Archive | June, 2017

An Executive Summary, A PowerPoint Prezo and A Website – You Better Go for It!

29 Jun

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series

If you’re raising funds for your life science company, you will need a few key elements: a list of investor targets, a reliable outreach process, and a full set of marketing materials. In this article, we’ll explore how providing an executive summary, PowerPoint deck and an investor-centric website enables you to get meetings.

When fundraising, LSN recommends that you use our Investor Platform to get a Global Target List (GTL) of investors that are a fit for your stage of development and product. Typically we will aggregate 300-400 global targets. In my book “The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto” I go into detail regarding how to canvass these targets through phone and email. The GTL will have 10 different types of investors from family offices, global PE and pharma firms, and everything in between. Generally their investment thesis is either very open, which I call “opportunistic”, or very focused, which I call “mandate specific”. The vehicles we use to go after and canvass this target list are the executive summary, the PowerPoint presentation and the website.

These three pieces of content have one purpose and that is to provide enough information to get the target investor/partner to have a meeting with you and start a dialogue. Essentially the executive summary, the PowerPoint pitch deck, and the website are your sales pitch in different forms – yes, this is a sales pitch, because you are selling! It’s important to have different forms for this sales pitch because some investors would prefer to read the exec summary, and some prefer to view the pitch deck – investors vary in this regard and you need to be able to engage as many of them as possible. The point of going after a target that is a fit for you is to get them to read either or both and then click and go to your website.

The website is a full, deep sales pitch on you, your company and products. It needs to offer a “deep dive” on the company and the team. If you make it cursory and light and don’t make it detailed, you have a problem, as you can’t know the reader. But it’s equally bad to make the website too huge and densely technical. What you have to do is provide enough data for them to decide to have the first call with you. That’s the whole point – to provide enough information to create interest that will cause the target investor to want to start the dialogue. The website has to be a deep dive on your PowerPoint pitch – like a surrogate of you giving the pitch.

If done right and the message comes across, then the target partner will be able to assess that you’re a good fit and decide to have a conversation with you. The executive summary, the PowerPoint and the website are all created for one reason…to give to a target for perusal to determine if there’s enough compelling info there to be worth a first meeting.

I have been doing this for 10 years with amazing success. LSN’s I-Bank Boston Innovation Capital has had 5 clients over the last 18 months; one is about to close their round, and 4 are in due diligence with investors. Every one of these clients followed the recipe I just laid out. Everyone will tell you that the investor/partners they thought they would go after and the ones they wound up with were different than originally thought. I like to stick with the recipe that we know works and allow people to take advantage of our experience with canvassing investor partners and raising capital that you follow our proven and tested method.

All of the above information isn’t coming from my imagination. It is what investors and partners have told us regarding how they evaluate inquiries and decide to meet people. Use your branding and messaging to be a beacon to the investor and partner world while you can. The company that charges ahead the fastest wins…the startups that overthink, overanalyze, and try to control the marketing campaign with a few ‘rifle shots’ at familiar targets get fewer meetings. Raising capital is a numbers game and you need to go after all the investors you can that are a possible fit, and hit them with the best marketing package that you’ve got.

RESI Testimonials – Hear from the Folks Who Attended

29 Jun

By Michael Quigley, VP of Market Research, LSN

mike-2RESI San Diego was another successful event for fundraising life science companies, investors and strategic partners. With a great deal of praise coming from those on both sides of the investment table, you can read the testimonials below to see for yourself what industry executives are saying about RESI.

 

Brian Frenzel, MBA: Membership Committee, Band of Angels; President, CEO and Director Tosk, Inc.

Congratulations on a great RESI meeting in San Diego last week. I have been attending biomedical conferences for longer than I’d like to admit – ABC, ACA, ACOG, ASA, ASCO, BIO, DMD, H&Q, JPM, MnM, PhRMA, and many others, some whose acronyms are slowly being lost to history.

The RESI meeting in San Diego was one of the best organized and most productive that I have ever attended. The event’s sole focus on early stage investments and fundraising along with the partnering system made it very easy to identify companies of interest and schedule meetings. RESI staff were always available to help. The energy level was very high, and I was delighted to see so many new companies, new technologies, and new investors in attendance. Not only did I fill every meeting slot, but extended it into lunch, the reception, the following day, and the following week. I am confident that several companies I met at RESI will yield new business relationships.

