Making the Most Out of Your Frequency Bio Experience

Name Subaita Rahman Biotech Platform Associate Co-op at Pillar VC

The Program

Frequency Bio is a flexible and free virtual program designed to help you explore launching a biotech startup. Whether you’re actively working on an idea or are just starting to think about building, we welcome a diverse community of founders.

The week-long program is fully remote and doesn’t have a mandatory fixed agenda, so you decide what to join. The cohort consists of founder talks, speed chats, core learning sessions, and advisory calls. Here’s some tips to make the most out of the week-long program from previous cohorts. 

Go through the directory and talk to as many people as you can

At the start of frequency, we ask everyone to fill out a directory of what they are working on, what they need help with, and what they can help others with. Use that to your advantage. Create a calendly account and start reaching out. Search for keywords of things you are most interested in (ie. fertility) and schedule calls with those folks that week. Ask them what they are working on, how they got involved in what they are working on, and why they are passionate about it. You’ll be surprised and inspired by the responses you get. 

At the end of the call, it’s always good to have a few action items on ways you can help each other out – whether that be an introduction or a resource link to send over. Build and foster relationships with other founders as early as you can. Keep track of who you reached out to and had great conversations with. Follow up with them 2-3 months and update each other on your progress with what you both are working on. 

Be cautious and don’t overbook yourself with too many meetings. Keep a daily limit depending on your schedule, something like 4-5 calls per day.

A sample outreach template:

Hey [name], hope all is well. [a few words on what caught your eye on their profile and why you’d love to connect]. [a few words on scheduling time].

Set clear goals for yourself

What do you plan to get out of this week? What are some burning questions you want answered by the end of the program? Spend some time reflecting on areas you need the most help with, and try to make as much progress as you can on those goals. Identify where in the founder journey you are in to make sure you set appropriate goals for yourself.

Are you a founder with a clear venture in mind, looking for professional input, key hires, or looking for a co-founder? Base your goals based on what seems to be the most important for you and the stage your company is at, and what milestones are important for you to hit.

Are you someone who is still exploring ideas, skilled, not exactly sure what you want to build or who to build it with? Optimize for being as curious as possible, and hoping for as many calls with people as possible. Some example goals you could have is to identify an area you want to go deeper in, and ask around for help to make a list of 10-20 people to talk to who are experts in that area.

Attend every session

This may seem quite obvious, but given that the program is only a week make the most out of every session. The content tends to build on each other, and although slides are shared, the majority of the learning happens during the Q&A portion of the core sessions.

Try to come up with as many questions as possible

Asking questions is the best way you can learn. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Chances that someone has a similar question to you are quite high – we are all here to learn after all. Make sure to always come with non-googleable questions during the advisory groups on literally anything around biotech startups. Your advisors have spoken to hundreds of founders, academics, and other VCs. They have many unique insights to share on what they have learned throughout the years and perspectives.

Look out for the daily emails and review the content you learned

One of the best ways you can retain information is constantly reviewing materials at the end of the day. The daily emails have tons of nuggets of information that can help strengthen the concepts you learned. Look out for the founder playlist links as well. The bio founder playlist is an amazing tool for founders, but can get overwhelming at first glance. Connecting the content in the founder playlist to the content you learned can be extremely helpful down the road in your startup journey.

Schedule weekly meetings with your cohort

Keep updated with each other regularly so you can best help each other out even after the program has ended. Organize community sessions in your city and meet up in person. Building a founder community is one of the best ways to help maintain long-term relationships with your cohort and cohorts before yours. Carve out time to co-work with each other, keep each other accountable, and share domain specific knowledge.

Get yourself ahead

We have 5 main core sessions that are split up into 30 min presentations and 30 min Q&As. Get yourself ahead by reading up on content related to the topics of our sessions:

Academic spinouts 

How To Get Started on University Spinouts (For Business People)

Building your team

A Founder’s Guide to Data-Driven Budgeting in Biotech

Why is it important to build a diverse team?

Building your IP

Step-By-Step Guide to Searching for IP

How To: Build an IP Fortress Overview

Market Opportunity + Customer Discovery

How should I figure out who my customer is?

Why is it important to segment my customers?

How should I approach customer discovery?

Setting Milestones and Executing

What are the most important steps to get started?

Why is it important to write a business plan?

Getting your first term sheet

Can I Negotiate My VC Term Sheet?

6 Key Slides to Include in a Biotech Pitch Deck

As a biotech, how much revenue do I need to raise a Series A?

How much money should I raise?