A Relationship-Transactional-Based Conference: LSN’s Redefining Early Stage Investments Conference – What’s Different?

15 Feb

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

RESI takes place every few months and is a “rolling” ongoing conference series that provides a vehicle to regularly meet with potential partners. No other conference provider has instituted this kind of format. Most conferences are either annual or bi-annual. At RESI, the two main constituencies – scientist/entrepreneurs and investors/strategic partners – have an ongoing opportunity to connect based on fit (i.e. type of product, stage of company, size of raise and other criteria), create a dialogue that grows into a relationship and eventual partnership. LSN has found that having a conference series where buyer and seller can easily meet and follow up every few months greatly aids the building-a-relationship process.

The state of the partnering-conference model that LSN saw when we launched RESI was mostly content-based informational conferences with a partnering software program you could use to set up meetings.

LSN added a matching module for the pairing-up of profiles of the early stage buy-side and sell-side players. RESI is a relationship-based partnering conference and not a content-based informational conference. There is a huge difference in the two models. I recently wrote an article about the subject.

Partnerships take time to move down the tracks, and the RESI conference provides a one-of-a-kind vehicle: a series of ongoing meetings in various geographic life science hubs that has become an industry-wide vehicle to identify, meet and continue a dialogue with potential partners. For both the sell-side and the buy-side, establishing and consummating partnerships is a full-time job. RESI makes it easier for both sides. Scientist/entrepreneurs find investors/strategic partners and investors/strategic partners source technology assets.

Most life science conferences, even though some have partnering, are still information-centric: paid speakers, panels of industry trends and programming around providing information and education. RESI is relationship-based, so no paid speakers – as a matter of fact, investors vie for speaking spots because of the status that is associated with being on a panel at a RESI conference. Most conferences are silo specific – either drugs, devices, diagnostics or healthcare IT. RESI covers all these silos, and that’s a plus for investors and strategic partners whose mandates cut across several verticals.

RESI is purely partnering-based, and the content and panels revolve around the investors’ and the strategic partners’ existing mandates. RESI’s Workshops are all about helping with various start up issues: from valuations, to negotiating LOIs, to branding and messaging, to fundraising boot camps. No FDA, no BREXIT, no lending or debt, just very focused on connecting and navigating the early-stage arena. It’s all about learning and interacting with investors and strategic partners.

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