My hat’s off to you and the RESI staff that made it possible!

Gregory Stein MD, MBA: President and CEO Curtana Pharmaceuticals

Congratulations on running yet another successful RESI conference! I have attended several over the past 3 years and they just keep getting better. The partnering system makes it easy to identify leads and I always have a packed meeting schedule with potential investors and partners that I could not have otherwise found through the usual channels. While I did not see immediate success, you and I both know this is, in part, a numbers game and persistence pays. It has taken a lot of work, but this past March I closed with one investor group and in July I will close with another group that has committed to invest. From the recent San Diego conference, I have several new high-quality investor leads and partnering opportunities to follow-up on in the coming weeks. Given the enthusiastic response I received to Curtana’s story, I anticipate that we will continue to benefit from the relationships we have made at the RESI conferences.

Yao Ho MBA: Business Development Director LYFE Capital

Attending numerous RESI from a few years back, I can say that the events are getting increasingly better and a must go to event to meet quality companies. Attendees from the investor side has also been increasing in quantity and quality, almost feeling like a 1:1 attendee ratio. The partnering system is intuitive to use and makes identifying promising companies to meet quite easy. From the event I have met many new business relationships that I expect will flourish in not only in the business setting but also as friends. Most importantly the follow-up rate from meetings held at RESI is also quite high, proving to me that the quality and dedication of these companies are certainly a par above. The RESI team has always been helpful in addressing any concerns and helping build new leads. I am certain that we will be attending future RESI events and look forward to seeing RESI flourish. Congrats to the RESI team on making another great event!

Considerations for Pivoting Your Startup

29 Jun

By Cole Bunn, Senior Research Analyst, LSN

cole-wpAt the outset of your life science startup company, you may have great technology and a well-thought-out business plan, however oftentimes your company ends up looking much different than you had imagined. The long development timelines and capital-intensive nature of the life science sector usually doesn’t allow for much in terms of testing product/market fit, meaning these startups had better have done extensive research on their target market – various stakeholders, investor sentiment, market dynamics, end user and patient preferences, regulatory environment for target indication, and other important factors. However, at times even the most prepared company may encounter the need to pivot.

In the startup/venture tech community, the term ‘pivot’ is often used to describe the need to be open to strategically changing the company’s direction in response to market feedback. Even in life sciences, it’s essential for entrepreneurs to stay ahead of industry and regulatory developments and continually scrutinize feedback from potential partners and investors. This allows a company to more easily identify the reason their message is not gaining traction with investors and adjust accordingly, whether it be positioning, strategy, product/offering, or their business model.

Pivoting doesn’t necessarily need to be a complete shift to a new market or product, although that is what typically comes to mind. Relatively small tweaks or adjustments can have a significant impact, and might help reinvigorate your campaign.

Aligning Strategy with Market Drivers

While your product may be better, faster, cheaper than the standard-of-care, if you’re not correctly positioning your company with the big picture, you may run into some problems garnering interest in your venture as investors/partners might overlook how you fit in and thus your company’s potential. As an example, a medical device company in the urology space struggling to gain interest in their financing round saw a significant uptick in interest after rebranding their company as an infection control company rather than simply a medical device company. As the U.S. healthcare system is making changes to how healthcare services are delivered and hospitals are paid, the ACA made it such that hospitals are penalized for not meeting standards on hospital-acquired infection rates. Pivoting to better address this development allowed the company to clearly show how they could provide solutions to a defined problem as opposed to being another medical device company with a better product.

Sidestepping Negative Perceptions

Another potential roadblock is an unfavorable outlook on your technology type or indication. Regardless of how innovative your technology is and how compelling your data may be, if you’re targeting a highly-crowded space or an indication with a low success rate, such as most neuro indications, potential investors may write you off before even hearing the pitch. This may require you to completely rework your messaging so that you quickly and clearly point out the key differentiators of your technology and accentuate ways in which your mitigating the specific risks that have plagued similar, failed approaches. Additionally, it’s important that you pursue someone at the firm who has expertise in your specific area, if possible. These individuals are much more likely to take a serious look at your project rather than immediately shutting you down based on something such as an aversion to the space you’re in.

