skills for investors and increasing your chances of successful fundraising.
QF-teams are welcome to join this session as auditor as well. If you are interested in joining this session, then please send an email to email@example.com
4. All powerpoint pitch presentations will be reviewed by our selection committee. Based on this review a last 1:1 call might be offered for individual coaching of your presentation, running up to the final presentation day.
Our strategic partner Johnson&Johnson Innovation offers, prior to our HIHR event, an additional pitch training, organised by J-Labs. This event is open to all nominated and registered initiatives. Starting off with short presentations on effective investors pitches, two to three selected HIHR spin-offs will be invited to give a first try-out pitch. Several of our sponsor-investors offer direct feedback and guidance to further improve their pitches. The afternoon will be concluded with a Q&A session and panel discussion. We strongly encourage you to participate in this training, as our experiences show that the transition from researcher to an entrepreneur is a big step and requires a fundamental change into a more market oriented thinking.
Check the J-Labs website to find out the next edition of the pitch training.
J-Labs offers extended support to start ups in the Health sector. Most of them are free of charge (for companies with less than 10 employees and for Academic/Student & Non-profits).
How to follow-up with investors after your presentation and Q&A-session
When you present to investors at the HIHR event, it’s important to find the right way to follow-up in order to get the most out of your efforts. The investors that you will be presenting to (mostly Associates or Principles in their firm) are generally responsible for the handling of a significant amount of deal flow at any point in time. On a weekly basis, an associate might be looking at 10-20 files and needs to prioritize which of those to discuss in the fund’s deal flow meeting.
Now that deal flow comes from a variety of sources including the firms general funnel, opportunities that come in from other investors (higher priority to manage relationships and maybe a bit of FOMO) and opportunities that come from the firm’s partners (always the highest priority, they pay your salary). Every incoming deal needs to be processed and recorded and the decision to prioritize or not needs to be clearly justified. Now in between all that pressure, the associates attend events like HIHR where they see 5-10 presentations on a day. You have a short window there to make a first impression and more importantly, they also have a very short window to make a call. When they come back from the conference they have their own notes to go on plus their memory, so naturally they will likely only process the deals that really captured their attention.
So here’s the trick; make their life easy by sending them a thank you email after the presentation with:
- a short summary of your proposition and key takeaways from your presentation in max 10 lines,
- your non conf presentation, and
- your offer to answer any questions or provide additional info at their request.
No need to be pushy, just a gentle way to follow-up and make sure your deal actually goes into the funnel.
The preparation for each HIHR edition follows the following schedule:
– 4 months
Call for spin-offs (ideas) among participating PRO’s
‘Save the Date’-email to investors
– 3 months
Deadline nominations (applications to be handed in by KTOs)
Review selection committee, followed by Go/No-Go decision
– 2.5 months
Confirmation email to investors/KTO/selected spin-offs
– 2 months
Handing in summaries of selected propositions
– 1.5 months
Pitch-training event, open to all nominated Spin-off-initiatives
– 3 weeks
Deadline handing in PP-presentations, reviewed by selection committee
– 2 weeks
1:1 Skype support for selected group
– 1 week
Handing in final version PP-presentations
Our Spring edition will be scheduled on the day before Knowledge for Growth (May – Ghent, Belgium). This way we hope to provide an additional incentive to attend our pitch event. Flanders Bio offers reductions on their conference fee and State of the Union event for those who want to combine our HIHR event with their event the day after.