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RESI @ JPM Partnering Launches Monday – See Who’s Attending

7 Dec

By Cole Bunn, Senior Research Analyst, LSN

cole-wpThe annual JP Morgan healthcare week will soon be upon us and we’re excited to be bringing the RESI conference back to the Bay for a high energy day of partnering, panels and networking. The RESI conference always hosts a wide variety of investment firms, strategic partners and startups, but each year’s San Francisco event is unmatched in the volume and diversity of global players in the mix.

On the investor/strategic partner side, you’ll find everyone from angel groups, venture philanthropy and endowments, venture capital and private equity, family offices, mid-size and big pharma. As for startups, RESI accommodates biotech/pharma (therapeutics), medtech (devices and diagnostics) and healthcare IT/digital health. Have a look at the some of the folks you can meet.

Confirmed Investors and Strategic Partners

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Confirmed Companies

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A Shifting Future For Big Pharma Involvement In China

7 Dec

By Jessica Yang, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

The Chinese government’s comprehensive overhaul of drug approval is fostering a novel and unique life science ecosystem. China is booming with new opportunities for large pharma companies, within many of these companies are moving in and out. Under China’s new policy, faster approvals could be an incentive for big pharma to step in, as they have the expertise to work and thrive in an improved system.

In the meantime, the funding supported by the Chinese government and local investors such as family offices and venture capital firms is making big pharma companies more interested in working with drug developers in China. Pharma can supply their drug expertise and brand name to China’s startup biotechs and in many cases do not need to provide funds or cover development expenses because many of these companies are well funded by local investors.

Due to the new regulation changes and a growing shift towards developing novel therapeutics, China has become a significant technology market for the big pharma groups. For example, AstraZeneca is establishing a new drug joint venture with a local private equity firm within a capital of $132.5 million. However, other large pharma groups are pulling out. GSK closed its neuroscience R&D center in China; while Eli Lilly also shuttered its Research and Development hub in Shanghai, China.

This is perhaps because, due to all the funding that is available in China, many big pharma companies are finding that valuations are sky-rocketing and have a hard time justifying the valuations of these assets, especially immune-oncology therapeutics.

With the shift in Chinese policies, many big pharmaceutical companies are shifting their strategies as well. It will be interesting to see how each big pharma company chooses to tackle the intricacies of this new system. Will they take a more hands-on approach to increased involvement in JVs or will they take a step back and focus on other areas where they have solid foundations?

Healthcare IT Investors Explore Their Strategies at RESI

7 Dec

By Lucy Parkinson, Director of Research, LSN

The healthcare conference week we all know as JPM began as a gathering for executives in the biotech, pharma and medical technology industries, but the rapidly expanding digital health industry is becoming increasingly a part of the annual San Francisco hubbub. We’ve seen that growth firsthand over the last 3 years of RESI San Francisco events. It’s a sector that investors approach from a diverse range of directions; some funds that previously focused on biotech have broadened into digital health, while traditional technology investors are getting to grips with the healthcare industry. Additionally, many large health systems or payers are looking to digital investments to strategically benefit their business. These investors each bring a unique expertise and perspective to their digital health investment mandates.

On January 9th, five experts in the space will share their strategic insights and advice with entrepreneurs at RESI San Francisco’s Healthcare IT panel. The participants are:

  • Rich Simoni, Managing Partner, Asset Management Ventures
  • Taha Jangda, Partner, HealthX Ventures
  • Brent Stackhouse, Vice President, Mount Sinai Ventures
  • Eric Louie, Chief Medical Officer, Healthbox Global Partners
  • Dennis Depenbusch, Director, New Ventures Initiative, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas

What Makes A Good Innovation Challenge Application?

30 Nov

By Christine A. Wu, Senior Research Analyst, LSN


Every RESI Conference, LSN holds a fun life science competition – the Innovation Challenge. Thirty early-stage fundraising companies with top-tier life science technology exhibit in a poster-board format for a chance to pitch to investor attendees one-on-one and place as one of three winners voted by conference attendees. Out of our hundreds of applications, how do we choose the top thirty? As the Innovation Challenge application deadline draws near (it is tomorrow folks!), the LSN scientific review team has compiled a list of what we look for in a company and its application.

While the following surrounds the Innovation Challenge application itself, the criteria and the tips we provide are also guidelines for companies to use for their fundraising process. Much of our evaluation and the questions we ask are based on standard criteria that entrepreneurs will face when speaking with investors.

