Digital RESI Featured “Live Panels”—It Worked!

11 Jun

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

In addition to the valuable prerecorded content available on the Digital RESI June Live Agenda (Click here will be available one month), this week’s conference featured live sessions.  The live sessions generated some buzz – including the Early Stage Therapeutics panel, with five investors discussing their investment mandates and how their own investment process works. The compelling dialog zeroed in on their current radar screen, what they look for, what’s hot and what’s not, as well as how the landscape has changed in the last few months. Here are a few highlights of their discussion.

Moderated by Brent Ahrens, General Partner of Canaan Partners, the panelists were:

  • Anjan Aralihalli, Venture Partner of CTI Life Sciences Fund
  • Shaan Gandhi, Principal of Northpond Ventures
  • Peter Neubeck, Partner, Head of Germany of Kurma Partners
  • Shobha Parthasarathi, VP, External Innovation & New Ventures of Xontogeny

The investor panelists all mentioned that while oncology is a hot area, it is also an oversaturated indication. Nevertheless, all panelists admitted that they are still interested in oncology companies, but may be tailoring their preferences away from certain types of treatment, including avoiding immuno-oncology therapies that are not completely novel, and combo therapies. In addition, the panel stressed the importance of data at the early stages of therapeutic development, as this is a startup’s primary way to showcase their value.

While agreeing that the landscape has changed in recent months, all of the panelists agreed that investors are still open for business. However, they cautioned that the investment pool has shrunk, as investors save more to help increase the runway of their portfolio companies. Many of the investors have noticed a decrease in valuations as well, in addition to a large number of companies that have quickly pivoted into the Covid space.

As a final piece of advice, the investors urged companies to do their research before reaching out to an investor, and to be thoughtful and detailed in their outreach message. While companies should not write messages that are extremely long and detailed, as the panelists mentioned the sheer volume of messages they receive at conferences such as RESI, it should be more than ‘check out my cool company.’ Also important is the need to keep track of previous communication – if you met with an investor previously, make sure to reference that! These small details are important to avoid leaving a lasting negative impression.

Click here to watch the full panel!

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