5 critical elements of your SEMDA medtech investor pitch

 In Conference, News

Earlier this week we asked Bob Crutchfield, general partner with Harbert Ventures, about the attributes of early stage medical device companies that make them ripe for investment and ways they can maximize their investments in events like the SEMDA 2016 Conference and Pitch Rounds.

Here’s some high value insight on fundraising for early stage medtech and medical device innovators from a seasoned investor.


What are your top recommendations for early stage medtech companies evaluating pitch opportunities or are preparing to pitch investors at places like SEMDA 2016?


1. Know your audience.

SEMDA attracts a variety of investors: individuals, organized angel groups and institutional VC funds. You should research them in advance and have a good idea about your top targets before you arrive at any event. Target the right investors for the right timing in your commercialization pathway.

2. Prepare your pitch as an extended marketing tool.

Design your pitch to attract attention and generate expanded conversations to follow. You are not going not to attract and close any investor with an 8-10 minute pitch alone. At the conclusion of an effective investor pitch you should have:

  • effectively identified the addressable market,
  • succinctly described your solution,
  • explained how the company will make money,
  • and clearly defined your capital needs.

3. Make yourself available for the investors.

We often see companies pitch and then they disappear before we can visit with them. If you are a presenting company, the last thing you need to do is depart. The greatest opportunities for companies to expand upon their pitch and get to know potential investors are in the hours and days immediately following the pitch.

4. Follow through on every request for more information.

If I see a company I like and seek out the entrepreneur, hand them my card and ask for an electronic pitch, I get a 60-65% response rate to that request. I find that simply amazing. It should be 100% every time.

In many cases I don’t get the opportunity to connect with all of the companies I find of interest at a conference. To maximize your investment opportunities, you should follow up with solid-fit investors after the event. You will be able to get a list. Continue the relationship building.

5. Be proactive and use the access in which you have invested.

Frequently I hear pitches from companies that are too early for us, or for a variety of reasons I didn’t get to connect with the company in person at the event. This is where being proactive is absolutely essential. If you’re paying to come and pitch, the last thing you want to do is lose the follow up opportunity.

You’ve bought access. Use it. The hurdle rate is high for an early stage medical device company to get invested, but that doesn’t mean it’s insurmountable. The more proactive the entrepreneur, the greater the likelihood of successfully aligning with the right investor at the right time.

bob crutchfield


What are the top addressable markets with needs you would like to see like to see filled by a southeastern medical device entrepreneur?


One clear area in which we are seeking a device solution is in the growing distributed care void.  Now more than ever, care that has traditionally been delivered at PCP office, hospital, ambulatory care facility is being delivered where people live, work and play.

We see a large addressable market the ability to record, monitor and receive data in a decision making format for providers. Wearables, diagnostics, active devices with “sensoring capabilities” to provide feedback: devices that connect increasingly disparate points of distributed care are strong, new solution opportunities for medical device and medtech entrepreneurs.

We also look for devices that demonstrate value post-implementation, insertion and use. Devices that provide usable data for clinical and lifestyle decision making beyond the episodic event are of high interest to us. Implants equipped with ability to measure temperature for infection identification and mitigation or measure mobility in post-operative rehab environment are a couple of examples.


SEMDA 2016 is slated for May 18 and 19 in Nashville at the new Music City Center. Medtech entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of experienced investors and learn more about the robust elements of the southeastern medical device ecosystem available to them.

Pitch Rounds and its corresponding online platform connect medical device startup companies with venture capitalists and angel investors who are seeking new investable medtech and medical device companies and opportunities. If you have a medical device or health IT company and you’re looking for venture funding, Pitch Rounds is for you.


Jason Rupp, Executive Director, Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA)