AI Investor Panels: The Shortcut Every Fundraising CEO Needs

6 Aug

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

They say there are no shortcuts in life – and if that’s true, it’s most true for the fundraising CEO in healthcare. Many bright, passionate scientist-entrepreneurs just want to save lives, and have the tools to make it happen, so why is it so hard to get in front of the right investors for their company and product? Life Science Nation (LSN) CEO, Dennis Ford set out to remove the guesswork, and save time, money, and, most importantly, lives. This is the ultimate purpose of the 4D Meets AI partnering conference, taking place September 17-18, 2020. LSN is bringing together the top CEOs and investors advancing drugs, diagnostics, devices, and digital health (4Ds) through the power of artificial intelligence (AI). The conference is designed to get the best ideas in front of well-matched minds to move products into the market and make a difference in the healthcare industry.

We’re highlighting two panels on precision medicine and diagnostics made up of global investors with diverse backgrounds from bench science to clinical medicine to law, business, and beyond! These are some of the investors at 4D Meets AI looking for lifesaving innovation.

There may not be any shortcuts in life, but if there were, we think they’d look like 4D Meets AI. Check out the panels below to learn more and register for the super early bird rate before August 7!


From CRISPR to CAR-T Technologies: Shifting the Paradigm of Therapeutic Investment

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications in precision medicine is essential in bringing therapeutics from development to early detection and treatment for genetic disorders, rare diseases, oncology, and more. However, demand doesn’t equate success. Guidance from industry experts can help navigate pitfalls such as market saturation, regulatory risk and guidelines, as well as how to better define patient populations, and tackle manufacturing and commercialization challenges.

Annette Bakker, PhD, President & CSO, The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF)

Annette Bakker, the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s President, holds a PhD in cell biology from the University of Antwerp. Her past experience includes serving as Oncology Group Leader at Janssen Pharmaceutica, and postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University and La Salpetriere, Paris. Before joining the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Dr. Bakker served as head of the Oncology R&D department for a biotech company in Siena, Tuscany. While there, she designed and created a neuro-oncology department from the ground up, and managed large oncology research initiatives both nationally (Italian networks) and internationally (European and Asian networks). Dr. Bakker’s research has been internationally recognized by more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, patents, and awards, and she has extensive experience liaising and negotiating with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In her role at the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Annette and her team will continue to build a strong NF community, design and execute innovative business models to accelerate the path from basic discovery to clinical benefit for NF patients, develop partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and attract new scientists and funders to the NF field. Annette is originally from Belgium, and speaks four languages (English, French, Dutch, and Italian). She lives happily in Westchester, NY with her family.

Ali Farahanchi, PhD, MBA, Managing Director, Digital Horizon Capital (DHVC)

Ali is Director at DHVC, an early-stage fund based in Palo Alto, where he leads the fund investment in digital health and therapeutics startups. Some of his past investments include PathAI, Engine Biosciences, Mammoth Biosciences, and Beam Therapeutics. Ali received PhD degree in Engineering from MIT, and MBA degree from Chicago Booth.

Ser-Chen Fu, MD, Partner, Pacific 8 Ventures

Dr. Ser-Chen Fu was previously trained as a clinical neurologist and served as an attending physician during his clinical practice. At Pacific 8 Ventures, he provides a clinical and medical perspective in assisting healthcare startups realize their visions. Experience: Tzu-Chi University Medical School; Neurology Resident, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital; Attending Physician, Taipei Tzu-Chi Hospital; Attending Physician, Hualien Tzu-Chi Hospital.

