Marketing Your Life Science Startup to Investors: Using RESI Innovation Challenge As Part of Your Global Marketing Plan

3 May

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

To raise capital, an early-stage CEO is going to need to create a Global Target List of potential investors as one of the first things they do. With a vetted list of investors who are a fit, the fundraising executive has to make a concerted effort to reach out to all the parties on the list. This means reach out to them, book meetings and do a lot of follow up to move the dialogue along. While many CEOs might be tempted to look for an outside service to do all this work for them, my recommendation is to do it yourself if possible.

 A fundraising campaign is eminently something your company can get done internally if you hire a staff person (an admin, a college intern, or a business professional who likes making calls) to phone and email investors, set up meetings, and organize the campaign follow up. In a typical case, there are around 400 relevant global early stage investors across 10 categories of investor. If you come to RESI on June 4th, you might find 20-30% of these target investment firms are attending. By using RESI Partnering effectively, you might be able to have a one-on-one meeting with 12-15 of these investors, and maybe catch ad hoc meetings with a further 5. Additionally, the RESI innovation Challenge is a fabulous vehicle to create dialogue with the investor and channel partners to whom you need to be talking. 

If you read my book The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto, you will see that I am a big proponent of getting all the potential global investors rounded up in a Global Target List and then working the whole list. Establish a dialogue, go to RESI or other events and meet them, email all the targets regularly with news on your company and how it is reaching milestones and getting compelling data. If you market to this list in an adroit and cogent way you will get on the investors’ radar screen. This is how I recommend marketing and socializing your company to your target audience. It’s a numbers game, and when you market to your Global Target List consistently you never know who will surface. But if you are just sending out material to investors who are attending an event, why not send out to all who are a potential fit for you? It only takes one investor whose interest you have garnered to move a deal along. 

It’s hard for fundraising CEOs to try not cutting corners and saving a few thousand dollars on campaign costs like marketing, travel, a website, and so on, but it’s important not to hurt the odds in the numbers game you are playing. Putting your company out there as much as possible by investing in a high quality marketing package and web presence, hiring staff who can conduct a campaign, and travelling to major investment events will maximize your odds of getting funded. Being selected as a participant in the RESI innovation Challenge has a compelling track record of helping companies get funded. The deadline to sign up for the RESI Innovation Challenge is Friday! click here to sign up

Here are some more resources LSN has created for fundraising CEOs:

[Article] When Raising Capital, CEOs Should Understand the LSN Value Proposition

[Video] “The 10 Myths of Fundraising” Presentation at Freemind Group’s Non-Dilutive Funding Summit

[Article] Life Science Nation Ecosystem – A Matching Platform for Buyers and Sellers

[Book Chapter] LSN Summer Reading Series Chapter 9: “Global Target List—Match Your Firm with Investors That Are a Fit”

[Article] 10 Steps to a Life Science Fundraising Campaign


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