AI Investor Panels: The Shortcut Every Fundraising CEO Needs

6 Aug

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

They say there are no shortcuts in life – and if that’s true, it’s most true for the fundraising CEO in healthcare. Many bright, passionate scientist-entrepreneurs just want to save lives, and have the tools to make it happen, so why is it so hard to get in front of the right investors for their company and product? Life Science Nation (LSN) CEO, Dennis Ford set out to remove the guesswork, and save time, money, and, most importantly, lives. This is the ultimate purpose of the 4D Meets AI partnering conference, taking place September 17-18, 2020. LSN is bringing together the top CEOs and investors advancing drugs, diagnostics, devices, and digital health (4Ds) through the power of artificial intelligence (AI). The conference is designed to get the best ideas in front of well-matched minds to move products into the market and make a difference in the healthcare industry.

We’re highlighting two panels on precision medicine and diagnostics made up of global investors with diverse backgrounds from bench science to clinical medicine to law, business, and beyond! These are some of the investors at 4D Meets AI looking for lifesaving innovation.

There may not be any shortcuts in life, but if there were, we think they’d look like 4D Meets AI. Check out the panels below to learn more and register for the super early bird rate before August 7!


From CRISPR to CAR-T Technologies: Shifting the Paradigm of Therapeutic Investment

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications in precision medicine is essential in bringing therapeutics from development to early detection and treatment for genetic disorders, rare diseases, oncology, and more. However, demand doesn’t equate success. Guidance from industry experts can help navigate pitfalls such as market saturation, regulatory risk and guidelines, as well as how to better define patient populations, and tackle manufacturing and commercialization challenges.

Annette Bakker, PhD, President & CSO, The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF)

Annette Bakker, the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s President, holds a PhD in cell biology from the University of Antwerp. Her past experience includes serving as Oncology Group Leader at Janssen Pharmaceutica, and postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University and La Salpetriere, Paris. Before joining the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Dr. Bakker served as head of the Oncology R&D department for a biotech company in Siena, Tuscany. While there, she designed and created a neuro-oncology department from the ground up, and managed large oncology research initiatives both nationally (Italian networks) and internationally (European and Asian networks). Dr. Bakker’s research has been internationally recognized by more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, patents, and awards, and she has extensive experience liaising and negotiating with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In her role at the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Annette and her team will continue to build a strong NF community, design and execute innovative business models to accelerate the path from basic discovery to clinical benefit for NF patients, develop partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and attract new scientists and funders to the NF field. Annette is originally from Belgium, and speaks four languages (English, French, Dutch, and Italian). She lives happily in Westchester, NY with her family.

Ali Farahanchi, PhD, MBA, Managing Director, Digital Horizon Capital (DHVC)

Ali is Director at DHVC, an early-stage fund based in Palo Alto, where he leads the fund investment in digital health and therapeutics startups. Some of his past investments include PathAI, Engine Biosciences, Mammoth Biosciences, and Beam Therapeutics. Ali received PhD degree in Engineering from MIT, and MBA degree from Chicago Booth.

Ser-Chen Fu, MD, Partner, Pacific 8 Ventures

Dr. Ser-Chen Fu was previously trained as a clinical neurologist and served as an attending physician during his clinical practice. At Pacific 8 Ventures, he provides a clinical and medical perspective in assisting healthcare startups realize their visions. Experience: Tzu-Chi University Medical School; Neurology Resident, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital; Attending Physician, Taipei Tzu-Chi Hospital; Attending Physician, Hualien Tzu-Chi Hospital.

Sara Nayeem, MD, Partner, New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

Sara Nayeem, MD is a Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a large diversified venture capital firm. Sara joined NEA’s healthcare team in 2009 and focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. She serves on the boards of Centrexion, Complexa, Cydan, Imara (IMRA), Tiburio, and a stealth targeted oncology company. She previously served on the boards of Vtesse (acquired by Sucampo), Mersana (MRSN) and Therachon and as a board observer for Loxo Oncology (LOXO, acquired by Lilly), Tesaro (TSRO, acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Clementia (CMTA, acquired by Ipsen), Nightstar (NITE, acquired by Biogen), Ziarco (acquired by Novartis), Omthera (OMTH, acquired by AstraZeneca), Epizyme (EPZM), Millendo (MLND) and Zyngenia. She has also been involved in other NEA investments such as Prosensa (RNA, acquired by BioMarin), Metacrine, and 3-V Biosciences. She also serves on the boards of the New England Venture Capital Association and BioHealth Innovation Management, and on the Advisory Council of Incubate Coalition. She was included on Fierce Biotech’s 2019 list of the Fiercest Women in Life Sciences and was selected three times as one of GrowthCap’s Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors. Prior to joining NEA, Sara was an Associate with Merrill Lynch’s Global Healthcare Group, where she advised biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies on numerous mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions. Previously, she worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. She has conducted basic science research in mammalian cardiac development and clinical research in age-related macular degeneration. Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in Biology from Harvard University.

