LSN and WIB Feature Companies Led by Women Founders at Digital RESI June

14 May

By Erich White, Business Development Manager, West Coast, LSN

Lisa Iadicicco
Executive Director of Women In Bio

Sibylle Hauser
MAPS Vice Chair, Founders Forum of Women In Bio

Erich White
BD Manager of LSN

Women in Bio is a sponsor of our upcoming Digital RESI June event, and I spoke with Lisa Iadicicco, Executive Director, Women In Bio and Sibylle Hauser, MAPS Vice Chair, Founders Forum of Women In Bio to learn more about their organization, their mission and why they chose to partner with LSN and RESI.

Erich White: How did the Women Founders Forum and Entrepreneur Center start?

Sibylle Hauser: The Women Founders Forum started out in San Diego, but now we have women entrepreneurs all over the United States attached to it. We will start more of these peer groups in other chapters now, as well. Lisa, together with the executive team, had the idea to grow the center, and I came from the bottom up with growing the Founders Forum into a national Entrepreneur Center. The primary goal for the Entrepreneur Center will evolve, but right now the Center offers resources, education, corporate leadership programs, and entrepreneur programs. The goal is to have three pillars. First, give women all the resources they need. Second, provide them with a roster of advisors. Third, provide them with pathways to access capital and financing. We want to prepare our women founders to really have a compelling pitch and give them an opportunity to showcase their technologies and present to as many investors as possible.

Erich White: Are you planning to use the Partnering Platform at Digital RESI to find partners for the Entrepreneur Center?

Sibylle Hauser: We are cautious not to take time away from the women entrepreneurs. Some of the investors have very limited time. Last month, during the Digital RESI 2-Day Partnering Event, I requested to meet with investors but decided to put the discussion aside to after the event. In fact, one of the outcomes form last month’s digital event was that we connected with three VCs wanting to hear more about WIB’s Entrepreneur Center, for which we have scheduled a follow-up conversation this week.

Lisa Iadicicco: We have a pretty targeted group of attendees at RESI that we want to meet with and we want to meet with anyone committed to enhancing the awareness of Women In Bio.

Erich White: Why did you decide to partner with LSN and RESI to sponsor your pitch session?

Sibylle Hauser: WIB has done a pitch session at events before and on a chapter level, as Lisa already mentioned. The Boston Chapter and Washington, D.C. chapters have pitching events there, but we wanted to do something on a national level. We also wanted this to be in an environment where there are many investors and big exposure. RESI is a great conference and platform to do that. I am really excited about doing the session with RESI. Through our outreach for this partnership, we even unearthed women entrepreneurs we never met before, so we were able increase our Women Founders Forum.

Lisa Iadicicco: Sibylle actually introduced us to RESI. We have done this as a chapter only effort in the past. Chicago is another chapter that consistently has a pitch or startup competition. But we want to create an event that we can speak to a national audience and RESI and LSN offered a platform for us to do just that.

Erich White: What part of RESI did you like the most so far?

Sibylle Hauser: We had the chance to witness the Featured Company Pitch Session during RESI San Francisco this past January. I really liked the value of the feedback. A lot of these women entrepreneurs don’t get feedback on their approach or pitch from an investor’s point of view. So, the pitch session is helping them hone in more and target their pitch to investors.

Lisa Iadicicco: That was the thing, to hear that feedback. I’ve been on panels and several pitch competitions here in the Pittsburgh area and the feedback is really critical. You don’t usually get this like you do at RESI. We want everyone to walk away from this experience having learned something, even if they are not one of the five finalists to pitch.

Sibylle Hauser: One other point about RESI that made a difference for the companies that participated in the April 2-Day Partnering event. Five of twenty-eight WIB member companies had never pitched to an institutional investor before. They are very good at getting grants from the NIH. But this was their first time getting in front of an institutional investor. It was a totally new audience for them. Obviously, it was a learning curve for them, but it was a really good opportunity for them to start relationships with some of these investors. Some of these companies may be early but, nevertheless, it is never too early to start relationships with a potential top target investor.

Erich White: Anything else you would like to say about RESI?

Sibylle Hauser: What I really liked was that LSN helped me push these women entrepreneurs to the limit. They were, in parallel, in NIH grant submissions last month. But LSN gave them a unique opportunity and a really great methodology for booking meetings with investors. LSN gave each company a list of targeted investors that were a fit for the companies and their assets as well as an introductory message template for requesting a meetings, suggestions for follow-up messages, a tear sheet template, and recommendations for their messaging and branding. And, if the company adhered to it, they would really have great success. The highest challenge was actually the pre-recorded pitch for the Featured Company Forum. But, in my view, this is the future. I work with some San Francisco investors and we now only do evaluations with pre-recorded video pitches.

Women In Bio

Women In Bio is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences.

We aim to help women achieve the highest levels of leadership, influence and decision-making that they desire. Our primary focus is to provide women-to-women mentorship and leadership support through all stages of career development

  • from bench to boardroom
  • from academia to industry
  • from first job to last
  • from idea to entrepreneur

Our members reflect the increasing spread of the life sciences. We belong to biotech and pharma companies, universities and institutes, law and accounting firms, marketing and PR firms, CROs and CMOs. Many of our members are entrepreneurs, and a focus on entrepreneurship has remained core to the mission of WIB since its foundation in 2002.

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