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Navigating the Tricky Climate of Health Tech Funding

The health tech space is rapidly evolving, and the climate for funding remains tricky at best. For organizations on the hunt for capital, how and where you share your story can be a make-or-break strategic endeavor for attracting investment. 

The way in which your company is perceived externally can make all the difference in your funding journey. When it comes to external perception, many leaders first think of foundational assets like the company website and the investor pitch deck. These are important tools for telling your company’s story and making a case for investor support — but they aren’t enough on their own. 

Getting would-be investors — and the right kind of investors — to notice and care about your company, let alone take a meeting, requires a robust strategy that includes: 

  • Owning your story. Know who you are as an organization and the outcome you want. Every company has a story to tell, but not every company creates a narrative that captures attention and interest from the kind of investors they want to attract. Strategic investors are looking for something different than financial investors, and the differences in what might catch their eye are often subtle. Own your story in a way that clearly and succinctly conveys value, differentiates from the competition and inspires confidence among your most important target audiences. 
  • Building reputation. People invest in people, especially in the early stages of a company, so establishing a positive reputation is a big deal. Earned opportunities such as strategic media placements, analyst interviews, speaking engagements and awards accomplish what other disciplines cannot. They provide coveted third-party endorsements from journalists, experts and industry associations that your target audiences know and trust. With strong, strategic messaging, your leaders can build a reputation as innovators and visionaries in a market, perhaps even before the company has the size or clout to own it. 
  • Establishing credibility. In the same way customer reviews are a major factor in consumer confidence, your customer success stories build credibility you can’t buy. As part of the storytelling process, mine your customer base for compelling results, data and anecdotes — even if your partnerships are in the early stages. Then, leverage those wins to showcase invaluable third-party trust in your solutions from actual buyers. For investors, these are critical proof points that show not just where your company is now, but where it’s going in the future.
  • Generating buzz. Feel like you’re seeing the competition everywhere you look? That doesn’t happen by accident. Sustained effort allows success to build on success, increasing your share of voice on key topics across the traditional, online and social media channels where investor audiences stay up-to-date on the health tech sector.

Just know: You won’t see results overnight. Engage with a partner well in advance of when you’re hoping to close. Having a year or 18 months of runway allows for development of a thoughtful, comprehensive strategy that builds visibility and interest on the right topics, at the right time, against your target dates.

This work may include:

  • An in-depth market and competitor analysis to identify the best opportunities for positioning and messaging
  • Message testing with target stakeholders, buyers and media to understand what resonates and what doesn’t so you can adjust for the greatest impact
  • Building or reshaping your investor pitch deck to align with new messaging and value story
  • Spokesperson training so leaders know how to effectively speak to the media, on stage or in any public forum about what makes your company stand out
  • Robust content development for thought leadership and marketing purposes to support awareness and lead generation efforts 
  • Applications to high-value conference speaking opportunities to showcase expertise and value in front of key industry audiences
  • Analyst introductions and relationship building to ensure inclusion in key industry reports
  • Creation of a crisis communications protocol and a plan for responding to cybersecurity incidents or any number of issues that can crop up out of nowhere

There is so much for health tech leaders to consider in preparing their company for a funding event — whether that’s positioning for a Series A, going after a growth round or planning for an IPO. As you focus on meeting key operational and financial milestones, make sure you’re also telling your company’s story in ways that capture the attention of investors and build trust with key stakeholders. This ultimately establishes a foundation for long-term success.

Photo: Abscent84, Getty Images

Erin George is managing director of public relations and communications at Innsena, a consultancy focused exclusively on healthcare technology and tech-enabled services organizations. George brings nearly 20 years of healthcare industry experience and creativity to develop communications strategies that deliver on client goals—from increasing share of voice and supporting business development, to navigating transactions and crises, to managing clinician, employee and community perception during times of change. Prior to entering the public relations field, George worked as a healthcare business reporter and editor for publications in Nashville, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is based in Louisville, Kentucky.

This post appears through the MedCity Influencers program. Anyone can publish their perspective on business and innovation in healthcare on MedCity News through MedCity Influencers. Click here to find out how.

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