João Ribas, PhD, Associate, Novo Holdings A/S

João Ribas is an Associate at Novo Holdings (Seeds team), a life science investor with offices in Copenhagen, Boston, and San Francisco. João invests in and helps build disrupting life science companies in Europe, served from the Copenhagen office. João mentored healthcare startups and taught innovation methodologies around the world and co-founded a medical device company. He started his VC career at M Ventures, the corporate VC arm of Merck KGaA, before joining the Novo Seeds team. João did his PhD research in bioengineering in Boston, at Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He currently hosts a podcast series (The Future Labs) where he interviews thought leaders on the technologies and ideas that will shape our future.


AI Diagnostics, Ranging from IVD, Genomics, Precision Medicine, and More

The need for artificial intelligence (AI) in diagnostics innovation is clear, present, and only growing. Panelists come alongside fundraising companies to navigate this fast-paced industry in order to partner the best technology with the right investors. From your opening handshake to the one that closes the deal, there are a myriad of developmental and regulatory hurdles companies can successfully maneuver to achieve their goals, and we will be discussing how this is done in the current landscape.

Emilia Gonzalez, Principal, Joyance Partners

Emi is a Principal for Social Starts and Joyance Partners based in Boston. Our focus is to help catalyze innovation by investing in the emerging science and technology of health and happiness as well as delightful moments. Her main areas of investments include healthcare, life sciences, and biotechnology. She is an entrepreneur, running-enthusiast, investor and world traveler. Prior to Joyance Partners and Social Starts, she founded a diabetes digital health company, consulted for Half Court Ventures, an early-stage VC firm, and was the Director for Harvard’s premier undergraduate competition, i3 Innovation Challenge. She holds a BA in Molecular Biology from Harvard College.

Noel Jee, PhD, Principal, Illumina Ventures

Noel is a Principal at Illumina Ventures and focuses on investments in therapeutics, diagnostics, and tools. Prior to joining the fund, Noel worked at L.E.K. Consulting as a management consultant specializing in the life sciences. He has consulted on strategy engagements for companies in the pharmaceuticals, biotech, and diagnostics industries. He obtained a dual BS degree from the University of Maryland College Park, and his PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from the University of California San Francisco.

Tom Miller, MS, Managing Partner, GreyBird Ventures

After receiving a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Tom studied Medical Physics at the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology joint program graduating with a Master’s degree in 1982. During his academic career, he worked at Los Alamos, the Swiss Institute for Nuclear Research (now the Paul Scherer Institute), Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Massachusetts General Hospital as a research associate in radiation biophysics. Tom then joined Siemens Medical Systems where, after 9 years, he became the first non-German CEO of a German factory and business unit. He left Siemens after 15 years to become CEO of the global medical operations of Carl Zeiss. Completing a successful turnaround, he joined Analogic Corporation as CEO. After three years and a doubling of the stock price, Tom left to become CEO of LightLab Imaging, a start-up that he helped to establish. Completing a profitable sale of LightLab, Tom re-joined Siemens eventually serving as a member of the operating board of Siemens Healthcare and the CEO of Customer Solutions Division, responsible for 26,000 employees in over 130 countries. Tom co-founded GreyBird in mid-2013 with an investment focus on technologies enabling precision medicine diagnosis.

Tad Weems, MBA, Managing Director, Agilent Technologies

Tad currently leads the Agilent team that manages the partnership/investment relationships with about 30 early stage life science tools companies. He has been in the life science tools industry for 20 years, serving in a variety of research, business development, financial and management roles. Prior to joining Agilent, Tad co-founded and successfully exited two companies; thus, is very familiar with the funding, commercialization and growth issues that entrepreneurs face. Additionally, he has worked in both the venture capital and petrochemical industries, serves on multiple Boards, holds several patents and is a Wharton MBA and chemical engineering graduate of UT Austin and UC Berkeley.

Roy Wiesner, Managing Director, aMoon

Roy is a Managing Director at aMoon. He has nearly 15 years of investment experience, first as an M&A and Private Equity lawyer in New York, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, and later as a venture capitalist. Before joining aMoon, Roy was the CEO of Hutchison Kinrot, a global leading incubator and seed investor in water technologies & Cleantech, owned by Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings. He led numerous investments in early stage Israeli start-ups, serving on the boards of all portfolio companies and guiding them from technological concept to early commercialization. Prior to that he was a Partner at the International M&A and Capital Markets department of a leading Israeli law firm, also heading its international private equity practice. Roy spent nearly five years with international law firm Weil Gotshal, working on complex M&A and Private Equity transactions, and was a member of the founding team of the firm’s Hong Kong office. He holds an LLB from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and dual MPA (Public & Economic Policy) from the London School of Economics and Columbia University. He is a certified lawyer in Israel and New York.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: