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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.

A Week of Partnering: An Interview with Life Science Nation (LSN) Chief Conference Officer, Greg Mannix

6 Aug

Greg Mannix

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

Rory McCann

When it comes to the fundraising CEO on the lookout for strategic partners, it’s essential to be both visible and active in the partnering scene. Partnering is a relationship that requires frequent attention over time. One well-timed conversation rarely cuts a deal in healthcare, but it’s the CEOs who show up regularly and prepared that catch the eye of their ideal partners.

This is why Life Science Nation (LSN) is pairing their successful RESI conference series with their new partnering event, 4D Meets AI. Artificial intelligence (AI) has countless applications in healthcare, and this conference is highlighting the most advanced and powerful applications across drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health (4Ds). The team that has connected hundreds of fundraising CEOs to investors in relationships resulting in millions of invested capital now brings AI to center-stage as a companion to the wildly successful RESI conference series. In this interview, LSN Chief Conference Officer, Greg Mannix pulls back the curtain on why the team has built a week of partnering, and what 4D Meets AI is bringing to these essential conversations.

Rory McCann (RM): Let’s start with RESI. What is the difference between the Digital RESI 2-day partnering event and Digital RESI September?

Greg Mannix (GM): First of all, Digital RESI September has 3 full days of partnering, so the potential for getting a lot of meetings is really amazing. I have seen some attendees get upwards of 40 meetings over the 3 days of our June conference. Another difference is that this is a full RESI conference, meaning that there will be new and insightful investor and workshop panels, the Innovation Challenge, the Featured Company Pitch Sessions and a virtual Exhibit Hall. All of this great content is aimed at adding value for fundraising CEOs.

RM: RESI is very popular with early-stage companies. How can a company stand out and get increased visibility at RESI?

GM: One of the ways companies can get more traction with investors and strategic partners is through the Innovation Challenge. It is free to apply and participate, and the selected finalists are tagged as such in their partnering profiles for investors to see, and they get their own dedicated landing page on the conference live agenda. CEOs can submit an Innovation Challenge Application until August 12.

Another great option is to pitch to a panel of investors. The Featured Company Pitch Sessions put a company’s 4-minute pitch in front of a panel of 5 focused investors. There is a live Q&A session, and afterwards the pitching companies can follow up with the investor panelists. Participating companies also get their own dedicated landing page. It’s really a unique opportunity available to CEOs for a small fee for the benefit of pitching in front of lead investors that are a fit for their company and product. CEOs can submit a Pitch Sessions Applications on a rolling deadline.

RM: What’s new about RESI September?

GM: This upcoming Digital RESI will have more live-streaming content than ever before. We have found that real-time panels and pitch sessions, with the possibility of live Q&A, are very popular. We are expecting more investors than ever to participate in this global event—more than 450 expected—and companies can choose to have 1 day or 3 days of partnering. Additionally, the 4D Meets AI conference is the other huge novelty in September. This conference is a great addition to RESI, enabling attendees to access up to 5 days of partnering.

RM: Sounds like there’s a lot going on at RESI. Tell me about the new 4D Meets AI conference.

GM: 4D Meets AI is LSN’s newest conference focused on how AI is accelerating development in the 4 Ds: Drugs, Devices, Diagnostics and Digital Health. It is an incredibly dynamic field that is growing tremendously. I believe we are in a golden age of technology in the life sciences, and therefore RESI and 4D Meets AI are a showcase of some amazing people and products that will change the world and help many.

The conference will have a full track of panels focusing on the hottest new applications of AI in life science, and another track of panels with investors interested in AI-enabled technologies. To sign up for 4D Meets AI, register HERE.

RM: Lastly, fundraising CEOs are often strapped for cash. Is there a special discount to attend both conferences?

GM: Yes! Companies can save on each conference with the super early bird registration rate until August 7. If they choose to bundle for a 5-day partnering experience, they can save $200 with the combo registration which is $1,200.

Sign up for RESI, 4D Meets AI, or register for the combo deal for 5 days of continuous partnering. You won’t regret it!

Putting the AI in Taiwan: A Peek inside the Use of Intelligent Technology in Taiwan’s Life Science Ecosystem

30 Jul

Cheng-Yu Chen

An interview with Cheng-Yu Chen, VP of Taipei Medical University
By Jessica Yang, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Jessica Yang

In recent years, Taiwan has rapidly been catching up to the global Artificial Intelligence (AI) wave, as the government, leading industries, and academic institutions have proactively worked together to make Taiwan an AI talent hub in Asia. The well-known information and communications technology (ICT) and semiconductor industry in Taiwan have established a great foundation for intelligent technology development.

