Key takeaways from pitch session for Aarhus University spinouts

A pitch session involving five spinouts from Aarhus University took place at Aarhus Investor Summit | Science Edition 2023, during which a panel of experts provided valuable feedback. The session covered various aspects of the spinouts' presentations, and the following key takeaways emerged.

  • Clearly Communicate the Value Proposition: The experts emphasized the importance of immediately showcasing the spinouts' value propositions. They advised focusing on the end game and demonstrating how the innovation will continue to thrive beyond the initial research phase.
  • Highlight Market Need and Potential: The panel stressed the need to present a compelling case for the market need and potential. Spinouts should provide concrete numbers and data to demonstrate the size of the market opportunity.
  • Consider the Commercial Side: The commercial aspects of the spinouts' offerings should not be overlooked. Pricing and pricing models, market dynamics, patient journey, and potential partnership plans with existing install bases should be addressed.
  • Connect Data to the Problem: Presenting relevant data is crucial, especially clinical testing results. Spinouts should articulate how their innovation will be used in a clinical setting, discuss pricing strategies, and highlight the value for hospitals and healthcare providers.
  • Identify Customers and End Users: Spinouts should outline the customer and end-user profiles, sketching out the patient journey and emphasizing the medical impact on individual patients. It's important to demonstrate the potential to drive success in the market, considering the limited data available in the early stages.
  • Understand the Competitor Landscape: Spinouts need to be aware of the competitive landscape and clearly define their unique selling propositions (USPs). Demonstrating the clinical outcomes and clarifying their competitive advantage will help differentiate their innovation.
  • Address IP and Regulatory Considerations: The spinouts should discuss their intellectual property (IP) situation and the regulatory plans in place. Additionally, quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) should be considered and communicated effectively.
  • Acknowledge Technical Challenges: It's essential to identify any technical challenges that may arise and address them appropriately in the pitch.
  • Define the Target Audience: The spinouts should clearly identify their target audience, including potential investors, and tailor their presentation accordingly.
  • Balance Data and Business Potential: Striking a balance between presenting data and discussing the business potential is crucial. Avoid complexity and deliver a clear and concise message.
  • Articulate the Product's Journey: Spinouts should explain how their research will translate into a tangible product and where it will be delivered. They should also highlight if their innovation is disruptive to current clinical practices.
  • Outline Future Plans and Budget: Provide tangible details about the future plans of the spinouts, including budgets and milestones.
  • Be a Good Presenter: Practice being a good presenter and ensure that the key takeaway message is repeated consistently throughout the pitch.
  • Deliver a Crystal-Clear Presentation: Finally, the experts emphasized the importance of a clutter-free presentation with a stringent and coherent message.

By incorporating these key takeaways into their pitch presentations, the spinouts from Aarhus University can enhance their chances of securing investment and successfully bringing their innovations to market.

Watch a video from the summit here:

During the pitch session, the following five spinouts presented their innovative solutions to the audience and panel:

  • Equilibrium Diagnostics, pitched by Mads Vaarby Sørensen, focuses on developing a reliable method for diagnosing disease levels in individuals with conditions such as cystic fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, and potentially other severe diseases.
  • Fusion Therapeutics, presented by Johannes Frasez Sørensen, offers a platform technology for targeting cancers driven by fusion oncogenes. Their solution is patent protected and currently seeking funding opportunities.
  • Unipotent Therapeutics, pitched by Mark Denham, has developed a groundbreaking progenitor stem cell-based replacement therapy for Parkinson's Disease. They are currently looking to raise €2.5-5 million in funding.
  • Kripthonite Therapeutics, presented by Kristian Mark Jacobsen, is a spinout that focuses on targeting oxygen-depleted cancer cells in solid tumors. Their solution aims to address the needs of approximately 2 million patients currently awaiting effective treatments.
  • 4C Technology, pitched by Sara Seidelin Majidi, introduces a unique filter called "4C" that captures and cultures circulating tumor cells. This innovative technology aims to provide a way to anticipate optimal and personalized cancer treatments.

Learn more about Aarhus Investor Summit | Science Edition held May 9th 2023 here. 

22 May 2023

The panel consisted of a diverse group of seven experts representing different life science companies, venture capital firms, and investment funds:

  • Thomas Holm Pedersen from NMD Pharma A/S
  • Sten Verland, PhD MSc, from Sunstone Life Science Ventures
  • Jacob Falck Hansen from Lundbeckfonden / Lundbeck Foundation
  • Per Barfod Andersen from BioInnovation Institute
  • Ole Kring from Denmark's Export and Investment Fund
  • Jan Mousing from VPCIR Biosciences
  • Steen Bennike Mortensen from Innovation Fund Denmark
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