RESI Works! Go Where the Money Is!

29 Nov

RESI works! Below are two successful fundraising CEOs that have received capital allocations from investors met at RESI. Both executives have used RESI to find investors with vetted mandates that are a fit for their technology and stage of development.

David Narrow

An interview with David Narrow, CEO, Sonavex

– By Greg Mannix, VP of International Business Development, LSN

Greg Mannix

David Narrow is CEO at Sonavex, an innovative MedTech firm out of Baltimore that has successfully raised Seed, Grant and Series A funding to advance the development and regulatory approvals of its EchoMark imaging devices. David has been to many RESIs over the last few years, with great success. Greg Mannix, LSN’s VP of International Business Development, interviewed David to learn more about his experiences at RESI and the strategies he employs to get the most out of the conference.

Greg Mannix: David, you’ve been to quite a few RESI conferences starting in mid 2016: what has that been like for you?
David Narrow: RESI is a really efficient way to have a lot of vetted meetings with investors. I have had many fruitful discussions with investors at the different RESIs I have attended, which is why I continue to attend. It is a great place to meet investors that were not on our radar and get exposure to smaller and sometime less well-known funds.

GM: You recently raised some money. Can you tell me the role RESI has played in your fundraising strategy?
DN: Yes, we actually met one of the key investors in our Series A round through RESI—Fusion Fund—and we are still in discussions with several other investors. We are planning for our Series B and will be attending the next RESI at JPM.

GM: You always get a good number of meetings with investors. What do you think is the important thing to include in your outbound meeting requests? What differentiates you?
DN: First of all, you have spend time identifying investors who are a really a fit with your stage and sector. I don’t want to waste time, mine or the investors’, if their mandate doesn’t align with my business. The RESI Partnering Platform is a great resource for investor targeting … it has information on each investor’s investment interest, although I wish some entries had more detail. Once I make my short-list, I tailor the message to highlight specific elements of my business so they can clearly see the fit without having to do any research. I’ll sometimes send out multiple messages as I know they are busy and might miss my first message.

GM: That sounds like a lot of work! Do you do all your partnering yourself, or do you have someone to help you?
DN: I have someone now who helps me, but I used to do it all myself. And yes, it is a lot of work! Even though I have someone to help me now, I still manage the messaging to the investors personally.

GM: When you go to RESI do you look to meet only with new investors or do you have follow-up meeting with investors you already know?
DN: Both. I would say it’s probably 60-40 new investors vs. investors we already know. It’s important to maintain existing relationships, and in-person meetings are always more effective.

GM: What do investors like to see in a partnering meeting at RESI?
DN: They want to see that you are getting traction, with regulatory, clinical and/or commercial milestones. It’s also important to show who you are working with, both internal to your company and external. Board members, advisory board members, and partnerships are a key element of the story.

David Narrow, CEO, Sonavex

David Narrow is co-founder and CEO of Sonavex Inc., a venture-backed commercial stage medical device company spun-out of Johns Hopkins University. The company develops and commercializes ultrasound products for surgeons, including a technology for detecting post-operative blood clots. His first venture, MonoMano Inc., provides rehabilitative, general health, and social benefits to stroke survivors by making cycling accessible for those with functional use of a single arm and leg. David previously worked with multinational medical device companies to commercialize their technologies and provide long-term business strategy as a healthcare consultant at Health Advances LLC. Narrow earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with Highest Distinction from the University of Rochester before receiving his Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Narrow was named 30 Under 30 in Healthcare by Forbes in 2016 and 40 Under 40 in the Baltimore Business Journal in 2017.


Kasper Roet

An interview with Kasper Roet, CEO, QurAlis

– By Greg Mannix, VP of International Business Development, LSN

Greg Mannix

Kasper Roet is CEO at QurAlis, a new private biotech company focused on developing precision solutions to cure ALS and FTD. The company recently closed a new seed round of funding, so Greg Mannix, VP International Business Development at LSN, wanted to talk to Kasper about his experience at the RESI conference.

Greg Mannix: How did you hear about LSN and RESI?
Kasper Roet: I heard about it from my friend Thomas Forest Farb, who is CEO at Thrive Biosciences.

GM: How many RESIs have you attended or will attend?
KR: The RESI in June in Boston was the first I attended, but I may attend more in the future.

GM: What was your RESI experience like in terms of getting in front of investors that are a fit for you?
KR: It was a good experience. I was able to do a background check on the investors on the Partnering Platform and choose those who were a good fit for us: biotech driven, good story, etc., and I contacted those. I guess it worked out well because I met one of the investors who participated in my seed round after we met, Sprout Bioventures (Boston office of Viva Ventures).

GM: How long did it take from the first meeting to a signed deal?
KR: I met them in June at RESI and we signed the papers in mid-October, so I guess it took 4 ½ months.

GM: What would you tell other fundraising CEOs as far as useful advice as they go on their fundraising journey?
KR: Use your network to identify investors who are a fit for your company, and use that network to get introductions to those investors. Also, be sure the round you are raising is in line with investors’ expectations in terms of your stage of development. Finally, the RESI conferences provide a good opportunity to extend your network. I met investors from China and Japan who were not on my radar before.

GM: Any wrap up commentary on LSN and the RESI conference series?
KR: I found the online platform very useful for identifying the right investors, and I was also quite impressed by how global the conference is.

Kasper Roet, CEO, QurAlis

Kasper Roet is CEO and co-founder of QurAlis Corporation, is an experienced entrepeneur and worked both in industry and academia. Kasper has relevant expertise in ALS and other neuro indications. He received his PhD at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience working on gene therapies for paralysis. He co-founded Netfase, was BD and alliance manager at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and fellow at the Boston Children’s Hospital. He worked at Janssen Vaccines as adjunct technical integrator and assay development lead.

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