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An Interview with CSC Leasing on Their Custom-Built Leasing Solutions

22 Oct

Ryan Magner

An Interview with Ryan Magner, Regional Director, CSC Leasing Company

By Ashley Zborowski
Director of Business Development, LSN

As a sponsor for both Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) and 4D Meets AI, CSC Leasing’s Ryan Magner chats with Life Science Nation (LSN)’s Ashley Zborowski about their firm, vision, and practices around equipment leasing to early-stage companies in life science, and what makes them unique in the market.

Ashley Zborowski (AZ): Please introduce your firm, product and marketplace.

Ryan Magner (RM): CSC Leasing is a boutique family-owned equipment leasing company based in Richmond, VA, serving clients across the US and internationally. In our 35 years of business, we have financed nearly $1 billion in transactions. Our foremost goal is to help companies obtain the equipment they need to achieve their goals, at the lowest possible cost. We do this by providing innovative and competitive leasing programs—which are flexible and tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients—always with a focus on the long-term relationship. Our core business is serving emerging growth companies in life sciences with a focus on seed stage to early institutional investment rounds. Since our portfolio is owned, capitalized and managed solely by CSC Leasing, we can be agile, flexible and efficient. Clients will always work directly with our team throughout their lease term.

AZ: Why is leasing so important to early-stage firms?

RM: For early-stage firms, preserving cash and raised investor equity dollars is always paramount. By helping early-stage companies finance their equipment purchases, they can extend runway and preserve cash for higher ROI activities. Leasing is a non-dilutive vehicle which is important to many companies that are seeking financial partners. Establishing a leasing agreement is also traditionally easier to obtain than traditional lending which can require more substantial business requirements and milestones.

AZ: You seem to equate leasing with funding; can you explain that?

RM: Like equity funding, we are putting our own capital to work for a company, but it is in the form of equipment procurement vs. a direct cash injection into a business. In the case of a sale leaseback transaction for existing assets already purchased, we can help companies get cash back on their balance sheets as well. Many companies chose to establish a lease line of credit with CSC to compliment other sources of funding in order to reduce or eliminate the need for substantial one-time cash outflows for depreciating assets.

AZ: Do you have a process for assessing a client’s needs? How does that work?

RM: Always an introductory call and/or meeting to introduce CSC and learn about their company and what they are trying to accomplish by leasing equipment. After gathering some initial information, we will begin a customary due diligence which requires the same types of information many companies will have provided to equity investors or for grant funding. Depending on the size of the transaction, we can typically turn around a term sheet proposal within a week or two, sometimes requiring another round of due diligence for asks over $1M. Our credit committee meets five days a week and we have invested in expanding headcount there, so we’re able to turn around decisions much faster than others in the non-bank financial services space.

AZ: Can you please describe what a perfect life science firms looks like to your leasing firm?

RM: Like many equity investors, we will be looking at the team, technology, financials, runway and who the other investors are. We pay particularly close attention to the equipment and financials, so being organized around providing all the required information up front will expedite the process. We typically like to see 12+ months of cash on-hand but can sometimes get comfortable with less if there are additional upcoming grants, financing rounds or highly desirable equipment. Having experienced founders with a track record of building successful companies or substantial domain expertise is important, as well.

AZ: Tell me more who is a perfect target for your leasing service? Could you give us some examples of life science clients you are now working with and what the deals looked like and how they grew?

RM: We take as much pleasure in helping a company preserve cash to get to their Series A round as we do in working with companies all the way up through an IPO. Our portfolio of life science clients includes companies that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars through name brand VCs, as well as emerging growth companies that have raised from friends and family. Unlike many others in the space, we’re willing to finance smaller transactions to first build the relationship and trust, with the goal of creating a longer-term partnership. Recently, we were able to approve a $10M sale leaseback for existing equipment to a leading therapeutics company in Cambridge to help them preserve cash as they worked towards Series C milestones and eventually a successful IPO. On the emerging side, another start-up therapeutics company in Cambridge required $500K in new equipment for a lab build-out after raising their Series A and not wanting to use fresh equity dollars for constantly depreciating assets.

