Dr. Natasha Sharpe on marketing tools critical to secure financing today
October 22, 2015 — In the recent Global Technology Metals Market Summit hosted by InvestorIntel last week in the panel titled “The Debt, M&A and Creative Capital Financing Era” hosted by Peter Clausi, Sr. Editor for InvestorIntel, the audience was quite receptive to the commentary by Dr. Natasha Sharpe, CEO & CIO of Bridging Finance Inc. Dr. Sharpe had the audience all sit up when she pointed out marketing advantages critical to secure financing today. Seated next to Darren Townsend, Managing Director of Peak Resources Limited who secured over $25 million this summer, she commented that “people are much more sophisticated today than they were 15 years ago. If you want to get funding you really have to change the pitch from the 1985 version…” and proceeded to be quoted throughout the day by other moderators which we are presently editing for publication.
Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: On your desk every day are new deals. What? 50 a week? Are you seeing any old concepts that are being repackaged specifically for your lending mechanism?
Dr. Natasha Sharpe: Oh sure. I mean, at the end of the day if you’re in alternative lending and people know that you have capital to deploy in the hundreds of millions you get everything across your desk. I see everything from please finance my condominium to please finance my ice breaker to please finance my helicopter, et cetera. There’s certainly no shortage of people who are looking for money. The issue honestly is to start sorting through the wheat from the chaff. Especially on the resource side, I think that what’s old is the way that people are presenting their pitches.
Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: PowerPoint presentation reduced to PDF?
Dr. Natasha Sharpe: Honestly horrendous. I think, in our office anyway, we play mining bingo and the square in the middle is its close to the surface — everything is close to the surface.
Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: Low cost of production?
Dr. Natasha Sharpe: Oh absolutely.
Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: Infrastructure?
Dr. Natasha Sharpe: And there’s no information in the pitch. At the end of the day that simply won’t cut it anymore. I mean, people are much more sophisticated today I think than they were 15 years ago. If you want to get funding you really have to change the pitch from the 1985 version of the deck and I have not seen that. I find that interesting because literally every other sector except for this one, it’s gotten a lot better.
Moderator: What are you seeing then in other sectors then that we can learn?
Dr. Natasha Sharpe: I honestly believe that it’s the quality of consultants in this space that’s a bit lacking. I think that if you’re resource focused and you’re management focused you simply don’t have the time and the expertise to be able to do this for yourself. The smaller firms I think don’t necessarily have access to the investment banking who can put together their pitch books for them, but they certainly do have access to consultants who should be able to “steal” from the majors and bring that information down into depths that can be presented to alternative lenders. At the end of the day, I think it’s a question of recognizing what doesn’t work. If you’ve taken the same pitch book around to 20 odd people and everybody’s turned you down there’s probably a reason for it. Maybe you should go back and retool your presentation. Because I agree, there is no pitch that comes across my desk that isn’t, “this is the better mouse trap” and “this is going to revolutionize XYZ”. And the things that I’m interested in are the meat and the potatoes. How much does it cost you to extract? Do you have an offtake contract? If not, why not? Where’s it coming from? If you’re located in provinces, because we’re very Canadian focused, they tend to have heavy investment from their own province, why aren’t you getting provincial funding? The obvious questions make it easier for me and then I can make it easy for you. Honestly, in many cases I see a pitch come across my desk that is so horrendous it’s simply not worth my time to look at it so you throw it in the garbage and you go on to the next one regardless of whether or not there’s something there or not…to access the complete panel excerpt from the recent Global Technology Metals Market Summit, click here