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Here’s how to get the most out of HealthKick Invest 2019

February 26, 2019 By: Nick Zarzycki

Held as part of Health Innovation Week 2019, HealthKick Invest is the largest early-stage health investment conference in Canada, bringing together hundreds of health startups, investors and executives from across the country for two days of one-on-one meetings, insightful panel discussions, and a pitch competition.

Interested in attending this year’s conference? We sat down with Catherine Love, conference organizer and senior advisor, capital at MaRS Health, to learn how attendees can make the most of their time at HealthKick Invest.

Get quality face-to-face time with investors

If you’re attending HealthKick Invest, odds are you’re there to book one-on-one meetings with investors. Although it might be tempting to send as many meeting requests as you can, Love recommends that startups approach the process in a targeted way.

“As an investor, you tend to get flooded with meeting requests,” says Love. For the best response, she recommends sending a very targeted message explaining who you are, what exactly you’re looking for, and why they should take the meeting.

And don’t be discouraged if you can’t book a meeting with your investor of choice. Love says there will be plenty of other opportunities to meet with investors throughout the conference. For example, during the networking breaks after each panel discussion or at the other events during Health Innovation Week.

“Investors will also be going to other events during the week. Study the list of who’s going—you never know who you’ll be sitting next to.”

Learn what health investors think about the future

While booking quality face-to-face time with investors is important, attendees at HealthKick Invest will also get a chance to hear top Canadian health technology funds like iGan Partners, Whitecap Venture Partners and Amplitude Ventures speak about the investing process.

Panels will feature investors that focus on early-stage therapeutics, medical devices and digital health startups discussing how they approach the decision to invest, their preferences and trends in investment.

And in the new fundraising track, speakers will help startups put investor decision-making into a broader context, focusing on what motivates venture capitalists to invest in the first place, the importance of fund portfolio makeup and how funds operate as a business.

“For example, the ‘Why I Did the Deal’ panel will have investors break down a particular deal they did—why they did it, how it progressed and what the outcome was,” says Love.

The ’Reverse Due Diligence’ track will highlight why companies need to do due diligence on investors, and how raising money is a two-way street, while ‘Bootstrapping’ is all about why not to raise it if you don’t have to.

For a full list of panel titles and speakers, check out the HealthKick Invest website.

Practise your pitching

In addition to hearing and meeting with investors, startups at the conference will also get a chance to present their ideas at the MaRS HealthKick Pitch Competition, which will see 15 high-potential health technology companies compete for $25,000 cash.

The three tracks—therapeutics, medical devices and digital health companies—are open to all Canadian startups. One winner from each track will be chosen to participate in the pitch-off, which will determine the winner. And for those nervous about pitching, don’t worry, MaRS will have resources on hand to help you hone your pitch before the day of the competition.

Learn more here.