The History of the RESI Conference

12 Sep

By Dennis Ford, CEO, LSN

LSN is counting down the last few days to our first investor conference, and I am delighted to report that it looks like it may be a great success. Attendance is 275 and climbing, over 25 sponsors/exhibitors, the who’s who of early stage investors under one roof, and the leading biotech and medtech innovators from around the globe. I always preach about the problem in Life Science is “which map are you using to navigate the changing landscape? The old outdated one or the new current accurate up-to-date-one. Please click the link below to see the new life science map that we have used to create the content for the conference.

Redefining Early Stage Investments Conference

I also thought it fitting to share with the LSN readership some musings about the trials, tribulations and lessons learned in composing this next-generation investor conference.

The Idea for the RESI conference was sparked by LSN’s experience attending the full global life science investor conference circuit, which frankly was universally disappointing. These conferences reflected an obsolete perspective of the industry, were defined by an outdated roadmap of the fundraising landscape, and (most frustratingly) didn’t have any investors! I mean imagine the shock: barely an investor to be found at an investor conference!

LSN is a research and data company that tracks life science investment, so we knew they were out there.  Specifically, LSN is specialized in tracking direct investment activity in the life sciences space as a neutral third party, and it was immediately apparent that the typical life science investor conference yielded minimal, if any, value. So earlier this year, being the guerilla marketers that we are, LSN embarked on a mission to deliver the message of the new investor landscape to the masses.

First, LSN tried to partner locally with some of the leading research universities in Boston. All agreed with the premise and called the idea a noble effort, but all we were able to achieve was some enthusiastic discussion. These organizations simply didn’t have the flexibility and impetus to create a what LSN deemed would be a “disruptive” conference around the new categories of investors in the life sciences. Next, LSN was invited to run some sessions surrounding the new investor landscape at a few of the side conferences revolving around JP Morgan’s San Francisco, event – the sessions had an impressive attendance and validated the demand for this type of tactical investor insight. It was at this point that LSN decided to launch into creating a full-force investor conference. After all, if you want it done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.

LSN approached a number of potential partners; regional bioclusters, life science information publishers, you name it – However, it was impossible to find any large players willing to risk endeavoring in a first-time conference focused on a concept that many industry incumbents just are not current with – no matter how real. So LSN began marketing the event on a grass-roots basis to customers, friends of the firm, and network connections until a certain level of momentum had been generated. That’s when the fire started to spread and really got the RESI conference started. The RESI conference has at this point generated a lot of industry buzz and that attention doubled anticipated attendance. The venue providers have had to adjust twice already to facilitate the approximately 300 investors and biotech/medtech CEOs confirmed forecast to attend.

The lesson learned here is that you need to be able to see what the industry needs and what the existing players aren’t providing. LSN saw that investor conferences don’t work today, because the traditional roadmap is no longer accurate. This gap is where the opportunity for disruption exists. RESI is poised to be the most disruptive event in early stage life sciences this year – a glance at the attendee list is an endorsement in itself. So what are you waiting for? Come join the revolution!

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