AZ: It sounds like capital-intensive start-ups are your best customers; can you talk about the market segments these clients are in?

RM: While life science has always been a target market due to the high-capex nature of the industry, other industries like food and beverage, technology, and manufacturing and logistics have proven to be a stable client base for us, given their demand for equipment leasing. With regards to the segments within life sciences and biotech, we are commonly working with R&D-stage therapeutics companies, pharma manufacturing, 3D bio printing, shared lab space, and medical devices, to name a few. Ultimately, we are unique in that we are working with companies that are likely going to run out of cash at some time during the lease, so we are trying to identify clients that have a high likelihood of being able to raise the next financing round, or in the case of revenue generating operations, achieve profitability.

AZ: Why do you remain vendor-agnostic, as opposed to selecting the best-of-breed and staying with them?

RM: Due to the asset management nature of our business—as it’s our only collateral—we have expertise in many types of equipment, however we always let our clients determine what is the best type of equipment for them. We then simply take the purchase orders negotiated by our clients, which often can include discounts, and execute them on their behalf. Additionally, we are also able to look at used equipment purchases as a way for companies to recognize further cost savings. CSC can be additive to the procurement process via our lease administration team, and handle logistics like ordering, shipping and helping with tax exemptions for R&D.

AZ: Do you purchase and then lease, and how do you determine how to take that risk?

RM: Yes, we purchase the equipment on behalf of our clients after getting the umbrella master lease in place. There is always the risk working with early-stage companies that things won’t go according to plan and we will have to take delivery of the equipment back to our warehouse. At that point, we try and remarket the equipment using various channels in order to recoup some of our investment, which can help mitigate the risk. With that being said, one of the benefits for our clients is that CSC is not only a family-owned business, but we’re not a broker and we hold our own paper. As a non-bank leasing company, that gives us flexibility to say yes when others say no and look at our client base through a long-term lens. We saw it very recently during COVID-19 that companies couldn’t get into their lab spaces or accomplish milestones according to plan, so that required some restructuring of lease agreements and trying to be a partner to our clients during a really difficult time, which we hope is mutually beneficial in the long term.

AZ: Why do you refer to your service as non-dilutive capital when you are a leasing firm?

RM: Many early-stage lenders have what is called a warrant component to their terms. That means that at some point in the future, the lender will be able to claim a negotiated portion of equity in the business, which is dilutive by definition. While CSC is not a traditional lender in that we are leasing the equipment to our clients, we are still putting our own capital to work in order to purchase those assets in place of the company, all while being able to do it with a cleaner financing that requires no warrants.

AZ: How do you help an early-stage company with financing?

RM: Due to our structure and comfortability in the early-stage space, we can extend financing to many companies that will not qualify for traditional bank loans or vendor financing. If our capital allows a company to extend their runway, meet milestones and successfully raise the next round of capital from institutional investors, that is a mutually beneficial result. When we invest our own capital into a business, our interests will always be aligned with theirs—we don’t succeed unless they do. Additionally, if we can be helpful in using our network of clients and investors in life sciences for references or to make introductions that could influence a future financing round, that would be added value we strive to achieve.

AZ: Do you have a message for our readers about your firm?

RM: At CSC, we are always willing to speak with founders or companies that would like to learn more about equipment leasing before beginning a process with us. We also have no problem spinning up a deal to arrive at indicative pricing so you can evaluate if it makes sense for your business. We’ll be the first to tell you if we think we’re not the best fit for helping you achieve your research and development goals and will always try to point you in the right direction. Please don’t hesitate to reach out! To learn more about equipment leasing, you can contact Ryan directly at rmagner@cscleasing.com.

To learn more about 4D Meets AI and sign up for the early bird rate (until October 24), visit www.4dmeetsai.com.