Sara Nayeem, MD, Partner, New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

Sara Nayeem, MD is a Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a large diversified venture capital firm. Sara joined NEA’s healthcare team in 2009 and focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. She serves on the boards of Centrexion, Complexa, Cydan, Imara (IMRA), Tiburio, and a stealth targeted oncology company. She previously served on the boards of Vtesse (acquired by Sucampo), Mersana (MRSN) and Therachon and as a board observer for Loxo Oncology (LOXO, acquired by Lilly), Tesaro (TSRO, acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Clementia (CMTA, acquired by Ipsen), Nightstar (NITE, acquired by Biogen), Ziarco (acquired by Novartis), Omthera (OMTH, acquired by AstraZeneca), Epizyme (EPZM), Millendo (MLND) and Zyngenia. She has also been involved in other NEA investments such as Prosensa (RNA, acquired by BioMarin), Metacrine, and 3-V Biosciences. She also serves on the boards of the New England Venture Capital Association and BioHealth Innovation Management, and on the Advisory Council of Incubate Coalition. She was included on Fierce Biotech’s 2019 list of the Fiercest Women in Life Sciences and was selected three times as one of GrowthCap’s Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors. Prior to joining NEA, Sara was an Associate with Merrill Lynch’s Global Healthcare Group, where she advised biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies on numerous mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions. Previously, she worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. She has conducted basic science research in mammalian cardiac development and clinical research in age-related macular degeneration. Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in Biology from Harvard University.

João Ribas, PhD, Associate, Novo Holdings A/S

João Ribas is an Associate at Novo Holdings (Seeds team), a life science investor with offices in Copenhagen, Boston, and San Francisco. João invests in and helps build disrupting life science companies in Europe, served from the Copenhagen office. João mentored healthcare startups and taught innovation methodologies around the world and co-founded a medical device company. He started his VC career at M Ventures, the corporate VC arm of Merck KGaA, before joining the Novo Seeds team. João did his PhD research in bioengineering in Boston, at Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He currently hosts a podcast series (The Future Labs) where he interviews thought leaders on the technologies and ideas that will shape our future.


AI Diagnostics, Ranging from IVD, Genomics, Precision Medicine, and More

The need for artificial intelligence (AI) in diagnostics innovation is clear, present, and only growing. Panelists come alongside fundraising companies to navigate this fast-paced industry in order to partner the best technology with the right investors. From your opening handshake to the one that closes the deal, there are a myriad of developmental and regulatory hurdles companies can successfully maneuver to achieve their goals, and we will be discussing how this is done in the current landscape.

Emilia Gonzalez, Principal, Joyance Partners

Emi is a Principal for Social Starts and Joyance Partners based in Boston. Our focus is to help catalyze innovation by investing in the emerging science and technology of health and happiness as well as delightful moments. Her main areas of investments include healthcare, life sciences, and biotechnology. She is an entrepreneur, running-enthusiast, investor and world traveler. Prior to Joyance Partners and Social Starts, she founded a diabetes digital health company, consulted for Half Court Ventures, an early-stage VC firm, and was the Director for Harvard’s premier undergraduate competition, i3 Innovation Challenge. She holds a BA in Molecular Biology from Harvard College.

Noel Jee, PhD, Principal, Illumina Ventures

Noel is a Principal at Illumina Ventures and focuses on investments in therapeutics, diagnostics, and tools. Prior to joining the fund, Noel worked at L.E.K. Consulting as a management consultant specializing in the life sciences. He has consulted on strategy engagements for companies in the pharmaceuticals, biotech, and diagnostics industries. He obtained a dual BS degree from the University of Maryland College Park, and his PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from the University of California San Francisco.

Tom Miller, MS, Managing Partner, GreyBird Ventures

After receiving a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Tom studied Medical Physics at the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology joint program graduating with a Master’s degree in 1982. During his academic career, he worked at Los Alamos, the Swiss Institute for Nuclear Research (now the Paul Scherer Institute), Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Massachusetts General Hospital as a research associate in radiation biophysics. Tom then joined Siemens Medical Systems where, after 9 years, he became the first non-German CEO of a German factory and business unit. He left Siemens after 15 years to become CEO of the global medical operations of Carl Zeiss. Completing a successful turnaround, he joined Analogic Corporation as CEO. After three years and a doubling of the stock price, Tom left to become CEO of LightLab Imaging, a start-up that he helped to establish. Completing a profitable sale of LightLab, Tom re-joined Siemens eventually serving as a member of the operating board of Siemens Healthcare and the CEO of Customer Solutions Division, responsible for 26,000 employees in over 130 countries. Tom co-founded GreyBird in mid-2013 with an investment focus on technologies enabling precision medicine diagnosis.

