Big Data, Digital Medicine, and A View of the Future at RESI X

22 Sep

By Caitlin Kramer, Research Analyst, LSN


RESI X featured the arrival of a new panel session – Big Data in Healthcare.  If you were unable to attend, you will have another opportunity to hear insights from investors and influencers in the space at RESI SF on January 10th.

The panel, available for your viewing below, was moderated by Nicole Fisher (Founder & CEO, HHR Strategies) and featured the thoughts and experiences of:

Each discussed the unique approaches their firms take toward evaluating big data and software investment opportunities, how they partner with and shape start-up growth, and how the healthcare system landscape is (or is not) shifting to enable a realization of the big data vision.

A unique angle toward the healthcare system and policy was brought to the table by moderator Nicole Fisher, who works on Capitol Hill as a senior healthcare policy advisor, Forbes’ Contributor, and Founder and CEO of HHR Strategies.

At many points throughout the panel discussion, the conversation trended toward how data can improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. Emerging technologies blending healthcare, science, and data do not enter the same marketplace as other generalist tech software; instead they must interface with provider systems and policies in ways that are new and different from the existing therapeutic and device sectors. Morris gave an illustrative example of the “noise” created by this new relationship: he and his primary care physician ordered genetic tests, and faced with interpreting the 24 pages of results realized “neither of us are cardio-geneticists, so now what?” While the technologies advanced by new companies may provide actionable information, the health system will ultimately play a central role in their utilization and continued innovation in the space.

Entrepreneurs need to know that technology itself frequently takes a back seat to other aspects of a company. Getting blunt, de Winter shared: “The way investors think is driven by fear and greed. You want to think about how your idea specifically addresses the greed part of that equation.” Morris, an entrepreneur himself, had to transition away from his natural enthusiasm for the underlying science of a company when he began his career in venture capital. “The order of operations in the way we look at a company is market, then team, then the product, and then finally technology”, he said.

There is consensus that teams are central to accomplishing a company’s goals. Hazlehurst describes how oftentimes a company’s goal is to “translate science into software”. She goes on, “It’s a fun and challenging problem because the lifestyle and culture between the people building in these different domains is very different, and getting everyone you need working together is more than just a technical problem.” Deep and practical expertise in life sciences and software engineering are indeed vastly separate, and teams need to effectively coordinate internally and externally with strategics to formulate long-term visions.

With regard to the technology, two main aspects of big data technologies were touched upon: algorithms and data. Entrepreneurs may be surprised to learn that IP around algorithms is not a core focus of potential investors. Algorithms will change and evolve in response to higher quality or increased data. Therefore, a more important focus is access to high quality proprietary data through partnerships or through its generation as part of the platform. “We have now over 300 million individual patient records spanning 5-10 years, but that’s not enough and we still crave more”, said Pan.

Wearables, which continuously record certain metrics for individuals, inevitably enter conversations about health data. Their true utility to big data applications in healthcare is still unclear, although it is clear that in many respects they empower individuals to better understand and track their daily habits. Creating a distinction, and if necessary a distance, between digital health trends and rigorously validated data acquisition is important to avoiding hype cycles and fostering continued innovation in the field.

How we can ultimately arrive at the vision shared by entrepreneurs, investors, established companies, and individuals is explored in moderator Nicole Fisher’s recently authored whitepaper “The Digital Medicine Crystal Ball: Unlocking the Future of Real-Time, Precise, Effective, Healthcare”, published by EDB Group last month: “It is time we agree on defining and refining the meaning of digital medicine, particularly as it pertains to the toys versus the tools that will usher in a new age of healthcare. This will determine how the proper tools can lead to the most efficient and effective R&D process, strengthen the patient-physician relationship, and simultaneously enable individuals to become the CEO of their own health.1

Life Science Nation is proud to have hosted these thoughtful and influential individuals and the firms they represent, as well as the many inspiring entrepreneurs doing the heavy lifting to champion their technologies. Said Hazlehurst, “One of the beauties of investing in early stage companies is that you’re waiting for the day an entrepreneur is going to walk through your door and pitch you on something that’s really unique and disruptive.” To our life science entrepreneurs in the audience: get out there and do it. Many, like LSN, are here to help.

