Archive | June, 2014

The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto: Why I Wrote This Book

26 Jun

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, LSN

If you are a life science entrepreneur who has reached the exciting phase of development when you are actively seeking investors in your firm and product, congratulations! Growing a company to this stage is not an easy process, and although attracting funding isn’t either, if you take the right approach, winning an allocation can become not only an achievable milestone but also a feat you accomplish repeatedly…

Click here to read the entire book introduction



Author, Dennis Ford, and Contributor, Alejandro Zamorano
Book Signing at 2014 BIO International Convention

Heading Upstream & Investing at the Source: RESI Conference Announces Big Pharma Panel

26 Jun

By Tom Crosby, RESI Conference Manager, LSN

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Don’t miss an excellent chance to hear directly from pharma executives looking to fill pipeline gaps via strategic partnerships & alliances; LSN is bringing together representatives from some of the most active big pharma companies involved in early stage life sciences.

Moderated by Bill Kohlbrenner of AbbVie, the audience will hear from:

Panelists will discuss in-depth the key motivators behind big pharma’s shift towards an early stage strategy as a way to fill the gaps in their pipelines. What indication areas are the most sought after? How does an early stage entrepreneur interface with business development executives from pharmaceutical companies? LSN’s Big Pharma RESI Panelists will shed light on these questions and more.

Hear from big pharma executives as they explain how they engage with early stage startups, and how they like to be contacted. The speakers will help the audience understand their timeline for contact, and give advice on how to create a dialogue that leads to a relationship and an eventual alliance. If you need to understand the timeframe and limitations of how big pharma corporate works, this expert session is crucial for you to attend.



LSN Business Development Corner: Assessing Your Fundraising Acumen

26 Jun

By Jack Fuller, Business Development, LSN

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The perfect fit, the good fit, and the stretcher. Those are the three types of scientist-entrepreneurs I’ve seen do well in their fundraising efforts.

Day in and day out, LSN works with life science companies that are raising capital, and we see an enormous number of talented and intelligent people who cannot conceptualize and execute an outbound fundraising campaign. For one reason or another, otherwise smart people are not able to determine who to approach for capital or discuss their ideas and technology in a clear and convincing manner.

However, some scientist-entrepreneurs are a perfect fit or a good fit for successfully running an outbound fundraising campaign, and some can stretch and make it happen.

The Perfect Fit

This is someone who has built a team to support the fundraising process. The perfect fit realizes the importance of continually updating a contact database with the latest relevant players. He or she understands that professional marketing materials are critical. And he or she is able and willing to do whatever is necessary to secure the future of the company. With little assistance, the perfect fit can take a list of qualified investors and have meaningful dialogues that eventually lead to allocations.

The Good Fit

This usually is a person who is dedicated to fundraising. The good fit has contacts in the industry, is not afraid to pick up the phone and call a stranger, and has run a meeting with potential investors. Still, despite his or her experience, this individual often has difficulty branding the company and technology, crafting a message, and presenting not only a compelling narrative to investors but also one that’s clear so investors can determine quickly if there is a fit with their investment criteria. Because of his or her experience, however, the good fit recognizes what’s missing and can get up to speed quickly.

The Stretcher

This is often a former scientist who had a great idea, which launched a company. Then, he or she wants to get to the next level and realizes that raising money from investors is different from asking friends and family. The stretcher often needs help with fundamental sales and marketing tactics, overhauling the investor materials, and tackling list and task management. Because this individual has an uncommon desire to learn and do whatever is necessary—to stretch—he or she can become a successful fundraiser.

Which one are you?

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 1: Global Pharmaceutical Company Seeking Therapeutic In-Licensing/Investment Opportunities

26 Jun

A global biopharmaceutical company with offices in the US and Europe is looking to in-license technology of interest and also makes select equity investments. The investment size is highly variable and has ranged from $1 million to $10s of millions. The firm invests in companies so the candidate technology can improve the lives of patients, not to make financial returns. The group does not have a goal for the number of deals this year. The firm made over 10 deals in the past year, and a few of these were equity investments. The group considers partnerships and investments globally.

The firm is interested in therapeutic biotechnology. The group is platform agnostic and will consider small molecules, biologics, or cell and gene therapy. Primary indications of interest include oncology, hematology, inflammation, and immunology. The firm will consider orphan indications but is less interested in ultra-orphan indications. The firm will consider companies across all phases of development, with a slight preference for later stage companies.

The firm prefers companies with experienced management teams and often seeks a board observer seat. Technologies of interest are generally not yet profitable. For equity deals, the firm does not want to be the first investor and prefers opportunities that have previous VC involvement. The group prefers to syndicate with other investors.

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

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 2: Chinese PE Firm Looking Globally for Devices

26 Jun

A global alternative asset manager based in China focuses on investments in the healthcare sector, providing equity and/or mezzanine capital to early and growth-stage companies. The firm has raised four funds to date and is making new investments from its fourth 2014 vintage fund. Depending on the stage of the company, the firm can invest from several hundred thousand to tens of millions. The firm is geographically agonistic and looks to invest in companies based in the US, Europe, Israel, and Asia. The firm is actively seeking new investment opportunities.       