Tad Weems, MBA, Managing Director, Agilent Technologies

Tad currently leads the Agilent team that manages the partnership/investment relationships with about 30 early stage life science tools companies. He has been in the life science tools industry for 20 years, serving in a variety of research, business development, financial and management roles. Prior to joining Agilent, Tad co-founded and successfully exited two companies; thus, is very familiar with the funding, commercialization and growth issues that entrepreneurs face. Additionally, he has worked in both the venture capital and petrochemical industries, serves on multiple Boards, holds several patents and is a Wharton MBA and chemical engineering graduate of UT Austin and UC Berkeley.

Roy Wiesner, Managing Director, aMoon

Roy is a Managing Director at aMoon. He has nearly 15 years of investment experience, first as an M&A and Private Equity lawyer in New York, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, and later as a venture capitalist. Before joining aMoon, Roy was the CEO of Hutchison Kinrot, a global leading incubator and seed investor in water technologies & Cleantech, owned by Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings. He led numerous investments in early stage Israeli start-ups, serving on the boards of all portfolio companies and guiding them from technological concept to early commercialization. Prior to that he was a Partner at the International M&A and Capital Markets department of a leading Israeli law firm, also heading its international private equity practice. Roy spent nearly five years with international law firm Weil Gotshal, working on complex M&A and Private Equity transactions, and was a member of the founding team of the firm’s Hong Kong office. He holds an LLB from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and dual MPA (Public & Economic Policy) from the London School of Economics and Columbia University. He is a certified lawyer in Israel and New York.

Building a Brand: From Blah to Boom

6 Aug

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

“You don’t need marketing materials because your technology speaks for itself,” said no investor ever, besides the ones living in the minds of hopeful, yet branding-challenged, CEOs. What many often neglect until the last minute is that a company’s marketing collateral is one of its most important assets when reaching out to investors, often the first glimpse an investor has of the company. The goal is to keep a clear, consistent message across all channels of communication. No matter who interacts with your company in any context, they should all have the same understanding of who you are and what you do.

Of these channels, the pitch deck can often be a challenge to master, balancing the visual format while allowing investors to understand the whole with no explanation. Furthermore, a pitch deck needs to provide a good snapshot of the company in 10-12 slides – as an investor once said during a RESI panel, a pitch deck should be like a movie trailer.

The key to a good pitch deck is to ensure that no one portion dominates. It should tell the story of your company, and we recommend that it include the following information:

  • Elevator Pitch & Tagline: Clear, informational, but concise and memorable.
  • Company: Who are you as a company? Who is your management team, and what stage of development is your company now?
  • Technology: What need is your tech filling in the market? Where is the opportunity, and how does your idea fill it? Describe your tech, and back up your claims with supportive data that is visually appealing and easy to digest. Remember, this isn’t a thesis defense.
  • Pipeline & Future Projections: You’ve got this great idea, but what’re the next steps? What’s your path to market and, eventually, exit? Do you have competition that you stand out from? Are there any risks you anticipate, and how do you plan to mitigate these? This would also be a good time to share milestones (both achieved and future), as well as a timeline for the use of funds you are raising. Again, keep it clear and visually palatable.

Companies, especially those guided by scientist-entrepreneurs, have a tendency of focusing on the science, leading to pitch decks that are heavily weighted on the technical aspects of the technology and are much too long. Remember, the purpose of your pitch deck is to hook the investor’s interest, and leave them wanting a meeting, where they can learn more.

You won’t get that second meeting unless you’re delivering a clear image of your company and its value to the market. Remember that this isn’t rocket science (you’ve probably already done that), just telling a compelling story to an audience that ultimately wants the same thing as you – a successful partnership.

A Week of Partnering: An Interview with Life Science Nation (LSN) Chief Conference Officer, Greg Mannix

6 Aug

Greg Mannix

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

Rory McCann

When it comes to the fundraising CEO on the lookout for strategic partners, it’s essential to be both visible and active in the partnering scene. Partnering is a relationship that requires frequent attention over time. One well-timed conversation rarely cuts a deal in healthcare, but it’s the CEOs who show up regularly and prepared that catch the eye of their ideal partners.

