The Show Must Go On

19 Mar


– An interview with Big4Bio & Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO of Life Science Nation and Creator of the RESI Conference Series

Dennis Ford

Big4Bio: Please tell Big4Bio how you decided to make RESI Digital? 

Dennis Ford (DF): “The show must go on!” has been the mantra at LSN since the COVID-19 troubles literally changed the daily landscape of the entire planet. LSN really didn’t have much of a choice when deciding to take the physical RESI Europe Paris conference and making it DIGITAL. We specialize in getting early satge life science products funded so that they can be developed and make it to market.  The “bench to bedside” journey is under a vast transition and LSN hopes we can do our best to help move the needle in life science.

Big4Bio: What was the biggest surprise so far in going Physical to Digital? 

DF: The shock came when we announced that decision to go virtual with Digital RESI Europe on Friday, March 6th, and within 24 hours we had an additional 100 global investors and strategic partners sign up in support our now Digital Global event. We will have 3x the amount of attendees we were originally projecting.  Digital RESI is a “first-of-its-kind live experiment,” and LSN will soon see if we  can keep the early stage partnering business active by creating some virtual momentum.  LSN needs all the help we can get to see if we can make this event happen.  It is looking great thus far!

Big4Bio: How do the metrics look? 

DF: The metric that has surprised us at LSN is that we will have over 300 investors accepting partnering meetings, judging pitch presentation and participating on panels. We will have 3X the attendees if we were doing a physical RESI Europe Paris.  Every day the numbers keep on going up: this morning, Israel surfaced with multiple registrations with more to come.

Big4Bio: LSN is a small company with around a dozen staff…how are they doing with the transition? 

DF: The feeling among LSN’s amazing staff was that we must adapt and continue to try and move the needle in life science by helping get new technology funded.  The life science industry is unique in that the business models employed today are virtual in nature with small startup teams using global service providers to develop products. Global conferences are a huge part of this virtual ecosystem.  Digital RESI could not come to fruition without LSN staff deciding to go for it and executing on a bunch of levels. LSN has a diverse and dynamic staff, multitalented, multilingual and each person comes with a unique set of skills. Suffice to say, we are small but mighty and LSN has incredible global reach because the LSN staff has developed such long-lasting global relationships over the years.

Big4Bio: Can the life science Execs who attend Physical RESI adapt to a digital model? 

DF: The bigger question is, can the industry adapt and use a virtual conference and partnering platform. LSN has access to all the technology needed to simulate a physical conference with a digital conference, as everyone will see next week. Today everybody is in the same boat. Most of the life science players are home and working remotely so we will see if a digital conference implementation can be helpful.  It is our first one and we cobbled it together in ten days. LSN thinks it will be functional enough, and we will be on the look out to see what worked, what didn’t and what we can improve.

Big4Bio: Is Digital RESI staying cross border and cross domain? 

DF: LSN’s Digital RESI conference is cross-domain and is relevant to early-stage buyers and sellers across the silos of Drugs, Devices, Diagnostics and Digital Health, the “4 Ds”. RESI caters to both the earliest stage startups, those seeking grants, seed and angel capital, and the early-stage firms who seek series A and B funding.   Digital RESI will have a global investor presence, and scientist-entrepreneurs and fundraising CEOS form North America, Europe and Asia.

Big4Bio: Can Digital RESI bring the same level of investors and strategic partners? 

DF: Digital RESI will have a lot of the key VC and Big Pharma investors who are seeking new, early stage therapeutics that are big dollar long term bets. The BIG uptick is in the other categories of investors that are signed up, family offices, angels, corporate VC, endowments, foundations, patient groups and private wealth all looking at devices, diagnostics and digital health. The Digital RESI event is a wonderful opportunity for startups from seed-Series B to take advantage of 3 days of partnering to meet with these global investors.

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