Life Science Nation’s Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference Series Changed the Game – Here’s How.

19 Apr

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series

Life Science Nation’s Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series is unique in several ways:

  • The Innovation Challenge that takes place at every RESI conference is a huge hit with early stage global investors seeking firms that align with their investment mandates.  LSN developed an expert system that facilitates the quick scoring and ranking of all of the companies and their technology assets that apply to get into the Innovation Challenge. A typical RESI conference gets over 100+ applications and LSN vets and ranks the top 30 applicants.
  • RESI is held every few months at major innovation hubs and gives both fundraising CEOs, early-stage investor/partners and service providers a capability to use RESI as part of their ongoing yearly business and partnering activities. Scientist/entrepreneurs can weave themselves into the RESI conference series and dramatically increase face time with prime partnering targets. The ability to carry on a dialogue every few months greatly aids in transmitting the latest information and cultivating the relationships.
  • RESI is one of the very few healthcare conferences that is cross-domain, in that it features Biotech, Medtech, Diagnostics and Digital Health. Many investors have multiple investment mandates covering multiple silos in the life science arena.
  • RESI is primarily a powerful  partnering conference using a unique profile-based partnering system that will have up to 1400 meetings between buyers and sellers in one day. LSN has integrated a matching algorithm in our partnering software that connects the right investors/partners with the right early stage companies that are a fit for stage of development and product set. I think if you polled some of your colleagues they would say that RESI is a well-known partnering vehicle and attest to the dynamic nature of a RESI event.

The importance of continued dialog in maintaining partner relationships is specifically why LSN chose to incorporate a RESI conference every couple of months throughout the year.  RESI partnering has produced compelling results – over 350 firms have raised close to 500 million by using RESI as part of an ongoing fundraising vehicle.

LSN presently has 5 RESI conferences a year – JP Morgan (during), Toronto (part of Health Innovation Week), Summer BIO (day before), Boston (September) and NYC (November). The long-term goal is to expand RESI to China, Europe and South America and thus have a one-of-a-kind ongoing global event.


Meeting Investors Through the RESI Innovation Challenge

19 Apr

By Chris Cummings, Senior Marketing Manager, LSN

The RESI Conference offers a unique platform for scientist-entrepreneurs to meet investors. For selected companies competing in the RESI Innovation Challenge, the platform expands exponentially. Participating in the Challenge opens a new universe of potential meeting opportunities, well beyond the 16 time slots available in Partnering.

The objective of most fundraising companies attending RESI is to maximize the number of investor meetings they obtain; playing the numbers game gives an entrepreneur the best shot at closing an investment deal. LSN designed the Innovation Challenge with this concept in mind. Utilizing a poster presentation format that encourages one-on-one interactions, as opposed to simply sending companies on stage to pitch to a disengaged audience, entrepreneurs can dramatically increase the number of meaningful investor relationships they build.

Entrepreneurs who are outgoing and engaging have demonstrated the ability to meet upwards of 25 to 30 additional investors on top of the 16 pre-booked meetings available in partnering. Many companies elect to bring two representatives in order to take advantage of both ad-hoc and scheduled meetings. This strategy has proven to be quite effective, as the list of successful companies who participate in the Innovation Challenge continues to grow.

Below are some of the previous Innovation Challenge winners. If you are a fundraising entrepreneur, you can apply for the RESI Boston Summer Innovation Challenge here. The application deadline for the Innovation Challenge is May 4th. Also, don’t forget to register for the conference as well – prices increase on Friday, April 27th!

RESI on MaRS 2018 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI San Francisco 2018 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI New York City 2017 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI Boston 2017 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI San Diego 2017 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI on MaRS 2017 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI San Francisco 2017 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI Boston 2016 Innovation Challenge Winners

RESI on MaRS 2016 Innovation Challenge Winners

Interview with Yasaman, Winner of the Innovation Challenge in RESI Toronto

19 Apr

Yasaman Soudagar

An interview with Yasaman Soudagar, Founder & CEO, Neurescence

– By Greg Mannix, VP of International Business Development, LSN

Greg Mannix

Interview with Yasaman Soudagar: This year’s winner of the Innovation Challenge at RESI on MaRS was Neurescence, a Toronto-based company that has combined the power of novel optical imaging technology with advanced machine learning and quantum machine learning techniques for intelligent drug discovery for the diseases of the central nervous system.