Networking in a Virtual World: Optimizing Your Digital Conference Experience

15 Oct

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

In the world of digital events, virtual partnering, and Zoom fatigue, it’s more important than ever to stay connected, especially when fundraising, sourcing technology, or expanding a portfolio. Whether you’re thriving in slippers at your home office or itching to share cocktails and small plates (that you didn’t prepare) while networking, virtual partnering events can be a powerful asset to your fundraising and deal-flow.

The Life Science Nation (LSN) conference team has designed our digital events with the user in mind, for optimum convenience and connectivity. Take advantage of these elements and keep the conversations going!

Common Goal

When logging into a partnering platform, you know that every attendee you scroll through shares a common goal. The specifics of that goal may not line up with yours, but someone at a partnering event is there to make deals. With LSN’s partnering platform, we make it easy for participants to target and connect with those who are the right fit for technology, as well as stage of development. Whether you’re a seasoned partnering pro or new to the arena, a virtual format, as well as the LSN partnering platform, takes the guesswork out.

Equal Access

Have you ever attended a conference and witnessed an incredible presentation that spoke directly to you, only to find yourself 30-attendees-deep in a line to connect with the speaker? The virtual ecosystem provides equal access to speakers and industry leaders who may otherwise be tough to get facetime with. While there’s no guarantee the reception to a meeting request, your chances increase when you’re able to review a profile that communicates what the recipient is looking for… It might be you!

Interactive Features

Be sure to take advantage of live events and interactive features within the virtual event. One of the most popular aspects of the digital model is tailoring your experience, not only around your objectives and interest, but also around your schedule. Despite that convenience, many of the best conversations begin in live panels and interactive pitch sessions. If you’re able to join a panel or pitch to a live investor audience, even better! Virtual events like LSN’s make connection convenient, however, active participation in live features will give you a competitive edge.

If you’re dreaming of the days of in-person networking, we hope you’ll take advantage of the features available in the digital format. The game is afoot, and the best deals aren’t waiting. We hope to see you at Digital RESI November 17-19, and then again at the LSN Healthtech Partnering Week, January 14-15, 2021. Check out our newest events at 4D Meets AI and Longevity, Health & Innovation!

Healthtech Partnering Week: Call for Panelists!

8 Oct

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

The Inaugural Life Science Nation (LSN) Healthtech Partnering Week 2021 launches January 11-15, 2021 with three back-to-back digital partnering conferences: Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI), 4D Meets AI, and Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI). These three events make up the ultimate partnering experience within healthcare and life science through their match-based partnering system, as well as pitch sessions, informational workshops, and panels.

Panels have been a valuable resource for both early-stage companies and investors to learn how other industry professionals are navigating challenges and building successful businesses and partnerships. Participants increase their exposure in addition to receiving complimentary registration in return for adding such value to attendees. We are still accepting applications for new panelists, and if you are an early-stage company developing new tech to advance healthcare or an investor with industry insight, joining a panel gives you increased exposure to share your story with our community. Read more about the events and apply to join a panel!

Redefining Early-Stage Investments (RESI) – January 11-13, 2021

The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series was created by Life Science Nation (LSN) to bring together startups with early-stage investors and strategic channel partners to maximize the capability of these companies, from seed to series B, to find partners who are a fit for their technology and stage of development. RESI is cross-border and cross-domain, connecting start-ups with ten categories of global investors across the silos of drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health. RESI caters to both the earliest stage start-ups, those seeking grants, seed and angel capital, and the early-stage firms who seek series A and B funding.

Apply to be on a RESI Panel (Investors Only)!

4D Meets AI (4D) – January 14-15, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly reshaping the healthcare landscape, and redefining what is possible in life science. The business of AI is broken down into two groups: the buyers and the sellers. 4D Meets AI is a partnering conference that connects the investors and strategic partners and matches them to companies developing and commercializing AI technology in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health (the 4 Ds) to revolutionize healthcare. In addition to pitch sessions and one-on-one meetings hosted by our premier partnering platform, 4D Meets AI features investor and application panels to expand your knowledge of the industry and learn the latest trends and developments. This two-day digital conference provides the opportunity to meet strategic partners, learn from the experts, and build relationships to advance the future of healthcare.