This is why Life Science Nation (LSN) is pairing their successful RESI conference series with their new partnering event, 4D Meets AI. Artificial intelligence (AI) has countless applications in healthcare, and this conference is highlighting the most advanced and powerful applications across drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health (4Ds). The team that has connected hundreds of fundraising CEOs to investors in relationships resulting in millions of invested capital now brings AI to center-stage as a companion to the wildly successful RESI conference series. In this interview, LSN Chief Conference Officer, Greg Mannix pulls back the curtain on why the team has built a week of partnering, and what 4D Meets AI is bringing to these essential conversations.

Rory McCann (RM): Let’s start with RESI. What is the difference between the Digital RESI 2-day partnering event and Digital RESI September?

Greg Mannix (GM): First of all, Digital RESI September has 3 full days of partnering, so the potential for getting a lot of meetings is really amazing. I have seen some attendees get upwards of 40 meetings over the 3 days of our June conference. Another difference is that this is a full RESI conference, meaning that there will be new and insightful investor and workshop panels, the Innovation Challenge, the Featured Company Pitch Sessions and a virtual Exhibit Hall. All of this great content is aimed at adding value for fundraising CEOs.

RM: RESI is very popular with early-stage companies. How can a company stand out and get increased visibility at RESI?

GM: One of the ways companies can get more traction with investors and strategic partners is through the Innovation Challenge. It is free to apply and participate, and the selected finalists are tagged as such in their partnering profiles for investors to see, and they get their own dedicated landing page on the conference live agenda. CEOs can submit an Innovation Challenge Application until August 12.

Another great option is to pitch to a panel of investors. The Featured Company Pitch Sessions put a company’s 4-minute pitch in front of a panel of 5 focused investors. There is a live Q&A session, and afterwards the pitching companies can follow up with the investor panelists. Participating companies also get their own dedicated landing page. It’s really a unique opportunity available to CEOs for a small fee for the benefit of pitching in front of lead investors that are a fit for their company and product. CEOs can submit a Pitch Sessions Applications on a rolling deadline.

RM: What’s new about RESI September?

GM: This upcoming Digital RESI will have more live-streaming content than ever before. We have found that real-time panels and pitch sessions, with the possibility of live Q&A, are very popular. We are expecting more investors than ever to participate in this global event—more than 450 expected—and companies can choose to have 1 day or 3 days of partnering. Additionally, the 4D Meets AI conference is the other huge novelty in September. This conference is a great addition to RESI, enabling attendees to access up to 5 days of partnering.

RM: Sounds like there’s a lot going on at RESI. Tell me about the new 4D Meets AI conference.

GM: 4D Meets AI is LSN’s newest conference focused on how AI is accelerating development in the 4 Ds: Drugs, Devices, Diagnostics and Digital Health. It is an incredibly dynamic field that is growing tremendously. I believe we are in a golden age of technology in the life sciences, and therefore RESI and 4D Meets AI are a showcase of some amazing people and products that will change the world and help many.

The conference will have a full track of panels focusing on the hottest new applications of AI in life science, and another track of panels with investors interested in AI-enabled technologies. To sign up for 4D Meets AI, register HERE.

RM: Lastly, fundraising CEOs are often strapped for cash. Is there a special discount to attend both conferences?

GM: Yes! Companies can save on each conference with the super early bird registration rate until August 7. If they choose to bundle for a 5-day partnering experience, they can save $200 with the combo registration which is $1,200.

Sign up for RESI, 4D Meets AI, or register for the combo deal for 5 days of continuous partnering. You won’t regret it!