The bottom line is that the market dictates everything, and not properly addressing or even ignoring what it’s telling you won’t help you succeed. It’s important to note the cause of each pushback you receive; if you’re repeatedly receiving pushback on the same issues, it may be possible to make an adjustment, or if necessary a complete pivot, before you’ve depleted all your resources pursuing an un-fundable opportunity. That said, while not completely disregarding any input, it is advisable to give less weight to the declines from groups who have no expertise in your specific field as they may not have thoroughly understood or evaluated your proposal.

It’s critical to be completely in tune with new developments such as regulatory changes or moves by competitors; understanding what these changes mean for your company could provide opportunities for a pivot. It’s also important to be vigilant in documenting and evaluating the feedback you receive; this feedback could aid you in determining when and how to change direction to keep moving forward.

Hot Investor Mandate 1: Singapore Fund Looks to US & Europe for Commercial-Ready Medtech, Synthetic Biology & HCIT

29 Jun

A venture capital firm based in Singapore, with additional office in Silicon Valley, makes early up to expansion stage investments across several industries including healthcare. The investment size is highly variable depending on the stage of the company. The firm invests in companies in North America and Europe that has a market expansion strategy in Asia and/or Singapore. The firm is actively seeking new investment opportunities.

In the Life Sciences, the firm is currently seeking medical devices, synthetic biology
and HCIT. For medical devices, the firm is opportunistic in terms of subsectors and indications. The firm looks for devices that are ready for commercialization. The firm is currently not looking for drug development companies.

The firm seeks entrepreneurs who are passionate, driven and enthusiastic, with sustainable business models and ideas.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com

Hot Investor Mandate 2: Big Pharma Firm Seeks Drugs and Devices in Cardiovascular, Immunology, Inflammation, Oncology, Neuro & Rare Diseases

29 Jun

A multinational biopharmaceutical corporation looks to invest in/partner with academic research and start-up companies for developing innovative therapies. The firm has established a number of partnering models, including a corporate venture fund. The firm also takes part in equity rounds, usually with rights attached. The firm is open to make co-development deals to help early-stage biotech companies, and is currently looking for new investment opportunities across the globe with a focus in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The firm is currently looking for innovative therapeutics and medical technologies targeting the following areas: Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases, Immunology & Inflammation, Neuroscience, Oncology, Rare Diseases, and Vaccines. The firm is also open to other life science technologies that may speed up the development process, including lab technology and drug development enabling technologies. The firm also seeks in-licensing products for development. Overall, the firm is open to all stages of development, as the firm has separate teams to encompass all phases of development from preclinical to commercial stages.

The firm collaborates, in multiple formats, with both privately held and public life science companies with experienced management teams, innovative technologies, and an established scientific unit.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com

Hot Investor Mandate 3: Six Healthcare Firms Back Fund for Cutting Edge Therapeutic, Medtech & Diagnostic Platforms

29 Jun

An early stage fund focused on seed investment and incubation in the healthcare field is currently investing from its USD 30 M fund closed in 2015, backed by six Chinese healthcare and life science companies. The firm’s typical investment size range from USD 1-1.5 M and is open to leading or co-investing. The firm is currently seeking opportunities in China or US-based companies with a China angle.

The firm is looking for cutting edge platform technologies in sectors including therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics. The firm is agnostic to therapeutic indications. In terms of development stage, the firm focuses on startup teams with some preclinical validation.

The firm is looking for strong management teams with sector expertise. The firm aims to bridge between R&D and commercialization with a focus on China-based startup teams or US companies with a China angle. The firm may request a board seat on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com

Hot Investor Mandate 4: Midwest-Focused VC Invests Early in Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Med Devices, and HCIT

29 Jun

A healthcare-focused venture capital firm with two offices in the Midqest has over $200 million in assets under management, and is currently investing out of its fifth fund. The firm makes seed and early-stage investments in healthcare companies, with typical initial investment sizes ranging from $250k to $2 million, and total investment up to $8 million over the life cycle of a company. The firm focuses on Midwest opportunities, and leverages its national network of syndicate and strategic partners to capitalize on ideas and funds from outside the region.

The firm is looking for new investment opportunities in the therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device and healthcare IT sectors. The firm focuses on technology in preclinical to clinical phases of development. The firm invests in products that offer a distinct and sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The firm invests in private companies with experienced and committed management teams. Companies should have the growth potential to exit in a five to seven-year period.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com