Apply to be on a 4D Panel (Investors and CEOs)!

Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI), Co-Organized with Mary Furlong & Associates – January 14-15, 2021

The aging boomer population contributed $8.3 trillion in economic activity to the 2018 US economy, and that number is projected to triple by 2050. The need for advancements in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health for the treatment of age-related conditions is crucial. Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI) is a new partnering conference focused on conditions related to aging, market challenges, and solutions via early-stage companies and their promising tech and products. LHI brings fundraising startups together with investors in longevity innovation to make deals in order that today’s seniors live longer, healthier lives.

Apply to be on an LHI Panel (Investors Only!)

4D Meets AI is Back January 14-15, 2021!

1 Oct

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

The digital partnering conference connecting drugs, devices, diagnostics & digital health (4Ds) through the power of artificial intelligence (AI) is returning as part of the Life Science Nation (LSN) Healthtech Partnering Week, featuring three digital partnering events tackling different areas of the early-stage life science and healthcare arena. The previous 4D Meets AI saw more than 100 investors meet and network with over 150 early-stage companies, and we’re expecting bigger and better in January!

In life science and healthcare, AI solutions are increasingly becoming the standard, rather than a shiny new feature. Therefore, it is necessary to highlight specific challenges, as well as showcase successful tactics for investors and early-stage companies to learn from and grow.

Sign up at the super early bird rate and save $150 on registration. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the latest advancements in life science and health care and meet with the investors and strategic partners on the cutting edge of AI. Learn more at www.4dmeetsai.com.

LSN Launches Healthtech Partnering Week, Partners with Mary Furlong & Associates on New Longevity Partnering Event

24 Sep

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

The Inaugural Life Science Nation (LSN) Healthtech Partnering Week 2021 launches January 11-15, 2021 with three back-to-back digital partnering conferences: Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI), 4D Meets AI, and Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI). LSN’s RESI conference series has been very successful co-located with the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference and will continue to grow with its two newest digital partnering conferences as a healthcare event trifecta.

LSN is proud to announce the newest digital partnering conference, Longevity, Health & Innovation, co-organized with Mary Furlong & Associates, the preeminent leader in the longevity education market. While Covid has ravaged the conference and event industry, LSN has seen tremendous growth in early-stage partnerships throughout life science and healthcare and looks forward to expanding through the week-long partnering event. The need to connect buyers and sellers is greater than ever, and LSN is proud to partner with Mary Furlong & Associates to facilitate these conversations in the longevity market.

Learn more about the three events:

Redefining Early-Stage Investments (RESI) – January 11-13, 2021

The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series was created by Life Science Nation (LSN) to bring together startups with early-stage investors and strategic channel partners to maximize the capability of these companies, from seed to series B, to find partners who are a fit for their technology and stage of development. RESI is cross-border and cross-domain, connecting start-ups with ten categories of global investors across the silos of drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health. RESI caters to both the earliest stage start-ups, those seeking grants, seed and angel capital, and the early-stage firms who seek series A and B funding.

4D Meets AI (4D) – January 14-15, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly reshaping the healthcare landscape, and redefining what is possible in life science. The business of AI is broken down into two groups: the buyers and the sellers. 4D Meets AI is a partnering conference that connects the investors and strategic partners and matches them to companies developing and commercializing AI technology in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health (the 4 Ds) to revolutionize healthcare. In addition to pitch sessions and one-on-one meetings hosted by our premier partnering platform, 4D Meets AI features investor and application panels to expand your knowledge of the industry and learn the latest trends and developments. This two-day digital conference provides the opportunity to meet strategic partners, learn from the experts, and build relationships to advance the future of healthcare.

Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI), Co-Organized with Mary Furlong & Associates – January 14-15, 2021

The aging boomer population contributed $8.3 trillion in economic activity to the 2018 US economy, and that number is projected to triple by 2050. The need for advancements in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health for the treatment of age-related conditions is crucial. Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI) is a new partnering conference focused on conditions related to aging, market challenges, and solutions via early-stage companies and their promising tech and products. LHI brings fundraising startups together with investors in longevity innovation to make deals in order that today’s seniors live longer, healthier lives.