CEO Yasaman Soudagar got a late start preparing for RESI, since she didn’t decide to attend until about 10 days before the conference, when she was informed that she would compete as a finalist in the Innovation Challenge. So I wanted to ask her how she managed to have such a successful conference, not to mention winning the Innovation Challenge, on such short notice.

Greg Mannix: Yasaman, you attended RESI alone, How did you get so many players to “invest” their RESI dollars in Neurescence and win the IC? Did you spend the whole day at your poster?

Yasaman Soudagar: Actually no! I moved around and looked for the places where the most people seemed to be hanging out, and I brought a tablet around so I could show them what our technology does, in a video of the actual imaging we do.

GM: Who did you target?

YS: One thing I really like about RESI is that all the investors are easy to spot because they have a red ribbon on their nametags. So it was really easy to approach investors and start a conversation.

GM: Was it difficult to get a conversation going, or did you find that most of the investors were approachable?

YS: I just went up to them and said “Hi, I am the founder of the coolest company on the planet”, which always at least drew a smile and a funny comment. Once I got their attention, then I had the chance to say “Here, let me show you”.

GM: Did you have very many one-on-one partnering meetings?

YS: I didn’t really have time to book a lot of meetings—I only had 2 scheduled, which I took at the poster. But I made a lot of great connections just by networking. In fact, I have already had follow-up meetings with investors I met at RESI.

GM: So all in all, it sounds like you had a good experience at RESI. What did you like most about the conference?

YS: It was a great event for me. I liked the density of relevant people and that it was easy to identify the investors. It was a great opportunity to network.


Yasaman Soudagar, Founder & CEO, Neurescence

Dr. Yasaman Soudagar holds a PhD in the field of experimental quantum optics, under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Godbout at École Polytechnique de Montréal and Dr. Aephraim Steinberg at the University of Toronto. She then tenured an NSERC IRDF scholarship at Attodyne, a picosecond laser manufacturing company in Toronto. The exposure to the demands of a startup gave her the confidence to start her own, which is called Neurescence Inc. Soudagar has been building up Neurescence full time since Aug. 2015. Since then the product is developed and commercialized to the scientific research market.

Greg Mannix, VP of International Business Development, LSN

Greg Mannix is Vice President of International Business Development at Life Science Nation. After graduating from the University of California, he moved to Europe where he began a career in the life sciences and obtained a Master’s degree from IE Business School in Madrid. He has extensive experience in sales and marketing management in the medical devices field. He has worked extensively in Europe, North America and Latin America and he speaks English, Spanish and French. Greg’s role at LSN is to provide international early-stage companies with the tools and strategies to succesfully fundraise and to facilitate cross-boarder investments, licensing and M&A transactions.


About Neurescence

Neurescence has developed and commercialized a miniature microscope initially targeted to the Neurology research market. Our Quartet™ system gets implanted in multiple regions of the brain and spine and follows the activities of 100s of neurons in each region for months while the subject freely moves around. Our hardware-software suite is the only technology that allows establishing a causal connection between the effect of the treatment, such as a drug, on both the neuronal micro-circuitry and the disease phenotype. This extremely powerful approach takes the process of discovering and developing treatments from a trial and error method to an intelligent design.

Hot Investor Mandate 1: Subsidiary of Large USA and China-Based Biotech Seeks Investment and In-Licensing Opportunities in Cell & Gene Therapies, Invests Up to $10M

19 Apr

An emerging company with China headquarters is focusing on the development of the best-in-class immunotherapy technology for cancer cure. Teamed up with outstanding immunologists and molecular biologists, the firm has generated a strong pipeline of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) product candidates to treat a wide variety of liquid and solid tumors. The firm is a subsidiary company of another established public biotech company with offices in USA and China. The firm is actively seeking investment, partnering and licensing opportunities to expand the pipeline of therapeutics and offerings. Typical allocations are $1-10 M.

The firm’s sectors of focus are cell and gene therapies, cell engineering, processing and manufacturing technologies and tools.

