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How to Ask for Money

If you're starting a biotech, venture capitalist Bruce Booth has some advice for you. In a Forbes column on how to pitch your idea to venture capital funds, Booth says it's important to "work your network" or reach out to people you know who might be able to get you in touch with someone in a funding capacity. A "qualified referral" will catch a venture capitalist's interest while an unsolicited pitch is likely to be ignored, he says. Also, make sure that what you're pitching is something that fits what that particular firm does. It's best to pitch a completely new idea, and not something that's already in a late stage of development. "We like to help shape the DNA of the companies we back, and that can really only be done if we help co-create them," Booth says. Also, big, innovative ideas that address an unmet need are going to get a lot more attention than something low risk that's already been done. As for the pitch itself, Booth says, you need to know your audience, don't take up too much time going over the bona fides of your team members, "share the hope, forget the hype," and be realistic about how much money you'll need.

HT: In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe

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