LSN Launches Healthtech Partnering Week, Partners with Mary Furlong & Associates on New Longevity Partnering Event

20 Sep

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of LSN Healthtech Partnering Week

Life Science Nation (LSN) Healthtech Partnering Week 2021 launches January 11-15, 2021 with a partnering trifecta – three back-to-back digital partnering conferences: Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI)4D Meets AI, and Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI). LSN’s RESI conference series has been very successful co-located with the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference and will continue to grow with its two newest digital partnering conferences as a quarterly, global healthcare event trifecta hosting thousands of attendees each week.

Balancing out the trifecta is LSN‘ s newest digital partnering conference, Longevity, Health & Innovation, co-organized with Mary Furlong & Associates, the preeminent leader in the longevity education market. LSN has seen tremendous growth in early-stage partnerships throughout life science and healthcare and looks forward to expanding through the week-long partnering event. The need to connect buyers and sellers is greater than ever, and this partnership will build on prior success to facilitate these conversations in the longevity market.

Learn more about the three events:

Redefining Early-Stage Investments (RESI) – January 11-13, 2021

The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series was created by Life Science Nation (LSN) to bring together startups with early-stage investors and strategic channel partners to maximize the capability of these companies, from seed to series B, to find partners who are a fit for their technology and stage of development. RESI is cross-border and cross-domain, connecting start-ups with ten categories of global investors across the silos of drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health. RESI caters to both the earliest stage start-ups, those seeking grants, seed and angel capital, and the early-stage firms who seek series A and B funding.

4D Meets AI (4D) – January 14-15, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly reshaping the healthcare landscape, and redefining what is possible in life science. The business of AI is broken down into two groups: the buyers and the sellers. 4D Meets AI is a partnering conference that connects the investors and strategic partners and matches them to companies developing and commercializing AI technology in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health (the 4 Ds) to revolutionize healthcare. In addition to pitch sessions and one-on-one meetings hosted by our premier partnering platform, 4D Meets AI features investor and application panels to expand your knowledge of the industry and learn the latest trends and developments. This two-day digital conference provides the opportunity to meet strategic partners, learn from the experts, and build relationships to advance the future of healthcare.

Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI), Co-Organized with Mary Furlong & Associates – January 14-15, 2021

The aging boomer population contributed $8.3 trillion in economic activity to the 2018 US economy, and that number is projected to triple by 2050. The need for advancements in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health for the treatment of age-related conditions is crucial. Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI) is a new partnering conference focused on conditions related to aging, market challenges, and solutions via early-stage companies and their promising tech and products. LHI brings fundraising startups together with investors in longevity innovation to make deals in order that today’s seniors live longer, healthier lives.

Next Week LSN Debuts Two Back-to-Back Partnering Events: Digital RESI September & 4D Meets AI

10 Sep

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series

Life Science Nation (LSN) extends its theme of matching early-stage scientist-entrepreneurs with investors and strategic partners with two September conferences launching next week: Digital Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) and the Inaugural 4D Meets AI. Digital RESI will take place September 14-16, followed by 4D Meets AI, September 17-18. LSN’s partnering events are unique their matching buyers and sellers based on stage of development and product set. Having meetings that are pre-matched based on fit creates dynamic interactions between fundraising CEOs and potential global partners.

Panels & Workshops

Check out our impressive panels and workshops aimed at aiding early-stage CEOs as they navigate the fundraising the funding landscape, while also providing insight for investors and strategic partners into the latest tech and industry developments.

Digital RESI Sept. Investor Panel Agenda | 4D Meets AI Panel Agenda

Partnering

LSN expects over 500 global investors at these two events seeking new technology assets for their portfolios. LSN’s partnering events are international in scope and include companies across the silos of drugs, devices, diagnostics and digital health. It’s not too late to attend and use the weekend to book meetings! Sign up to take part of this one-of-a-kind cross-border partnering week.

Check RESI Website Here  |  Check 4D Meets AI Website Here

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