I had the opportunity to speak with Cheng-Yu Chen, VP of Taipei Medical University (TMU). Dr. Chen is also the Director of the Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine at TMU. Taipei Medical University has worked with Life Science Nation (LSN) and brought its spin-off companies to attend the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conferences for multiple years. TMU is also one of the most active academic institutions in Taiwan and has built its own AI in Medicine ecosystem. This includes the Technology Commercialization Center (TMU-TCC), the Smart Hospital Simulation Lab (SHSL), an incubator/accelerator, and hospitals, which not only support AI professionals, but also help with early-stage AI companies’ fundraising and business development.

Dr. Chen shared a comprehensive perspective of Taiwan’s AI in life science developments, and how Taipei Medical University has become an AI innovation hub in Taiwan.

Jessica Yang (JY): How do you see AI in life science developments and opportunities in Taiwan?

Cheng-Yu Chen (CC): Taiwan has been seeking to develop world-leading AI infrastructure and to become an important player in the global AI value chain. Especially within the life sciences area, I think Taiwan can leverage the following advantages that make it an essential hub to develop and promote AI technology:

(1) An industry leadership position in the manufacturing of ICT & semiconductor hardware

(2) The Taiwan government’s strong support and commitment to improving the AI R&D environment

(3) A no.1 ranking in the Global Open Data Index and a high level of transparency of data-sharing

When all these data combine with our ICT industries, it provides a friendly environment for testing the application of AI. In addition, the Taiwan government’s ongoing AI action plan, which includes the intent to introduce new laws and regulations to promote AI development, also helps professionals gain access to over 20 years of data from the National Health Insurance Administration while maintaining patients’ privacy. Overall, I see lots of promising opportunities in Taiwan to incorporate AI in life sciences.

JY: What are Taipei Medical University’s current efforts and accomplishments in AI in life science development?

CC: Here at Taipei Medical University (TMU), we understand that “No data, no AI,” thus TMU established the first Graduate Institute of Biomedical Informatics in Taiwan in 1998, which cultivated a sufficient talent pool to catch up the current global AI trend. Then we followed the government’s AI action plan to build more professional programs in AI in Medicine in recent years. These programs are aimed to increase the number of medical doctors, medical technologists, and clinic professionals with a working knowledge and skills in AI.

Furthermore, we also have the Research Center for AI in Medicine, the Smart Hospital Simulation Lab (SHSL), the Technology Commercialization Center (TMU-TCC), incubators, and hospitals, all designed to advance AI technologies. A professor who has a great idea can start a company through the commercialization center, the incubator programs can help find resources, and our research centers and labs can provide systems to complete proof-of-concept. As an example, we have already curated three AI-related companies in the past two years:

(1) DermAI: AI solutions to detect Malignant Melanoma (MM) and the risk of acnes

(2) AESOP Technology: AI-based prescription error prevention solution to maximize patient safety

(3) Redica Health: Ted-ICU AI solution to help with smart hospital construction

We plan to start two more companies next year.

JY: Both DermAI and AESOP have attended RESI before! Speaking of this, does TMU have any international collaborations in AI in life science development?

CC: Yes. There are many aspects on which we work with international corporations and institutes. For example, we partnered with AstraZeneca on incubator programs and clinical trial collaboration. We have also cooperated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to organize Hackathons on Health IoT programs. We also worked with Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California, and sent our talents to learn AI imaging and surgical planning, etc. at these institutions. For the spin-off companies I just mentioned, AESOP Technology partnered with Harvard Innovation Labs and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to complete prescription screening tests. We expect to have more collaborations worldwide in the next few years.

JY: As we know, Taiwan did a great job in in preventing COVID-19 spread – do you think AI helps with this successful response?

CC: Yes. Our government, hospitals, and research institutes all took rapid actions that made Taiwan able to develop a nationwide mask sitemap using AI in real-time, as well as an AI-applied alert system incorporated in hospitals to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread and local transmission.

In addition, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is gathering principal investigators’ ideas to further develop preventive strategies for such a pandemic, and many are AI-related. I think that as long as Taiwan keeps an innovative mindset and grasps the advantages of AI development, we will be able to build a successful and leading ecosystem in AI in the life science arena.

