Local Life Science Players Adopt a Pervasive Global Approach

22 Mar

By Max Klietmann, VP of Research, LSN

What do an emerging diagnostic company from Norway, a small Israeli single family office, a therapeutic company from Boston, and a small CRO from Switzerland have in common? They are all organizations that one would expect to be locally-oriented, and yet they have a world-wide focus in terms of sourcing capital, uncovering deal opportunities, and sourcing new business. LSN encountered these constituents at every conference our staff has attended in the past year in the US and Europe – Boston, Philadelphia, Hamburg, San Francisco, New York, Barcelona… These are not multi-national pharmaceutical companies or multi-billion dollar PE funds, but they are thinking as though they were, and they’re not the only ones.

The life sciences industry is no longer constrained geographically, and a local orientation can be massively disadvantageous – it can mean missed opportunities, a myopic perspective that results in missing disruptive innovation, and can make a star performing company a laggard in short order. Collaborative IT, cheap global communication and logistics solutions, and big data have opened the floodgates for local players to tackle the global marketplace with a tactical precision that was previously reserved only for massive companies.

So what does it all mean? Most importantly – increased competition for business, capital, and deal opportunities. In short, if you aren’t thinking globally already, you’re dead in the water. If you are seeking a service provider, look for higher quality/less expensive options outside of your local sphere. If you are selling services, hit those areas that are locally underserved, even if you are on the other side of the planet. If you are looking to invest in companies, make sure that at a minimum, your competitive analysis and due diligence is in a global context. If you are raising capital any further down the line than a pre-seed angel round, you need a global target list of potential investors, not a handful of business cards from a local networking event. Fundraising is a numbers game.  The more investors you have on your list to engage with the more chances you have to make a connection and receive an allocation.  By all means exhaust your regional ties first, as the cost savings and ease of marketing make sense. But don’t stop there – The age of regional focus is disintegrating, and those who can adapt the fastest will be the early success stories of the era – go global young entrepreneur!

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