Does it Work?

29 Jul

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

I’ve heard a lot about RESI through the years, but does it work?

The question that comes from every fundraising executive at some point takes many forms, but this is frequently the hardest to answer. To do so requires a basic understanding of the Fundamental Facts of Fundraising, before explaining what RESI will and won’t do. While many entrepreneurs would enthusiastically jump at the promise of a partnering conference series offering low effort and high yield in terms of booking meetings with qualified investors and walking out with a term sheet or more, but reality doesn’t align with that story. Instead, reality aligns with the truths outlined below:

Fundamental Facts of Fundraising:

  1. Funding a startup into early-stage success and beyond is incredibly difficult and RESI won’t change that.
  2. Fundraising is a numbers game.
  3. Your best chances come from a good fit based on product and stage of development.
  4. There are strategies and best practices that set you up for success.
  5. You get out what you put in.

While not a silver bullet to any of the above, instead, RESI is a powerful tool that is:

  1. Designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs in life science and healthcare. That’s it. Every product, service, and resource are geared towards setting up scientific startups for success.
  2. A model that takes place five times each year with thirteen conferences, bringing in hundreds of investors and early-stage companies each time, creating many opportunities to book meetings.
  3. A connection vehicle that is designed for attendees to seek and target the best fits for their needs through its match-based partnering system.
  4. Equipped with an arsenal of resources set up for the early-stage entrepreneur to be successful in sourcing and booking well-fitting meetings, including free fundraising bootcamps, database subscriptions, branding and messaging services, one-day prep courses, and countless articles outlining best practices, marketing collateral, outreach strategies, and a four-step follow-up process.
  5. Rewarding to those who apply proven strategies and are willing to work.

No matter how expensive or high quality, a hammer will only build a house in the hands of a builder who knows how to use it and shows up to work. I recently connected with two CEOs – one had a very negative perspective of his RESI experience and one with a very positive one.

The first CEO stated that RESI was the “world’s worst meeting ever” and insinuated that he was more deserving of investors’ time with “hit my name in Google”. When I dug deeper, it was clear that he had sent roughly 15% of the meeting invitations of his counterparts with no attempt at follow-up. I’m not surprised he did not have a better experience.

The second CEO shared that he had had a very positive experience at RESI. He then outlined his pre-conference strategy in which he identified several investors who were an excellent fit for his company, and even prepared a secondary list of investors who were less of a match, but still may consider taking a meeting – which he inevitably used when an investor was unable to connect. He also detailed his post-conference follow-up strategy. He shared how he recognized the opportunity available to him and he was willing to work hard to make the most of it. While he didn’t ask me to “hit his name in Google”, I did anyway. His company raised a multi-million-dollar Series A shortly afterwards. Unsurprisingly, it says more about his ethic than whether a partnering conference “works”.

Like most things worth our time and effort, RESI is a valuable tool that will work if you do. Join us September 13-17 to see what it’s all about at the virtual RESI Partnering Week. Save when you register by August 6. We hope to see you virtually there!

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