As AI is playing a significant role in the healthcare arena worldwide, LSN plans to launch the inaugural 4D Meets AI partnering conference September 17 – 18, 2020. This new 4D Meets AI conference is set to provide a new platform for all companies developing Drugs, Devices, Diagnostics, and Digital Health (the 4 Ds), with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) vertical, to meet and connect with investors and strategic partners. Visit to learn more and register.

Panel Spotlight: AI in Drug Discovery and Development

30 Jul

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

Life Science Nation (LSN) has been busy this summer recruiting panelists for its Inaugural 4D Meets AI partnering conference, exploring the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Drugs, Devices, Diagnostics, and Digital Health (the 4 Ds), while facilitating conversations between early-stage companies and strategic partners.

We are pleased to introduce the AI in Drug Discovery and Development panel, discussing repurposing existing drugs and identifying, optimizing, and validating new drug candidates. This panel features five leaders in this area coming together to lead a discussion on their work in the field, predictions moving forward, and best practices to bring AI-driven therapeutics to the patients who need it most. Get to know them, and then register to join the conversation September 17-18.

Andrew Satz, MS, Co-Founder & CEO, EVQLV (Moderator)

Andrew Satz is the CEO and Co-Founder of EVQLV, a technology company leveraging AI to accelerate the speed and lower the failure rates of biologics discovery and development. He co-developed EVQLV’s biologics discovery engine, which uses a wide range of machine learning and software engineering techniques to design and screen novel biologics. A data scientist by training, Satz is a seasoned entrepreneur and technologist having founded multiple startups and holding leadership roles in companies ranging from insurance to biotech. Satz holds a BA in Economics and MS in Data Science, both from Columbia University.

Gini Deshpande, PhD, Founder & CEO, NuMedii

Gini Deshpande, PhD, is the founder and CEO of NuMedii, a data-driven drug discovery company that pioneered the use of artificial intelligence and advanced data sciences to rapidly discover new precision therapeutics. Having raised the company’s financing and overseen successful partnerships with several large pharma companies, she is now spearheading the company’s efforts in the development of its own pipeline in fibrosis and orphan oncology indications. Previously, she helped Affymetrix and other companies with market development strategies for their innovative technologies. She led intrapreneurial efforts at Children’s Hospital Boston for the creation of new devices for the tiniest of patients and vaccines for the developing world. Gini has also helped commercialize early-stage life science technologies in research tools, diagnostics & therapeutics and has closed licensing deals worth several million. Gini received her PhD in Biological Sciences from Purdue University and did post-doctoral work at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Irwin Gelman, MPh, PhD, Founder, Veronomics, Inc.

Veronomics, Inc. is a Delaware C Corporation (registered in New York State) headquartered in the University at Buffalo New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. The company was founded by Irwin H. Gelman, PhD, who is a Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Director of Research Integration in the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Track Chair of the UB-Roswell Park academic program in Cancer Genetics, Genomics and Development. Dr. Gelman received his BA in Biochemistry at Wesleyan University, MA, MPh and PhD degrees from Columbia University, and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Associate in the lab of Prof. Hidesaburo Hanafusa at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Gelman has been involved with two biotech startups currently traded on the NASDAQ, Antigenics LLC (now Agenus) and Kinex Pharmaceuticals (now Athenex), where he helped develop the Src-family kinase inhibitors, KX2-391 and KX2-361, now in Phase II and III clinical trials for several cancers.

Rafael Rosengarten, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Genialis, Inc.

Rafael leads Genialis’ effort to integrate and mine vast and diverse sources of biomedical knowledge to realize the promise of precision medicine and therapeutic discovery. He spent nearly 20 years in biomedical research prior to Genialis, publishing on the evolution of innate immune systems, bioengineering of microbes, and genetics of development. Rafael co-invented the j5 DNA assembly design automation software for high-throughput molecular design and analyses (since commercialized by TeselaGen). Rafael earned his doctorate at Yale University, and conducted postdoctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Baylor College of Medicine. In his free time, Rafael enjoys cooking and rock-climbing, and raising heirloom tomatoes and two precocious children.

Nabiha Saklayen, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Cellino Biotech, Inc.

Nabiha Saklayen is a bio-inspired physicist and entrepreneur. Nabiha launched Cellino to converge physics, biology, and machine learning to enable paradigm shifts in regenerative medicine. Cellino is building the next generation of cell and tissue therapies with a proprietary platform technology that makes stem cell-derived therapies scalable for the first time. Nabiha was recognized as a Pioneer in MIT Tech Review’s 35 Innovators under 35 list for her inventions in laser-based delivery methods and is on the 2019 Forbes under 30 List for Healthcare. She received her PhD in Physics from Harvard University as an HHMI International Fellow. She made significant scientific contributions to the field of pulsed-laser delivery to cells, with several peer-reviewed papers published, patents pending, and grants awarded. Nabiha grew up in Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Germany, and Sri Lanka.