What makes a high-score company?

The LSN scientific review team uses a detailed rubric with a 200-point scoring system. Our evaluation process is based not only on scientific merit, but also on how ready the company is to present to an investor (“investor-readiness”). A perfectly scored company would have a transformational technology that can achievably address a high unmet need using a differentiable novel approach or target. Alongside high innovation, differentiation, unmet need, and market fit, the 200-point company would have a broad IP position, an experienced management team and CEO with top-tier advisors, and strategic alliances with manufacturing and clinical partners. The company will also receive high marks for having what we call “investor-ready” marketing material (executive summary, pitch deck, website).

Application Tips

Clearly describe your technology.

Like any marketing material, you need to be clear. Be sure to answer you understand and answer the questions fully. The team has seen unclear responses as to what a company’s technology is and its significance in improvement.

Be honest with your answers.

The team frequently reviews applications that states they have no competitors in the space, when the honest answer is, there are. Novel products do have competitors before them, for established technology does exist in the indication your product targets. Be honest with whom your competitors are, and then address what the key differentiators are to your product. Even if your product is an incremental improvement, be honest and highlight this and it can still be attractive!

For example, competitors for your disease-modifying therapeutic may be symptom-treating therapeutics in the same indication that are either commercialized or being developed. You should identify these symptom-treating therapeutics and highlight your novel target approach that makes your product disease-modifying.

Explain your current standings in detail.

Outline everything you have in terms of your current standing, while also providing your outlook of where you hope to go. Avoid ambiguous statements such as, “CEO is an experienced entrepreneur”. Instead, provide details that highlight the CEO’s experience – years as an entrepreneur, number and names of companies exited, background expertise, etc.

Provide near-future and long-term horizons.

If you do not have certain criteria, such as a strategic alliance or IP, it’s OK. State your current standing and provide what steps you are currently taking to reach that milestone. For Alliances and Collaborations, state your verbal relationships; for IP status, state how many you have filed or are planning to file. Providing us your strategy is better than a simple yes or no.

Put in a balanced effort.

You should not spend 5 minutes on this application, and neither should you spend 5 hours. Your answers should be brief, as well as detailed – we have received hasty, effortless applications in which we quickly discard with a low score. On the other hand, you also shouldn’t spend an excessive amount of time on the application, as these are all straight-forward questions that you should be comfortable in answering and have down pat. Remember, as your executive summary should answer all these questions alone, this application is the backbone of our evaluation process and essentially your executive summary to us.

Send us your marketing material.

If you have marketing material, send it. This includes your pitch deck, executive summary, website, videos – any supplemental material that can boost our understanding of your technology and whether your company is investor-ready. The application provides limited space – while this forces you to get straight to the point, supplemental material explains what an application cannot (i.e. figures, graphs, pipeline, non-confidential data, etc.).

Overall, applying for the Innovation Challenge is great practice for fundraising companies. For those who have yet to apply, be sure to take note of these suggestions and apply here before midnight tomorrow!

RESI JPM 2018: Agenda Announced

30 Nov

By Jessica Yang, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Biotech and medtech industry executives are drawing up their itineraries for January’s healthcare conference week in San Francisco, and over a thousand attendees are expected to join Life Science Nation for our Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference in San Francisco on January 9th!

LSN would now like to announce the agenda for RESI San Francisco. Our event will provide a full day of investor panels and workshops devoted to early-stage life science investment topics. RESI features four tracks of content, including the RESI Asia-North America track, which offers attendees the chance to hear directly from investors and strategic partners from across the Pacific who are seeking North American innovation. These panels will be a must-see for any fundraising entrepreneur in the life science sector.

In addition to RESI’s recurring core sector panels Early Stage Therapeutics, Medical Device Investors, Diagnostics and Healthcare IT, RESI San Francisco will also feature the Big Data & Healthcare Panel. The big data space has increasingly become exciting with its potential to transform healthcare through its cross-correlation to broad applications. In addition, LSN will be bringing back the highly popular panel on Genomics. Genomics is becoming a major technology for life science investment, and the panel will provide the opportunity to learn about the kinds of genomic-related breakthrough that investors are looking to back, and the challenges of investing in the genomics field. Be sure to register now for these tremendous opportunities to learn how investors think about your space.