In the Life Sciences the firm is currently seeking to invest in medical devices. The firm primarily invests in novel and disruptive technologies. The firm is opportunistic in terms of the class/type and development stage of the device. Hence, the firm will consider devices at all stages: prototype, in clinic, to commercial stage. The firm is currently looking for opportunities in the hypertension, oncology, and diabetes market. Currently the firm is only looking for privately held companies. 

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

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 3: VC Looking for Therapeutics Devices and Tools

26 Jun

 A Venture Capital company with offices in the US and Europe is currently looking to make investments out of its fourth fund. The firm is looking to make venture stage investment generally falling in the range of $2-$6 million though investments may fall outside of this range depending upon the opportunity. The firm also reserves additional capital for follow on rounds. The firm is most interested in companies based in the US although they are also open to investing in Eastern and Northern Europe, East Asia and Australia. The firm could make as many as 5-10 investments over the next year.

The firm is primarily interested in companies developing therapeutics and to a lesser extent medical devices and research tools. Within the Therapeutics space the firm has a slight preference for companies working with platform technologies although they are open to single asset companies as well. The firm is willing to invest in small molecules, biologics, and cell and gene therapy. The firm is willing to consider opportunities from preclinical through phase III of clinical trials though most of their investments will likely be allocated to later stage companies. The firm generally only considers pre-clinical stage companies if there is a clear path to exit in a shortened timeframe. The firm is highly interested in area of RNA therapeutics, Oncology, Structural Heart and Gene Therapy and is generally less interested in CNS disorders.  For medical device companies the firms looks for technologies that are into clinical trials with a working prototype and is agnostic in terms of technology type and indication.

The firm is looking for private or publically held companies, and has special interest in companies considering going public as well as secondary’s investments. The firm prefers to invest as a member of a syndicate and does not always require a board seat following investment. The firm looks to act as a value add investor helping companies expand their networks and filling in holes in existing management.

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

LSN Announces Life Science Fundraising Accelerator

19 Jun




Nono Hu, Marketing/PR Manager

(617) 580-5011

LSN Announces Life Science Fundraising Accelerator

BOSTON (June 19, 2014) — Life Science Nation (LSN), in collaboration with the UMASS Boston Venture Development Center (VDC), announces Life Science Fundraising Accelerator, a program designed to fill the void in the procurement of early stage life science capital. Currently, the scientist-entrepreneur struggles to go “the last three feet” and get in front of an investor, create a dialogue, build a relationship, and secure capital allocations.

The Life Science Fundraising Accelerator is a 90-day program that:

  • Prepares start-ups for a global fundraising campaign
  • Educates the founding team on the basics of raising capital in today’s competitive landscape
  • Packages the founding team for a fundraising campaign, creating the necessary branding and messaging, including a logo, tagline, elevator pitch, executive summary, PowerPoint presentations, and investor-centric website
  • Provides tactical, hands-on, assistance in executing fundraising campaigns, including setting up a cloud-based infrastructure to manage a list of investor prospects and the required follow-up that’s associated with an outbound direct-marketing campaign

This kind of acceleration is only available today to the largest biotech and pharma companies that work with top-tier investment banks in preparation for the all-important road show before an IPO.

Initially, the ideal candidates for the Accelerator program will be emerging biotech and medtech companies that have entered (or are preparing to enter) clinical trials. These start-ups have significant animal data, and possibly even some human data, and are likely seeking $1 million to $20 million to further develop an asset through the clinical-trial process.

Dennis Ford, CEO of LSN, noted that scientist-entrepreneurs experience a conundrum when it comes funding their entity. “Everybody understands their marching orders, but hardly anyone has been given the training and tools to carry out the mission,” Ford stated.

The Accelerator has two business aspects. The first is a traditional fee for service. The second is an evergreen grant initiative. The latter program hopes to recruit incubators into the program by having them nominate scientist-entrepreneurs who are ready for a fundraising campaign. The Accelerator program will provide these scientist-entrepreneurs with an evergreen grant (details to follow). This aspect of the program intends to be a self-funding vehicle so that other entrepreneurs can have the same opportunity.

William Brah, Director of the UMASS Boston VDC, said, “LSN and the VDC have been successfully piloting a version of this program for about a year. Early discussions with the incubator community show vigorous support for the project. The Massachusetts life science community has been working closely together for years and hopefully this program will garner traction quickly.”

Life Science Nation (LSN) accelerates the business of early stage life science through a sourcing platform. LSN researches and curates market intelligence on global early stage investment, tracking ten categories of life science investors. LSN also manages the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series, which brings together global emerging biotech and medtech companies with early stage investors. LSN recently published a book, The Life Science Executives Fundraising Manifesto.

UMASS Boston’s Venture Development Center (VDC) was created to pursue new knowledge and train next-generation inventors. It is a mixed-use incubator designed to support technology and life science entrepreneurs. The VDC has a reputation for building community among life science entrepreneurs and delivering business tactics that help propel resident firms forward to commercialization.