RESI’s Innovation Challenge Drove A Seed Round for This Medtech Startup – Interview with Yuan-Ren Cheng, COO of Heroic-Faith Medical Science

20 Feb

Yuan-Ren Cheng

An interview with Yuan-Ren Cheng, COO of Heroic-Faith Medical Science

– By Jessica Yang, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Jessica Yang

International early-stage companies often seek cross-border investment opportunities and strategic partnerships. How do these companies start at the beginning? What can they do to meet global investors and expand beyond regionally available resources? LSN invites 10 different types of investors from across the globe to meet with early stage companies at the RESI conferences, allowing companies to take advantage of the chance to meet many investors who are a fit for them in one day. I recently spoke to Yuan-Ren Cheng, COO of Heroic-Faith Medical Science, who won second place in the RESI San Francisco 2019 Innovation Challenge and successfully raised their seed round. Heroic-Faith Medical Science is a Taiwan-based medical device company developing AI-powered respiratory monitor for the critical care medicine.

Jessica Yang (JY): Congratulations on raising your seed round! What is the recent progress of your company?

Yuan-Ren Cheng (YRC): Thank you! We raised our seed financing round of $2.96 million, and we are looking to raise our Series A round for $7 million this year. Our exciting story was that, before we attended RESI SF last year, we had secured only $900K for our seed round, and after RESI SF, we raised an extra of $2.06 M to make it $2.96 M in capital. We grew from 7-8 team members to 21 employees now. We also received our key patent in the US recently, and we expect our device to receive US FDA clearance this year.

JY: That’s amazing! How do you think RESI helped you?

YRC: I think applying for Innovation Challenge was an important decision for us. We got selected as a finalist at our first RESI and won second place. This helped us gain a lot of exposure via RESI’s newsletter announcement and promotion for the top 3 Innovation Challenge winners, and RESI’s media partners also promoted our company and technology. I think this make our respiratory monitor became more famous.

Besides some investors from Taiwan that we’d seen before, most investors are new to us. We got 11 confirmed meetings at our first RESI, including big firms like Siemens. Interestingly, though the VP of Business Development from Siemens told us we weren’t a fit for their investment focus, she still sees our product promising and further introduced her connections in the patient monitor area. This is the power of RESI! You get to meet right people in similar industries at RESI, and if you are well-prepared, you could get even more opportunities from these people. That’s why we always recommend other startups that we know to apply for Innovation Challenge and proactively attend RESI.

JY: What was your strategy of sending out meeting requests in the RESI partnering platform?

YRC: We sent 100+ meeting requests through the partnering platform. We especially increased our efforts in the week before RESI. We noticed that many investors start to lock down their schedules in the week prior to the conference, and that’s why we sent follow-up messages in the partnering system to grab their attention. Also, we regularly researched the partnering system for newly added investors. We searched and sorted hundreds of investors in the partnering system, then we prepared three kinds of executive summaries targeting different categories of investors that fit us. For example, we had executive summaries specifically for Medtech investors, Healthcare IT investors, and investors who are interested in pulmonary and cardiovascular sectors.

JY: How do you think Innovation Challenge is different from other startup competitions? What is the key advantage of Innovation Challenge?

YRC: Overall, I think RESI really organizes the Innovation Challenge very well! The RESI team provided instructive information to let everyone know the purpose of this competition is for startups to network with investors at their poster. It’s very straightforward and condensed, and the Innovation Challenge allows us to have interactions with many RESI attendees. We got tons of business cards and recognized new business opportunities because of the Innovation Challenge. This is crucial to us because we know whom to contact and with whom to follow up after the conference. After all, you need a list to send your emails with company updates.

Speaking of this, I will also recommend that two people from the same company attend RESI together, to allow one to focus on partnering meetings and the other to stay at the Innovation Challenge poster. I think this is the most productive way to attend RESI.

JY: In your seed round you also raised money from non-Taiwan investors, what is your suggestions to international companies who are currently fundraising?

YRC: I think one point is that international startups have to step out and attend global conferences like RESI. Looking for cross-border partnership isn’t an easy task. We know that some investors with geographical restrictions of their investments could be the barrier. But if you have strong arguments to convince other global investors with your actual execution and performance, I think there are always chances to get funding. For example, you really need to understand the unmet medical needs, digitize your company’s progress, and even find out the advantages from where you’re based. This is also why RESI is such a great platform that you can keep attending the conferences and following up with potential opportunities. Otherwise, you won’t know where to start and find targets that aren’t based in your region. You can also learn what other early-stage companies are developing in RESI and analyze your competitiveness.

JY: Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Established in June 2018, Heroic-Faith Medical Science Corp., LTD. is focused on the development of medical devices for the critical care medicine. The total annual spending on ICU care in North America in 2018 reaches $108 billion USD, being second only to cancer care which totals $158 billion USD, making it a key market that is marked by costly spending, as well as one that is open to new ideas. We hope to combine Taiwan’s advanced medical expertise with its cutting-edge electronics capabilities to develop break-through products, so that we can realize the ideal of our CEO, “Saving lives through innovation”, in the global market.

 

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