Pairing Vision with Investors: Fundraising for Wild Success

Denise Bevers shares additional tips on how effectively communicating your business can lead to more successful fundraising efforts.

Making your career dreams come true is not for the faint-hearted. I recently wrote about how I combined my passion and my experience to co-create the kind of company that made my heart feel full.

KindredBio came to life because my partner and I put passion into it. That passion translated into how we approached everything from building the team to securing more than $120 million in funding. However, when it comes to funding, be prepared to do more than just share your passion.

These three tips kept me focused as I reached out to Wall Street and private investors. Keeping them front of mind, my co-founder and I raised $60 million in our IPO (NASDAQ: KIN) in 2013 and $62 million in a secondary offering in 2014.

Tout Your Brain and Your Heart

Yes, telling your story and conveying your vision is a huge part of connecting to potential investors. Your heart will show how much you believe in what you are doing. Investors will see that.

But it’s equally important to show your knowledge of what you are selling. Investors want to see that you know what you are talking about – from the industry and competitors to the product and the customer.

Do your homework. Combine that passion and knowledge with drive and persistence, and you are well on your way.

Be Prepared for the Hurdles

That persistence I mentioned? It will come in handy when you encounter roadblocks. And you will. No one is immune, but it can be even more daunting when potential investors see your gender before they hear your pitch.

I am a woman, and my co-founder is a man. Some Wall Street investors clearly preferred to hear from him instead of me. With the support of my male partner, I worked extra hard to find common ground and show that I was just as worthy of their time as he was, and it paid off.

You can either go over or around the hurdles in your path, but don’t stop. That is when your passion will keep you going, no matter what.

Commit to the Long Haul

Make your initial passion your long-term purpose. Funders want to know that you are in it for the long haul, and not going to move on to the next venture as soon as you make a little cash. Convey your belief that what you are doing is not only worth their investment, but important to you and, dare I say, the world. This isn’t a flash-in-the-pan business opportunity for you or for them. This is your purpose.

By leveraging the successes in existing human pharmaceuticals, KindredBio is substantially increasing the likelihood of success and decreasing the cost and time required to develop breakthrough therapies for animal family members. We had two drugs under review with the FDA within four years of our company’s founding, versus an average of 15 years in human drug development. Both are anticipated to launch in 2017.

None of this would have happened if my heart and my head weren’t behind the work, if I let roadblocks become stop signs, or if I didn’t persevere.


Denise Bevers, Co-Founder and COO of KindredBio, is an expert in clinical operations, medical affairs and scientific communications. She overseas the organization’s clinical operations, data management, pharmaceutical development, commercial operations, investor relations, human resources and IT. Along with KindredBio’s CEO, Denise has raised more than $60 million in IPO (NASDAQ: KIN) in 2013 and over $62 million in a secondary offering in 2014 to bring the very best science and medicine to animal companions.