  1. Fisher, Nicole. The Digital Medicine Crystal Ball: Unlocking the Future of Real-Time, Precise, Effective, Healthcare. Publication. Carlsbad: EDB Group, 2016. 4.

Preparing for JPM? It’s Time to Apply to the RESI Innovation Challenge

22 Sep

By Dr. William Kohlbrenner, CSO, LSN

bill-1010-2wpWith summer now behind us, the world’s biotech and medtech community is counting down to the San Francisco healthcare conference season. If you’re making your JPM plans now, it’s definitely time to apply to the RESI Innovation Challenge.

LSN’s scientific team is preparing to review the RESI Innovation Challenge applications from biotech, medtech, diagnostic and healthcare IT companies.  Successful applicants will be provided with an all-day display space for their startup company at RESI – and with the heavy foot traffic at JPM, there’s never been a better opportunity to win investor exposure for your new technology. All applicants are vetted by LSN’s scientific review team, with a view to not just the quality of the company’s scientific work, but also the strength of the management team and how well-positioned the company is to receive investment.

On January 10th, all RESI attendees will have the opportunity to vote on the 30 Innovation Challenge finalists.  See below for the past winners – a diverse group of startups from every area of the life sciences.

What makes the RESI Innovation Challenge so valuable?  We’ve included a few words from previously successful participants below, but in short, being part of the Innovation Challenge provides startups with a new way to get attention and start dialogues with the investors who attend RESI. Participants can share their message all day in the exhibit hall, with their Innovation Challenge display providing a starting point for a meaningful conversation about the opportunity.

Here is what our previous winners are saying about the RESI Innovation Challenge:


“It was an absolute pleasure to participate in the RESI conference held at MaRS in Toronto. The unique structure of the conference facilitated creating new relationships with potential investors and partners. In particular, the Innovation Challenge pushed us to introduce ourselves to new people, which will be useful as we look towards a future financing round. I definitely recommend the RESI conferences to entrepreneurs seeking financing in the bio / health space.”
– Raymond Shih, President, Co-Founder, QoC Health
3rd Place, RESI on MaRS, June 23, 2016

“I love the RESI Innovation Challenge because it is a great way to give our pitch to practice it and try to obtain a scarce resource from these investors. Practicing with these investors is a great way to build relationships and continue that on to the real investment conversations.”

– Niko Skievaski, Co-Founder, Redox

1st Place, RESI@TMCx, June 8, 2015


“The RESI Innovation Challenge is a really good opportunity to meet investors and other companies in the space.  It’s a good showcase to reach that audience.”

– Jessica Ching, CEO, Eve Medical

2nd Place, RESI San Francisco, January 12, 2016

“The RESI Innovation Challenge is a unique way to pitch, and provides a great opportunity to see what other companies are doing in the industry, while allowing you to meet with potential investors and strategic partners outside of the partnering meetings.”

– John Connolly, VP Corporate Development, Rna Diagnostics

1st Place, RESI Boston, September 16, 2015


“RESI offers small companies like GeneSegues a direct line to potential partners and potential investors in a small setting conducive to relationship building and conversation. The Innovation Challenge was a particularly great way to introduce our company to a broader audience than I could meet with personally which allowed us to leverage the showcasing of our technology more efficiently.”

-Laura M. Brod,Chief Executive Officer,GeneSegues Therapeutics

-1st Place, RESI @TMCx, April 11, 2016

Previous RESI Innovation Challenge 1st place winners include:


You’ll be redirected to the application page. Please fill out this form as completely as possible. The application process takes approximately 15 minutes. If it will take you more than 30 minutes to fill out the form, please download the application form here: and send it to Note: There is no fee to apply.

Chapter 13: “Straight Talk About Finding, Vetting, and Closing Capital”

22 Sep

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

Following the overview of the fundraising process inChapter 12, we get into some of the nitty-gritty areas and explore a few common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Chapter 13 discusses the importance of getting on the road or hitting the phone to engage with relevant investors, and why it’s important to ensure that all the investor prospects you speak with are kept in context regarding the deal. Finally, the chapter explores how to prioritize your prospects to use your runway time most effectively while raising money.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

Next week, LSN will bring you the final chapter, “Thirty-One Tips For Effective Fundraising”.