Pitch Perfect

16 Jul

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

Pitching your company to investors may be one of the most daunting duties of an early-stage CEO, but a confident, concise, and compelling pitch may be what stands between you and your fundraising goals. Life Science Nation (LSN) CEO, Dennis Ford lays out a roadmap navigating investor pitches and more on The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto, and includes tips to nail a pitch session:

Tell your story. When investors have a foundational understanding of the roots of your organization, they get a better feel for the drivers of the company as a whole and can more easily put their trust in you.

Address the market. Discuss the medical need your product is addressing and what treatment options are currently available for it. Here you have the opportunity to capture the investors’ attention by showing them the potential revenue their firm may realize if your product reaches the market.

Hit them with the technology. Having high energy and excitement when explaining the technology shows that you yourself believe in the product and that what you are working on is innovative and investment-worthy.

Know what you want. Highlight exactly how much of the requested funding is going to be spent on the various activities your company must perform.

Remember that practice makes perfect. A CEO needs to be comfortable delivering the pitch at any point in time. Be prepared to introduce your company clearly and concisely, and make sure to practice delivering the important details, whether you have one minute or five.

LSN is introducing two new opportunities for life science executives to get their message in front of investors. Digital RESI September and 4D Meets AI are two partnering conferences where early-stage companies can apply for a spot on a Featured Company Pitch Session. These sessions enable CEOs to pitch directly investors and host a live Q&A session. Each company delivers a pre-recorded pitch hosted on a dedicated page enabled for downloadable materials and connected to a live agenda for easy access and optimal exposure.

Featured Company Pitch Sessions ensures that companies are seen and that their messages are heard. Click here to apply for a spot at Digital RESI September, which connects early-stage products with capital and channel partners. Click here to apply for a spot at 4D Meets AI, advancing drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health through the power of artificial intelligence.

Panel Spotlight: AI Diagnostics for Disease Detection

16 Jul

By Bryanna Allison, Business Development Manager, LSN

This September, Life Science Nation (LSN) is launching the Inaugural 4D Meets AI partnering conference, providing a platform for all companies developing and commercializing Drugs, Devices, Diagnostics, and Digital Health (the 4 Ds), with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) vertical, to meet and connect with investors and strategic partners. In addition to partnering meetings and presentation opportunities, 4D Meets AI will welcome a complete agenda of investor and application panels to expand industry knowledge in the latest trends and developments.

One of the application panels, AI Diagnostics for Disease Detection, features some of the brightest minds shaking up the standard with revolutionary tech and applications. Deep learning diagnostics holds immense potential to enhance both the speed and accuracy of disease diagnoses. The diagnostic information that AI absorbs comes from various silos, including symptom data, disease causes, test results, medical images, doctor reports and more. AI can accurately identify disease diagnoses in these data sets and has become a viable source of diagnostic information. AI and machine learning can improve diagnostic accuracy, cut costs, and improve patient safety worldwide. The following industry experts will participate in a dynamic discussion about the current landscape and where the industry is headed.

Marty Keiser, Founder & CEO, IV BioHoldings, LLC (Moderator)

Bio development studio, IV BioHoldings (IVBH) is a bio innovation studio that creates disease-specific startups at the intersection of bioinformatics, biology, and business. The IVBH studio taps a vast internal network in search of big addressable markets with major unmet medical needs, where there is an opportunity to generate economic value for patients, payers, and stakeholders. Each venture creation is defined by its virtual business model, data and technology-heavy R&D process, and a core focus on transcriptomics; illuminating biological insights required for the comprehensive detection, diagnosis, and treatment of a particular disease. To date, IVBH has accelerated breakthrough innovations in lung cancer and liver disease (NASH) and is currently incubating projects across a number of indications that affect similarly large populations. By connecting data, technology, and capital, the studio hopes to break down the traditional barriers that exist between diagnostics and therapeutics and accelerate access to effective and affordable solutions across the entire care continuum.

Meesha Dogan, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Cardio Diagnostics, Inc.