Hot Investor Mandate: USA Headquartered VC Firm Invests In Novel Therapeutics, Devices, Diagnostics, Digital Health With Newly Raised Fund

6 Aug

A venture capital firm headquartered in the USA has invested over 160 startups in deep tech-focused areas such as SaaS, Biotech, AI chips, Fintech, Blockchain, and Semiconductors; with multiple unicorns in the firm’s portfolio. The firm recently closed its fourth fund, of $50M AUM, and is actively seeking investment opportunities across a wide range of industries. Within the Life Science area, the firm is interested in Therapeutics, Med Devices, Digital Health, and Diagnostics. The fund will focus on investing in the US or companies who are interested in entering the US market. On average, the typical size of investment is $0.5 – 1M but the firm also has follow-up investment strategies. The firm seeks to invest in early-stage companies, which Seed to Pre-A round is their sweet spot.

The firm is an opportunistic investor and will consider therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital healthcare companies. The firm is open to a wide range of technologies including novel techniques. Within Medtech, The firm is strongly interested in robotics, semiconductors, sensors, AI modeling diseases, and telemedicine. The firm is open to novel medical devices of all FDA regulatory pathways, including 510k and PMA.

The firm has a preference for companies with a full-time founding team and was founded recently (no more than 10 years). The firm can act as either a lead investor or co-investor depends on applicable cases. If the firm acts as the lead investor, it will seek a board seat or an observer seat.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Investor Mandate: Large VC with Offices in USA & Europe Invests Up to $20M in High Growth Digital Health & Tech-Enabled Health Services Companies

6 Aug

A venture capital firm with offices in Western Europe and USA is investing out of its first fund that makes both seed/venture and growth stage investments ranging from $500k – $20M. The firm typically prefers straight equity investments, but will also consider convertible note financings. The firm has a fairly broad mandate, and invests evenly among enterprise software, fintech, consumer and digital health sectors. The fund’s LPs are large insurance companies, and along with capital, the firm looks to add value by providing portfolio companies direct introductions to these groups to help scale and realize their potential.

The firm plans to have digital health companies make up roughly 25% of its portfolio and will invest in consumer and B2B healthcare IT and tech-enabled health services. It is a requirement that the technology has utility for payers and providers. Some of the firm’s digital health portfolio companies include a behavior change platform that partners with insurers, Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Self-insured employers to provide research-based behavioral incentives for members to better manage their chronic conditions.

The firm invests in early-stage companies with annual revenues under $5M as well as growth stage companies with annual revenues exceeding $5M. The firm will consider pre-revenue companies with strong management teams and previously successful entrepreneurs. The firm invests globally.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Investor Mandate: Healthcare Investment Arm of a Family Office Interested in Investing in Therapeutics, Devices, Diagnostics, with Opportunistic Interests

6 Aug

A healthcare focused arm of a family office is interested in global companies, but is currently more focused on the US, Canada, Europe, and Israel regions. The firm makes investments ranging from $5 – $80 million. The firm is open to both leading and co-investing. The firm prefers investing in companies that have demonstrated clinical data and is currently not limited in the number of investments they plan to make this year.

The firm is interested in therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics. The firm is agnostic to the types of therapeutics, devices, and diagnostics they look to invest in. The firm is most interested in highly differentiable products that address unmet medical needs. Current portfolio companies include companies involved in cancer care, neurostimulation device, and cardiology device companies.

The firm looks for experienced management teams and depending on the deal, may or may not seek a board seat.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Investor Mandate: Asia-Based Venture Capital Firm Focuses on Breakthrough Technologies Including Smart Devices, Digital Health, Genomics, Synthetic Biology, and More

6 Aug

A venture capital firm headquartered in Asia invests in breakthrough technologies changing healthcare. The firm invests from seed-Series A. The fund’s LP’s include groups in the healthcare sector.

The firm invests in early stage life science startups with a focus on breakthrough technologies and sciences in healthcare. This includes genomic and synthetic biology technologies, digital health, ML/AI, therapeutics and diagnostics. The firm focuses on pre-IND assets in therapeutics. For technologies regulated as medical devices, the firm focuses on smart medical devices in the pre-commercial stage.

The firm’s partners have a strong clinical perspective; the firm has the capability to help portfolio companies develop clinical resources, and has helped academic scientists form companies to commercialize their discoveries.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

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