Archive | January, 2016

Fundraising Season 2016: Making the Most of January – June

28 Jan

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, LSN

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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

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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.

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