Global Investment Program Supports Investment in AU Life Sciences

The Australia Biotech Invest in Melbourne (2017). Photo by Cesur Snali

Looking to improve management and workforce skills, the AusBiotech-led Global Investment Program in Life Sciences is enhancing the capability of the Australian life sciences sector to engage with international markets. By collaborating with consortium members, AusBiotech is putting the Australian life sciences sector and its companies front and centre.

Beginning in February 2017, AusBiotech and consortium members ASX, DibbsBarker, WEBuchan and KPMG have seen some major outcomes through the Global Investment Program for Life Sciences, by developing the publication 'A Guide to Life Sciences Investing', development and delivery of the 'Roadmap to preparing for a successful IPO' publication and the 'Pitching to Investors Masterclass' workshops.

AusBiotech's first set of 'Pitching to Investors Masterclass' workshops took place in November in Melbourne and Sydney, assisting CEOs not only in developing their presentation skills but to more effectively communicate the potential economic value of their products, their needs and commercialisation strategy. A maximum of ten participants were involved in each workshop session to allow sufficient time for review and feedback from the experienced life sciences investors and advisors.

The first batch of participants recorded positive outcomes from their feedback sessions and AusBiotech will use their responses to inform and improve future workshops.

Chairman of FivepHusion David Ranson attended the Sydney 'Pitching to Investors Masterclass' explained the workshop was a very useful training exercise for aspiring presenters to pitch their project to potential investors.

"Both the tips and feedback provided to me on improving my presentation style, as well as the direct feedback from highly experienced investment professionals were most useful," Mr Ranson explained.

"I'd recommend the class to anyone intending to embark on the pitching circuit."

AusBiotech has planned additional workshops for late February 2018 to coincide with its 2018 Asian Investment Series.

The 'Roadmap to preparing for a successful IPO' provides life sciences companies with independent, non-proprietary information about becoming an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed company. The publication was launched in September 2017 at ASX Sydney and in October 2017 at KPMG Melbourne. Since the publication was uploaded, AusBiotech has recorded the document to be viewed 217 times by users on the website.

The 'Roadmap' publication will be accompanied by complementary workshops in early 2018 to provide education on being attractive to investors, as well as assist companies to decide if an IPO pathway is a suitable option. At the launches in Sydney and Melbourne as well as the AusBiotech Australia Biotech Invest event and the AusBiotech National Conference, hard copies of the publications were distributed.

AusBiotech's program is in line with MTPConnect's 10-year Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP) by engaging and improving management and workforce skills as well as fostering a stronger connection with Asian markets. By looking to Australia's neighbours in the Asia Pacific region, AusBiotech is increasing Asian investor presence to give Australian companies a chance to network and collaborate with key influencers. Additionally, AusBiotech will work to develop the skills and knowledge of the participants to strengthen their pitches and promote the Australian life sciences sector. By shining a light on the sectors skills, industry knowledge and strong communication, it will improve and increase global alignments and opportunities for partnerships and potential investment from Asian markets for Australian SMEs.

Australian life sciences companies joined AusBiotech at the Asian Investment Series in three major Asian hubs: Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai in March 2017. The Series was attended by 400 delegates and provided a platform for company presenters to pitch their business and connect with qualified Asian investors; to help Australian companies forge new partnerships and access valuable funding opportunities. Companies benefitted from the convenience of engaging with interested investors in each country. In total, AusBiotech recorded approximately 200 one-on-one meetings were facilitated in this series.

The 2017 Investment Series concluded with AusBiotech's flagship investment event, the Australia Biotech Invest in October 2017. The event was attended by 310 delegates, including 70 international delegates from China, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, Israel, Singapore, New Zealand and Malaysia. The event facilitated 113 one-on-one meetings.

The CEO of AusBiotech Glenn Cross, who led all the events in the investment series, said the events provided a platform to help Australian companies forge new partnerships and access valuable funding opportunities.

"This strong investor interest in the Australian life sciences stems from the nation's top ranking in the global life sciences and its diverse suite of investment opportunities in medical technology and pharmaceuticals," Mr Cross said.

AusBiotech credited MTPConnect's funding and support as it enabled the expansion of the series to China, marking the first foray of an investment event focusing on Australian life sciences companies in China. With the success of this event, AusBiotech will look to make China a mainstay in the next Asian Investment Series in 2018.

Australian companies felt supported and found the series to be beneficial as they saw the potential for their company to get investment from the Asia-Pacific.

CEO of GO Resources, Michael Kleinig presented his company at all three events and described the experience as "rewarding."

"We presented to potential investors in three locations, and then received the opportunity to meet with them and discuss our investment opportunity further," Mr Kleinig explained.

"The opportunity to present to potential offshore investors through these events gives start-ups a chance to present to a wider audience.

"I want to congratulate AusBiotech on this series and encourage companies to engage with this investment seminar next year."

Riding on a high on the success of last year's Investment Series, AusBiotech will host it once again in 2018.