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from or Barnes & Noble


Hot Investor Mandate 1: Corporation Invests in Diagnostics and Research Tools in Oncology, Hemotology, Pain and Cardiology

22 Sep

A laboratory science and services company makes venture investments in early stage companies that could enrich the firm’s future pipelines, as well as connect with more mature companies that may be targets for M&A. For venture rounds, the firm co-invests with other venture firms and will typically contribute in the range of $2-5 M for Series A, and $5-6 M for Series B and/or C. Overall, the firm will contribute $10-15 M throughout the lifetime of the investment. The firm typically makes around 2 investments per year.

The firm looks for opportunities related to research tools, diagnostics, centralized labs, and CROs that address the areas of toxicology, forensics, food and supplement testing, biopharmaceutical services, and molecular diagnostics. Some particular indications of interest are hematology, oncology, pain management, cardiology, and behavioral health. The firm is also interested in opportunities related to animal health.

The firm looks for an established management team and defined strategic plan for their raised capital. For venture investments, there should be pre-clinical data or prototypes available. If the company is a university spin-out, there should be some data acquired outside the academic setting already.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 2: China-based Firm Seeks Biopharma, Med Device, Diagnostic and Mobile Health Deals Worldwide

22 Sep

A healthcare focused venture capital firm based in China, with offices in Shanghai and Beijing, makes venture investments in early and growth stage companies and occasionally invests in PIPE deals. The firm recently raised a USD 300 million fund in 2014. The firm is flexible regarding the investment size; the firm can invest anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars up to USD 10 million or more. The firm generally invests in Chinese companies but will look at opportunities from around the world. The firm is actively seeking new investment opportunities.

The firm invests opportunistically in the life sciences. The firm is interested in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, and mobile/digital health. For therapeutics, the firm considers all molecules and biologics, including biosimiliars and reformulated drugs. In terms of stage of development, the firm looks for products in early to late stages of clinical trials. For medical devices, the firm considers all classes of devices and generally looks for devices in later stages of development or close to market.

The firm invests in both private and public companies.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 3: Wealth Management Firm Seeks Commercial-Stage Healthcare IT and Medtech Deals

22 Sep

The venture and expansion capital arm of a US-based wealth management firm is investing from a 2014-vintage fund, and has around $270 million in total assets under management. The firm is current seeking new opportunities in the healthcare space. The firm’s initial equity investment range from $3-7 million, but are typically $12-$15 million total through subsequent rounds. The firm will only consider investment into US based firms.

The firm is currently most interested in the healthcare IT companies, but will also make select investments into later-stage medtech and diagnostic technologies that have no regulatory or reimbursement risk and proven commercial traction.

The firm generally invests in series A, B and C rounds. For HCIT businesses, the firm typically looks for companies with $3 million or more of revenue. As for medtech and diagnostics, the firm is opportunistic given the technology is post-approval and reimbursement.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 4: Southwest VC Seeks Pre-Clinical Therapeutics, Diagnostics and Devices

22 Sep

A Venture Capital company founded in 2006 is currently making investments out of its 2nd fund that had its first close in 2013. The firm makes primarily equity investment into seed and early stage rounds ranging from $500,000 to $1 million initially and up to $1.5 million over the lifetime of the investment. The firm is focused on companies located in the Southwestern United States although they are open to review companies from throughout the US. The firm could make as many as 3 new investments over the next 6-9 months.

The firm is looking for companies in sectors of Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Medical Devices, Life Science Tools and Healthcare IT. The firm is agnostic in terms of subsectors and indications within these areas and is also interested in orphan indications and wireless medical devices. The firm looks to invest in very early pre-clinical stage companies and prefers to see some supporting in-animal data, although it is not a requirement.

The firm is looking for privately held companies with experienced management teams. The firm looks to play an active role as an investor and generally looks to take a board or board observer seat following investment.

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