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Mae December E3

Clinical Miniseries
ESTIMATE 7-MINUTE READ

EPISODE 3 – CAPITAL IDEA

Business as Usual

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As Robby dines with Mae, he reminisces on the children growing up, how smart they are, and how much they take after their mother. He joins Mae in the kitchen as she clears the table, rinsing and drying the dishes as Mae washes.

“So how big is this biogenetic company of yours?” asks Robby.

“It is just me and the children so far. Besides experiments in my lab, we have been writing a business plan and preparing a pitch deck for investors.”

“Perhaps the first step is for me to review your business plan and scientific studies.”

“I would like that,” Mae replies.

“Why is the company called “Clarkson” instead of “Clark?”

“Well, I was thinking that someday our son would run it.”

“Now, I really need to read the business plan,” Robby says with a smile.

After turning the kitchen lights off, they head to the home lab and Mae hands Robby a copy of the 8-page executive summary. “This is something you can read tonight. The business plan is over 60 pages and still incomplete. That’s for another time.”

“Perfect, let’s lay on the bed together. You can keep me up after that fantastic meal and answer any questions I might have.”

Robby turns down the bedspread and fluffs the pillows before sitting upright in bed. Reaching for his reading glasses, he says to Mae, “I suppose not wearing glasses is a fringe benefit of your DNA modification.”

“We don’t have a large sampling of subjects, but my vision is no worse than it was when I met you. Though I do wear safety glasses in the lab when necessary.”

“Fascinating,” Robby exclaims as he brightens the lamp on his nightstand before squinting to read the first two pages of the executive summary.

“This is something investors would be foolish to refuse. You use CRISPR to snip out and silence undesirable genes. Then you harness repair enzymes to substitute them with the desired genes.”

“That is a succinct explanation,” Mae responds.

“If Radium marries her boyfriend and they have children, will our grand­children ever age or must her husband undergo treatment for that to work?”

“The way you dissect issues is exactly why I feel you would be an asset to the company. Results now are anecdotal. Large-scale clinical trials produce answers. I have tested mice and rabbits. Getting FDA approval for human clinical trials will be an expensive uphill battle. This is why we need significant capital from angel investors.”

“I see! You are trying to raise 50 million dollars in your first round of funding. Is that even practical for a pre-revenue company?”

“The cost is whatever it is. The question is whether the investors share the vision.”

“From what I see and hear, I’m sold. Your most convincing evidence is yourself. How do you plan to use that in your pitch?”

“I envision you, my debonaire husband and scientist with 30 years of experience, priming the audience with the challenges of aging. Mention how billion-dollar cosmetics and cosmetic surgery industries have put bandages on the problem until now. Then invite your wife to the stage, with whom you have just celebrated your 30th wedding anniversary.

“I begin saying something like, ‘The notion of endless life has fascinated me ever since reading 16th century stories about the fountain of youth. I later received a Ph.D. in microbiology and made the study of anti-aging my life’s work. For the curious among you, I have no Botox, no plastic surgery, and this is my natural hair color.’

“Then I show my first slide that depicts the date of birth on my passport before continuing, ‘My phenotypical age is 29 years…. Now that I have your attention and signed NDAs, I would like to show you how 50 million dollars will launch a new multi-billion dollar industry—the real fountain of youth.’”

“Putty in your hands, girl! That’s what they will become, especially with some Botox-filled deep-pocket female investors in the audience. I am so sold that I am ready to quit my job and get behind this 100 percent! This will be a great opportunity for our family to work together.

“We will require seed capital for an intellectual property attorney to patent and trademark all of your ideas. I am willing to put up twenty grand to get the ball rolling.”

“That’s generous of you. I am certain each of our children, having a stake in the company, will match that. They will keep their day jobs until we get outside investments. But sixty thousand should start the necessary legal paperwork. I greatly appreciate your support”

Robby receives a handsome bonus and retirement package that allows him to support the endeavors of Clarkson Biogenic. With his investment and his wife’s sweat equity, they own eighty percent of the company. Each of their two children own ten percent. The larger equity stake of the parents positions them to take on more investors in exchange for some of their equity.

With patents in place, a small office, and corporate filings, Clarkson Biogenic begins publishing peer-reviewed clinical studies on animals. The response among the scientific community is positive. This is something they can include in the executive summary to sway investors.

Pitch

After eight months, the family is frequenting virtual and in-person networking meetups and pitching to investors. Some are intrigued, but not enough to part with enormous sums of money. Those willing to put up money, cite risks and seek controlling share of the company during first-round funding.

By the middle of the second year, they are able to get audience with angel investors who have portfolios of scientific companies. With a better understand­ing of the industry, they not only recognize profit potential but they have resources to setup the facilities, push it through the FDA, and market the technology.

With their perfect pitch to the right audience, investors get into a bidding war over which company will partner with Clarkson Biogenic. The Clarks receive appropriate letters of intent to move forward.

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