Presentation Coaching Helps Nanocerox Hone Messaging for MGCS

Shannon Beeman
May 11, 2012

Ann Arbor-based Nanocerox, an advanced materials company primarily serving the military and defense market, will present at this year’s Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS). Like all presenting companies, Nanocerox was given the opportunity to partake in presentation coaching through a partnership with the MGCS, the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) Technology Team and the New Enterprise Forum (NEF).

Nanocerox secured a series of investment rounds from 2003 to 2009, in addition to government grants and Small Business Innovation Research funding. The company had $2.7 million in revenue in 2011, and is seeking additional funding. CEO and President Michael Kelly said the MGCS presentation coaching helped him tell his company’s story. “[The] coaching provided a great environment to present and to receive proactive feedback, which allowed Nanocerox to adjust and streamline our overall company presentation,” he said. “Our approach is to outline that we have revenue. We have a proven technology, one that works and has specific markets and customers, plus we solve significant customer problems. We need additional capital to accelerate our growth.”

Nanocerox presented to two different coaching teams and received very different feedback points from each, which Kelly said provided excellent insight and helped him formulate and strategize his message:

  • Identify the customer’s problem
  • Explain how Nanocerox can solve this problem
  • Note that Nanocerox has revenue and customers – a valuable strength and differentiator
  • Outline the company’s strategy moving forward

In addition to the coaching sessions, the Nanocerox leadership team has had discussions with board members and key employees as well as mentor CEOs who provided feedback, recommendations and “war stories”. The have also reviewed past MGCS presentations.

In the approach to this year’s Symposium, Kelly has a clear objective. “Our anticipation with the MGCS event is that materials companies are not glamorous; [they are] usually very hands-off to VC firms. Our goal is to change this mindset.”