Archive | January, 2016

Fundraising Season 2016: Making the Most of January – June

28 Jan

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, LSN


Let the Fundraising Begin! It’s January 2016 . . . Oops . . . We are almost into February! Where did January go? JPM preparation, JPM attendance, JPM recuperation (from the flu or cough or whatever that was), and then JPM follow-up. The swathe of time ahead from February to June is very important to a scientist-entrepreneur or a life science fundraising CEO, and you should be contemplating making hay while the sun is shining.

I know from firsthand observation that the game is afoot. RESI@JPM had over 900 investor meetings in just one day. 350 investors met with over 400 early stage life science entrepreneurs. Based on my back-of-the-napkin estimate, these entrepreneurs were seeking a total of several billions of dollars in development capital—and the investors in attendance have, in total, billions of dollars ready to allocate. The question therefore is: how do you get into the fray?

The first point you have to understand is that fundraising isn’t something you kinda sorta do on the side. It’s a full-time commitment that needs focus and attention and an organized, budgeted campaign.

LSN is now entering our 4th year in the life science arena, and we have supported hundreds of entrepreneurs in using the LSN Investor Platform to prepare to get on the road and raise money. We’ve also met another thousand or so who’ve attended LSN’s RESI Conference events over the last three years. Our consistent advice to entrepreneurs has been to decide honestly if you are committed to raising capital. If so, the next step is to assess your team. Do you have the science maven, the experienced business development person, and a resource available to make the initial phone calls and set up the meetings and follow-up meetings? This is where many campaigns fail: not getting the team straight.

The other key preparation point is to get the right campaign resources together. You need to make sure you have a list of global early stage investor targets that are a fit for your indication and stage. To get the attention of these investors successfully, you must have cogent messaging and a compelling web presence that allows interested parties to net out your value proposition and clearly see where you are in the developmental process.

As a life science entrepreneur, you are up against many competitors for capital, and if you are not up to date with new developments in the life science investment world, then you may be out of step and inefficient in your efforts. At LSN we have seen an unprecedented worldwide investor interest in all facets of early stage life science. It’s real and it’s happening now. It’s a global playing field, and you have to get in front of as many investors as possible that are a fit for your company. Staying regional or focusing on just one category of investor is extremely limiting. Take the time to learn the investor categories that are a fit for you; don’t build barriers, build bridges to success.

Consumer Health Investors Define Their Space and How They Evaluate Opportunities

28 Jan

By Cole Bunn, Research Analyst, LSN


At RESI@JPM, LSN put together our first ever Consumer Health panel.  The session spotlighted investors who focus their allocations on companies that are developing technologies aimed at the consumer health market. The firms represented on the panel are Johnson & Johnson Innovation, HealthQuest Capital, Montreux Equity Partners and Astarte Ventures. These experienced investors speak to how they see the consumer health market developing and what proof points they typically look for prior to investing.  Participants also give firsthand insight on the investments they’ve made in this burgeoning sector.

To hear directly from the investors, watch the RESI video recap here:

Avoiding Roadblocks on the Way Out of San Francisco

28 Jan

By Lucy Parkinson, Director of Research, LSN

In the biotech and medtech worlds, January is a key month for meeting with potential partners and investors. At RESI and other events in San Francisco, I talked to many entrepreneurs about their experiences in fundraising during the healthcare conference season and found a few common challenges.

Meet the Right People

Especially during the January whirlwind of meetings, it’s easy to say that you’ve been meeting with investors and building your network. I’ve found that it’s more useful to ask not if you’ve had meetings or even how many, but if you’ve been meeting with the right people. It’s important to find out in advance of an event whether there are investors attending who are a fit for your company and your technology. Some of the major January events are well known for focusing on later stage, publicly traded companies, so early stage companies often have to do more legwork to find the right investors to book meetings with. This might involve booking meetings in locations away from events or arranging to meet at a smaller event or reception.

Take a Broad Approach

January is a good time to get exposure to the full scope of the life science investor world. Investors gather from all over the world to join the annual San Francisco biotech circus, and they all bring their own unique mandate and life science investment insights with them. Unfortunately, not all the entrepreneurs I spoke to were open-minded about investors. I met one medical technology entrepreneur who had been trying to book meetings with family offices. At LSN, we work with many family offices that invest in the life sciences, but they’re only one among the many investor categories to which we reach out. I suggested that the entrepreneur contact a particular corporate VC that specializes in his type of technology and have since heard that he’s entered a dialogue with them.

Don’t Become Complacent

There’s a great temptation to put on an upbeat facade about the meetings and events that occur in January. Even if you’ve met with many investors who seemed very interested in your company, you have to consider that they also met with many other exciting entrepreneurs as well! It’s a bad idea to count your chickens when it comes to seeking investment. Investors generally see far, far more good quality life science assets than they’re able to fund, and even if you’re progressing through their deal process, you can’t assume you’ll get the allocation. It’s important to keep pursuing as many leads as possible until the check hits your bank.

