Medicine is a worthy venture that can help change the population outcomes immensely. But, what if your passion is not to practice medicine, but start up a company that can impact health outcomes? What if you want to research and then turn that research into life science business that sells pharmaceuticals and medical devices? What if you want to launch a health startup with health focus?

The possible ways of improving health by altering other components of our health care system are endless. With the rise of precision medicine there are a plethora of opportunities to provide value through new technology and implementations of technological solutions. If this is where your passions lie, then this series of seven blogs is for you!

The blog series will specifically focus on early stage angel funding for the life scientist or health-oriented entrepreneur and include the following topics:

  • Part 1 – Sourcing: Put your investment opportunity in a place where angels can find it.
  • Part 2 – Evaluating: Providing an opportunity that appeals to angel investors.
  • Part 3 – Valuing: Describing the value you will provide to the angel.
  • Part 4 – Structuring: Organizing an offer that appeals to the investor.
  • Part 5 – Negotiating: Working together to finalize an agreement that meets everyone’s needs.
  • Part 6 – Supporting: Gaining value from the angel beyond funding.
  • Part 7 – Harvesting: Providing ROI to the angel.

Part 1 – Sourcing Groups

The first priority is to make sure an angel can find you. Investors seek opportunity so you need to put your opportunity out there. Options include:

  1. A Local Angel Group: For a venture that is location-dependent or dependent on some unique aspect of the local community, this is a perfect match. For a life scientist, this is unlikely to be the case. So, the main value is convenient access to the angel as an adviser post-funding and the likelihood that they are more comfortable (and thus more likely to fund) someone close to them geographically.
  2. AngelList Syndicates and Internet Focused Angel Groups: Such angel groups take advantage of the Internet to establish and foster longer-distance relationships and are more logical for an Internet-based business. The point of contact will want to be involved, but they probably won’t be local. If your product startup is Internet-focused, they are likely to have more comfort with and expertise in products targeting Internet-based solutions and that use the Internet for digital marketing.
  3. Typical Means of Finding Single-Source Angel Funding: Examples include a convenient family member, friend, business associate, accountant, or lawyer. These are still an option so classic face-to-face networking and promoting in smaller groups and via Internet presence (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook) may yield results. But, as with most other aspects of society, the value of the Internet and the search engine are quickly eroding this means to find funding for your health-oriented venture.
  4. Health and Medical Focused Angels: The Internet can also direct you more quickly to an individual angel or angel group with a specific focus on the life sciences aware of your venture. Not only are they more interested in what you propose but they most certainly have the connections to grow your company and advice most relevant to your business opportunity. Examples include:
    • Individual Medical Devices Angel Investors via AngelList: Links to individual investors although AngelList has other investment opportunities for more passive investors.
    • AngelMD: A company focused on “building relationships that spur investment in the companies, innovations, and people charting the future of healthcare.” It is free to be listed on the network.
    • Angel Investment Network: The investors in the network look at all stages of business development in order to determine funding. They currently have 140,130 family and venture capital funds as well as private investors. The search engine for investors can easily identify health or medical opportunities.
    • Life Sciences Angel Network: From their website – “To help our portfolio companies succeed we need to provide them with funding but also with operational support and an access to a broad network of healthcare investors, key opinion leaders, corporate players and other entrepreneurs.”
    • Life Science Angels: From their site: “Life Science Angels is sponsored by several premier service organizations. Many offer our membership special services tailored to the life science industries and emerging and startup companies.” Their application process requires in-person presentation.
    • Mass Medical Angels (MA2): A self-described “seed stage investor group exclusively focused on life science and healthcare investments.”

Picture Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Youngson