Cardio Diagnostics, Inc. is a precision medtech company transforming the prevention of cardiovascular disease. They will soon be launching Epi+Gen CHD, the first at-home, end-to-end remote, clinical AI-driven DNA test that profiles and aggregates genetic and epigenetics biomarkers for heart attack risk screening. The underlying technology is also being incorporated into a series of products for stroke, heart failure and other comorbidities. Their vision is to transform the medical care for cardiovascular disease (CVD) from reactive to proactive. They believe that prevention and early detection should be the norm, and that epigenetics-based technologies driven by AI will unlock the new era of highly accessible Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. They are leading this change through their own technologies and in conjunction with key stakeholders and strategic partners to enable better health outcomes.

Nan-Wei Gong, PhD, Founder & CEO, FIGUR8, Inc.

Founded in 2016, FIGUR8 is a MIT STEX 25 company formed by a group of engineers, researchers and designers with expertise in wearable computing, digital health and sports science. They share the same passion in creating the most intuitive and effective way to understanding human movement and to bring what’s only available to the elite few today to the hands of the everyday user.


Marc Lambrechts, PhD, Senior Investment Manager, Capricorn Partners NV

Capricorn Partners NV is an independent manager of private and quoted equity funds that invest in minority shareholding positions of innovative companies with technology as competitive advantage. Capricorn Venture Partners NV was established in early 1993 as a joint venture between Dr. Jos B. Peeters and Baring Venture Partners Ltd, In December 1999, Professor Philippe Haspeslagh, the chairman of Capricorn Venture Partners and Jos acquired the shares held by Barings (then ING) and the company has since been operating as a fully partner-owned independent management company. In line with its growths into a specialized alternative asset manager, the company was renamed in Capricorn Partners in August 2019. Their mission is to create financial return for clients and support spearheading entrepreneurs that have developed products with a true impact.

Andrea Wang, MS, Co-Founder & CEO, AHEAD Medicine

AHEAD Medicine focuses on developing AI-powered diagnostics for blood cancer precision medicine. They’ve developed AHEAD-flow, the fully automated immunophenotype analysis platform which allows physicians to identify abnormal cases promptly and avoid delays in clinical decisions. Their vision: To enable AI aided clinical decision making in cancer treatment for every physician and to identify, with greater ease, optimization paths to better treatment strategies.

Visit our agenda to view additional panels.

4D Meets AI is still accepting panelist applications. AI Investors Click Here and AI CEOs Click Here to fill out an application for consideration

AI in Diagnostics: An Investor Perspective

9 Jul

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

It’s commonly said in business that “riches are in the niches”, which translates to targeting a specific market for an outstanding performance. In diagnostics investment, there’s no better example of this than Greybird Ventures. We spoke with the founder and CEO, Tom Miller, on his unique approach that sets his company apart in the often-competitive healthcare investment arena.

Miller started Greybird Ventures in 2013. He added two partners, and they made their first investment in 2016. Regarding their investment theme, Miller says that Greybird is, “[a] focused, totally dedicated, and only investing-in-diagnostic-technologies venture firm – we are also the world’s smallest one of those things – because I believe we’re the only ones doing that.”

Greybird’s foundation has remained the small team of three – Tom Miller, as well as Michael Devlin and Scott Gazelle – and the diagnostics-centered portfolio companies that have since grown to five, three of which work with artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled diagnostics. While the numbers may seem small, it has been an intentional strategy by Miller, who says, “[Greybird] holds a chairmanship in every firm we invest in, and we tell our CEOs who are about to take our money, ‘If you want a passive investor, don’t touch us.’ We are very active. We get involved with business development. We will help them with clinical trials. We’ll help them recruit principal investigators, and we get deeply involved in the science… That said, money is not really our limitation for how many companies we’ll invest in, but rather our own bandwidth. You don’t get a junior person. You get one of us.”

Using oncology as an example, Miller described the necessity of AI and machine learning (ML) in diagnostics. The more doctors and scientists understand certain cancers, the more specific types there are, and the broader the diagnostic range will be. Miller says, “I think within the next decade, for certain medical disciplines, practicing medicine without computerized assistance will be malpractice because you simply can’t do it.”

While a big believer in the promise of AI, Miller is skeptical of every application in the medical field, specifically in prognoses based on patient records and its potential to blur the lines between correlation and causation. He instead works to promote technologies where AI fills in the gaps, in addition to human study and close observation. Applications such as AI-enabled radiology, locating biomarkers for human cancer detection, and motion predicters to determine drug efficacy in degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Just as Greybird’s success has grown in a specific space within healthcare investment, Miller believes that AI is the best solution for well-defined, narrow problems. Miller will be representing Greybird Ventures at the Inaugural 4D Meets AI digital partnering conference, September 17-18, 2020. Find out more at

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