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 1: Asia PE Seeks Stem Cells, Immunotherapy, CNS Treatments, and Medtech

28 Jan

An investment firm based in Taiwan is interested in the life sciences and will target new investments from a new USD 100 million fund. The fund’s target investment size is USD 3-5 million per company and USD 1-1.5 million for early stage companies. Capital allocation per company will not exceed 10% of the fund. The firm seeks companies in the Asia-Pacific region and in the US. The firm is actively seeking new investment opportunities.

In the life sciences, the firm is interested in therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics. For therapeutics, the firm will consider a broad range of modalities including small molecules and biologics with an emphasis on stem cell, immunotherapy, and CNS therapies. The firm is opportunistic in terms of indications. For companies in Asia, the firm is agnostic to the phase of development. For overseas deals, the firm is currently looking for preclinical to phase 2 assets. The firm prefers candidates with in-human data and are conducting clinical trials in the US, while this is not a requirement.

For devices, the firm considers minimally invasive class III devices in the cardiovascular and cancer space that have prototype and have obtained proof-of concept. For diagnostics, the firm is interested in genomics and big data analytics. Recently there is an interest in the cosmetics and supplements area, and the firm is seeking acquisition opportunities to commercialize products through distribution channels within its network.

The firm only invests in private companies and looks to hold less than 15 percent of total shares of the company.

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

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 2: Southeast VC with New Fund Seeks Preclinical Drugs & Prototyped Med Devices

28 Jan

A Venture Capital firm founded in 2000 and based in the US Southeast has $250 million in assets under management. The firm recently had a first close on its new fund, with up to 20% of the committed capital going to seed and early stage companies and projects. The firm typically invests between $2 and $4 million initially and $6M to $10M over the lifetime of the investment. Investments are generally in the form of milestone based equity tranches, however the firm also has experience in working with convertible notes. The firm is looking to make 4-6 allocation in the next 6-9 months throughout the United States, focused on companies in the Southeast.

The firm is currently looking for early stage companies in the Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Medical Technology and HealthCare IT spaces. In the Therapeutics space the firm is opportunistic in terms of subsector but is most interested in indications of Ophthalmology, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Anti-Infectives, Metabolic Disorders, Renal Diseases, Oncology, Immunology, Dermatology, and Orphan Diseases. For companies developing therapeutics the firm is looking for companies primarily with a lead product in preclinical trials although they will consider companies with products having recently entered Phase I. The firm also has generally stayed away from and is not currently seeking companies working in Wound Care. In the Medical Technology space the firm strongly prefers that the company have at least have an early prototype of their product and the firm is opportunistic in terms of medical device subsector. The firm looks for companies in the healthcare IT space to be revenue generating.

For Healthcare IT investments, the firm looks only at post-revenue companies; however, for drug and device deals, the firm only invests in pre-revenue companies, often working with spinouts directly from universities.

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

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 3: Hedge Fund Seeks Commercial-Stage Medtech & Diagnostics in Oncology, Cardio and Surgery

28 Jan

An East Coast-based hedge fund is seeking to make 3-4 new equity investments into companies at the Series C stage or later, with commercial sales (at least Series C) in North America, or Europe with plans to enter the U.S. market. The firm is open to companies headquartered anywhere, but requires that products are approved and sold in Europe and/or the US. For companies with enterprise values of $20m – $200m, the firm commits $5m – $20m and is willing to lead rounds or join syndicates as long as the investment gives a meaningful stake in the company for the purposes of being able to add value.

The firm is interested in commercial-stage medical devices and diagnostics, and focuses on products that help fill a large unmet need and have a strong health economic value proposition. The firm prefers the technology to be commercial-stage or at least past FDA-approval and close to generating revenue. Within medical devices, the firm prefers devices with strong IP protection, generally with PMA or 510(k) approval. Within diagnostics, the firm is very opportunistic though their recent experience has focused on cancer genomic testing. The firm is open to all indication areas but historically has focused on cardiovascular, oncology and minimally invasive surgery.

The firm looks for seasoned management teams that have relevant experience in the sector the company is involved in. The firm likes to see this across the C-suite, particularly in the CEO and sales and marketing leadership. The firm takes a board seat when making investments and looks to add value through active involvement.

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

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 4: Private Wealth Fund Seeks Digital Health, Informatics and Novel Therapeutic Opportunities

28 Jan

A California-based private investment firm funded by a single LP invests in seed and early-stage health technology companies. The typical investment size for seed investment ranges from $250K to $1M (usually in equity or convertible notes). For early-stage companies, the firm typically co-invests with other VC firms in Seed and Series A financing and the investment size will depend on the company’s financial needs. The firm is geographically agnostic but prefers start-ups to be based on the West Coast. The firm is actively seeking new investment opportunities.

The firm has a focus on the digital health and informatics space, but also invests in novel therapeutics. The firm is agnostic in terms of subsectors and indications, including orphan indications. The firm will only consider technologies with proof of concept. Historically, the firm has invested in therapeutics that address oncology, infectious diseases, cardiovascular, and metabolic disorders; drug delivery; orthopedic devices; genomics.

The firm takes a board seat in some cases, and prefers to syndicate on opportunities.

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