Brain Tech – Part 2
Adapted from the Journal of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Chicago
Daniel DiLorenzo comes up with a concise list of what’s needed to succeed in fund raising. He fills in all the blanks before approaching venture capital. He’s highly successful at gaining great gobs money.
“I was a super-optimist,” says Dr. Daniel DiLorenzo. I probably didn’t appreciate how hard it was to get my company funded. I now see it from the other side. A fund may see 2,000 business plans a year and invest in only four. When a VC gets a flood of 2,000 a year, it’s natural to quickly look for a reason to move on the next one. So you line everything up first. VCs are busy – they have a limited attention span. Once you get in, you gotta do a great job.”
Daniel DiLorenzo, MD, PhD, MBA, is the founder of NeuroVista and Barinetics. NeuroVista is a cutting-edge medical device company in Seattle that’s out to put a lid on Epilepsy. His comments are for an audience of entrepreneurs, investors, and PhDs assembled at the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago.
Checkboxes for Funding
DeLorenzo went at funding intentionally, with a rational process that included a detailed checklist:
- IP: The IP was possible. It was a great idea. We filed early. We made real good claims. Checkbox filled.
- Scientific Expertise: At the time, I was an intern. I had no credibility. I got a mentor who is one of the best in the world in that field. He was interested. Boom. Checkbox filled.
- Engineering expertise: I found a guy who was really bright and designed a similar device for another company. Checkbox filled.
- The Science: We had the vision but didn’t have people who had actually implanted a device, so we found them. Checkbox filled.
- The Market: The Market was big. Checkbox filled.
- Senior Management: We didn’t really have people who executed and ran a company yet, and that was one thing the VCs and I worked to round out.
- The Pitch: We brought in the team to pitch—not some lone goofball with a laptop. When there’s something with many dimensions of expertise, it’s important to bring the team along. Whenever there’s a question – Boom, you answer it.
Has your company checked all of the boxes?
MITEF Chicago – http://www.mitefchicago.org/
NeuroVista – http://www.neurovista.com/
Photo Credits – Parker Brothers, MITEF Chicago
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