RESI 101: What Is RESI, What’s the Format, and Who Can You Meet There?

10 May

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

The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference Series is an ongoing conference series of 5 events across North America for early stage life sciences companies to source investors, create relationships, and eventually, get funding.  If you’ve never been to RESI, there’s a lot to take in.  In this article we’ll cover who you can meet at RESI, what happens throughout the day, and how RESI’s format maximizes your chance of making connections.

The RESI conference focuses on the diverse breadth of early stage investors that Life Science Nation (LSN) tracks, including Family Offices, Venture Philanthropy Funds, VCs, Angel Groups, Corporate Venture Capital Funds, and more.

The RESI Partnering Forum allows fundraising executives to identify and book up to 16 meetings with life science investors who fit their company’s technology sector and stage of development. Because RESI is a pure partnering conference the “ad hoc” meeting component is critical as the conference is arranged so that it is easy to network and investors and strategic partners have red ribbons on their badges which facilitates introductions with the scientist-entrepreneurs and fundraising CEOs who are at RESI to meet them.

Attendees, through an expansive series of panels and workshops, have the chance to hear first-hand accounts from investors explaining their current investment mandates and process for identifying and qualifying candidates.

Event format

RESI provides wrap around conference content, daylong matchmaking and networking. While the matchmaking focuses on 1 to 1 meetings and appointment setting, it is different than other similar investor events. No one is hosted. The companies that seek funding pay to attend. The investment organizations are invited to attend at no cost. As the partnering system will match the buyers and sellers together based on fit there is no guesswork as to who is selling to who which is a common problem at other events where partnering is an afterthought.

RESI Innovation Challenge: The Innovation Challenge takes place at every RESI conference and is a huge hit with early stage global investors seeking firms that align with their investment mandates. It was created for scientist-entrepreneur or fundraising CEOs starting to accumulate compelling proof-of-concept animal data or early stage clinical data. LSN has developed an expert system that facilitates the quick scoring and ranking of all of the companies and their technology assets that apply to get into the Innovation Challenge. A typical RESI conference gets over 100+ applications and LSN vets and ranks the top 30 applicants who present their technologies in an exhibition-style format throughout the full-day conference. Presenters gain additional exposure to investors and potential partners by showcasing their companies and products in a poster format. Unlike traditional 5 to 15-minute pitch presentations that do not allow any real interaction and provide no actionable feedback from investors, the RESI Innovation Challenge enables executives to pitch directly to attendees, generating more in-depth conversations with more investors.


Funding seekers – CEOs and senior executives from life science organizations, and scientist-entrepreneurs who have invented potentially valuable technology assets.

Investors – ten categories of early stage investors and strategic channel partnerships in life science or healthcare including

  • Investment staff involved directly in an early stage life science or healthcare venture capital or private equity fund.
  • Investment staff at a family office or private wealth fund that invests in life sciences.
  • External innovation, early stage partnering or in-licensing staff from major corporations in the lifescience and healthcare industry.
  • Active life science angels or executive staff at angel organizations that invest in early stage life science companies.
  • Investment staff and executives at nonprofit organizations, venture philanthropy/impact investment firms or patient groups that provide funding to startup companies.
  • Senior management or investment staff from a pension, endowment, foundation or employee benefit plan currently invested in life sciences.


  • Scientific and technical service providers looking for early stage start-ups: CROs, CMOs.
  • Business service providers: accounting, consulting, law firms.
  • Regional life science organizations: incubators, accelerators, state government, bio-clusters.

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