The firm may seek a board seat depending upon size of investment. They are open to working with all stages of management teams. The firm can either lead or co-invest.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 2: VC Arm of Japanese Pharma Invests in Early-Stage Therapeutics and Platform Technologies in a Wide Range of Indications, Including CNS

19 Apr

A corporate venture subsidiary of a Japan pharmaceutical is looking to provide equity capital to seed and venture stage companies in the life science space, and invests across North America & Europe. The firm is looking to provide companies with $5 million over the lifetime of the investment and plans on making 2-3 investments over the next year.

The firm is currently looking for companies developing Therapeutics and Platform Technologies. The firm is looking for companies in this sector working with small molecules, vaccines and biotherapeutics. Indications of interest include nephrology, cardiovascular, immunology, metabolic disease the firm is especially interested in companies working with therapies for CNS disorders such as ALS, inflammation, fibrosis, NASH and orphan indications. Ideal companies will have assets in preclinical stages of development.

The firm strongly prefers that the company has a strong management team with experience in the industry. The firm historically has only invested as a co-investor although they are capable and looking to take a lead position if the correct opportunity arises. The firm is looking to allocate to companies that will eventually be able to partner long term with its parent company.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 3: Corporate Venture Arm of Leading Netherlands’ Telecom Service Provider Looking for Data and Software-Based Healthcare Technologies

19 Apr

Established in 2015, a corporate venture capital investment arm of a leading telecom and ICT service provider has interests in a variety of sectors in relation to their corporate activities, one of them being Digital Health. The firm manages a €70M revolving venture fund via which the firm invests in fast growing technology companies (Series A-C). In addition, the firm selectively invest in venture capital investment funds that complement the firm’ direct investment strategy and provide broader access to new technology companies and partnership opportunities. In January 2018, the firm for example initiated an early stage (seed) investment fund with multiple Dutch investors.

The firm aims to create value-creating partnerships with innovative technology companies providing access to capital, industry expertise, professional network and customer channels. The firm mainly focuses on opportunities based in Europe but is also interested to get in touch with companies which are located in USA and Canada, as long as they have an interest in expanding their commercial activities to the Netherlands. The firm’s initial ticket size typically ranges from €0.5M to €3M for minority stakes, building long-term partnerships, ultimately aiming for external exits, not acquisitions. The firm is open to both leading and co-investing, depending on the proposition. While the firm does not aim for a specific number of investments, the firm has made 6 investments per year since establishment.

The firm is highly interested in B2B/B2C software-based technology companies. The firm will only consider medical or diagnostic hardware companies that have a strong data or software component. The firm is especially interested in technologies that enable easier and smarter health management for patients and or medical professionals (i.e. self-monitoring devices for chronic disease management with real-time data accessibility, preventative healthcare, etc.). The firm is also interested in propositions that focus on (cyber) security solutions and or propositions that create efficiencies/cost-reductions within health organizations.

The firm seeks technologies that have a strategic fit or enough potential for a future collaboration with the firm’s health business, that fall under the firm’s sectors of interest. The firm prefers to work with management teams with a proven track record and wants to see market traction/validation, with at least €0.5M in annual revenues.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 4: Toronto-Based Global Firm Seeks to Invest Early-Stage Medical Device, Diagnostics, and Digital Health Companies

19 Apr

A firm based in Toronto that has offices worldwide manages a variety of different investment vehicles including private equity and multi-strategy funds. In the life sciences, the firm makes equity investments typically at Series A; initial investments range from $100,000-$1 million with follow on capital available of $1-3 million. The firm focuses on companies based in North America but has the capacity to invest worldwide.

In the life sciences, the firm focuses on medical devices, diagnostics and digital health companies. The firm prefers to invest in companies that are close to commercialization or which are already generating revenue (for example, device companies must ideally be ready to file for a CE Mark, 510k or Health Canada application).

The firm prefers to invest in experienced entrepreneurs who have deep knowledge of their sector. The firm only invests in companies developing products that have a clear path to market, and which serve a clear need; the firm prefers to invest in companies that are no more than a year from obtaining revenues. As the firm has offices globally, the firm is well placed to help portfolio companies make international distribution or license/royalty agreements. The firm invests in both public and privately-held companies.

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