Why Do So Many Investors Come To RESI? It’s Not Only To Meet Startups

30 Nov

By Cole Bunn, Senior Research Analyst, LSN


Life Science Nation (LSN) brought the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference to life four years ago with the vision of creating a circuit of events focused on bringing together life science entrepreneurs and early-stage investors, from a wide variety of categories, based on mutual fit. One of the most prominent themes we’ve witnessed, after 15 RESI conferences in cities across North America, is the complexity and evolution of the early-stage healthcare ecosystem. The variety of capital sources, strategic partners and other critical stakeholders in the industry has created an environment where investment groups/firms find tremendous value in working together to finance, scale and exit companies.

Investors are primarily drawn to RESI by the large number of top tier startups that attend, but RESI has become much more than a place for investors to find startups and vice versa. While the bulk of the meetings that take place at RESI are between investors and entrepreneurs, RESI also provides a venue for investors to find the newest capital sources, complimentary co-investors and foster relationships with a range of otherwise strategic and exit partners.

We took a look at the partnering meeting data, and discovered that in terms of who meets with whom at RESI conferences, investor-to-investor partnering meetings represent the third largest category, after investor-to-startup meetings and startup-to-service provider meetings. Driven by the unique nature of the early-stage healthcare landscape, LSN’s dedication to bringing in a diverse pool of capital providers makes RESI a must-attend event for all investors and entrepreneurs alike.

We asked some regular attendees their thoughts on RESI’s capacity to help investors connect, and here’s what they said:

“RESI provides a dynamic and fast-paced setting for strategic investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to explore the latest innovations that will disrupt conventional healthcare and redefine the means by which we enable health and wellness in our communities.  As strategic investors, we are particularly interested in RESI to find opportunities to build more patient-centric care models, pilot scalable and efficient delivery models and identify business opportunities to successfully tackle the ‘big’ challenges in healthcare.”
Eric Louie, CMO, Healthbox Global Partners

“I have attended multiple RESIs over the years in SF, NYC and Toronto.  Each has given me a unique perspective on the ecosystem of the area and allowed me to connect with like-minded co-investors and strategic partners.  I will definitely be at the RESI in SF this January.”
Sam Ifergan, President & CEO, iGan Partners

“The RESI conference platform is a highly productive forum for me to engage with both early-stage entrepreneurs and investors. The 30-minute format allows for just enough time to gain a high level understanding of an opportunity or an investors profile. I attend several each year and recommend highly when speaking with both founders and co-investors.”
Sean Kearney, Managing Director, Fosun Group

Qualified investment firms can receive up to two complimentary passes to attend the upcoming RESI conference in San Francisco on January 9, 2018. The previous RESI @ JPM event hit capacity two weeks prior to the date of the conference. Please reach out to to request registration for the event and take advantage of the RESI partnering system to secure meetings and get the most out of your Tuesday during JPM week.


Happy Thanksgiving and Warm Wishes from LSN

23 Nov

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

As we continue our mission of supporting early stage life science companies and investors in connecting and building relationships, LSN would like to give thanks for our supporters, sponsors, clients, RESI attendees, and everyone who has played a part in our network this year. We wish you all success in your partnering, networking and fundraising, and ultimately in bringing new health innovations to market.

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our first RESI NYC event last week, and we look forward to reconnecting in San Francisco in January. In the meantime, we’d like to offer you 10 piping hot mandates from investors all around the world who are looking for early stage startups to connect with. If one of these investors is a potential fit for you, please get in touch.

While you enjoy the spread on your own tables at home, click the mandates below to see what the LSN Investor Platform is serving up:

1. Large VC Firm With $600M Fund Exclusively Dedicated to Early-Stage Therapeutics

2. Family Office Invests Broadly in Biotech Companies with Strong Oncology and Immunotherapy Interests

3. Cross-Border VC Fund Invests Opportunistically in USA and China Life Science Technologies

4. Boston-Based Family Office Invests Up to $20M in Life Science Companies

5. Cancer-Focused Foundation Supports Early-Stage Innovations with Grants and Multiple Fund Vehicles

6. USA-Based Venture Capital Looks Globally For Pre-Clinical and Early Prototype Technologies

7. VC Firm with Capital from Family Offices Invests in Biotech Companies in North America and Europe

8. Corporate VC with Europe Headquarters Seeking Innovative Point-of-Care Diagnostics Companies

9. Large VC Firm Invests $400M Fund in Therapeutics, Devices, and Diagnostics Companies

10. European VC Seeking Medtech and Digital Health Opportunities in Cardiovascular, Neurology, Oncology Indications