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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.

Building a Brand: From Blah to Boom

6 Aug

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

“You don’t need marketing materials because your technology speaks for itself,” said no investor ever, besides the ones living in the minds of hopeful, yet branding-challenged, CEOs. What many often neglect until the last minute is that a company’s marketing collateral is one of its most important assets when reaching out to investors, often the first glimpse an investor has of the company. The goal is to keep a clear, consistent message across all channels of communication. No matter who interacts with your company in any context, they should all have the same understanding of who you are and what you do.

Of these channels, the pitch deck can often be a challenge to master, balancing the visual format while allowing investors to understand the whole with no explanation. Furthermore, a pitch deck needs to provide a good snapshot of the company in 10-12 slides – as an investor once said during a RESI panel, a pitch deck should be like a movie trailer.

The key to a good pitch deck is to ensure that no one portion dominates. It should tell the story of your company, and we recommend that it include the following information:

  • Elevator Pitch & Tagline: Clear, informational, but concise and memorable.
  • Company: Who are you as a company? Who is your management team, and what stage of development is your company now?
  • Technology: What need is your tech filling in the market? Where is the opportunity, and how does your idea fill it? Describe your tech, and back up your claims with supportive data that is visually appealing and easy to digest. Remember, this isn’t a thesis defense.
  • Pipeline & Future Projections: You’ve got this great idea, but what’re the next steps? What’s your path to market and, eventually, exit? Do you have competition that you stand out from? Are there any risks you anticipate, and how do you plan to mitigate these? This would also be a good time to share milestones (both achieved and future), as well as a timeline for the use of funds you are raising. Again, keep it clear and visually palatable.

Companies, especially those guided by scientist-entrepreneurs, have a tendency of focusing on the science, leading to pitch decks that are heavily weighted on the technical aspects of the technology and are much too long. Remember, the purpose of your pitch deck is to hook the investor’s interest, and leave them wanting a meeting, where they can learn more.

You won’t get that second meeting unless you’re delivering a clear image of your company and its value to the market. Remember that this isn’t rocket science (you’ve probably already done that), just telling a compelling story to an audience that ultimately wants the same thing as you – a successful partnership.

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.

The Innovation Challenge for Digital RESI September is Accepting Applications!

30 Jul

By Claire Jeong, Vice President of Investor Research, Asia BD, LSN


One of the biggest challenges facing fundraising CEOs working to bridge the gap between potential and partnership is the ability to stand out among a sea of promising tech and connect with the right investors for their work. Life Science Nation (LSN) wants to make the choices clearer for investors, which is why we’ve developed the Innovation Challenge for early-stage companies.  The Innovation Challenge is designed to highlight the best of the best so deserving companies can showcase their work to strategic partners.

The Innovation Challenge for the 3-Day Digital Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference in September is now accepting applications for two weeks only, due August 12!

For fundraising life science companies, participating in the Innovation Challenge is a great way to increase visibility. All participating companies will have a dedicated landing page featuring materials (example screenshot below) that the companies can use to promote and direct traffic, just like they would do at an in-person RESI.

In addition, they will be featured on the Next Phase blog and newsletter, as well as LSN’s social networking platforms. Finalists also are indicated with a special badge within our partnering system indicating their Innovation Challenge Finalist status.

Attendees are also encouraged to vote for their favorite, most innovative companies and the Top 3 Winners who receive the most votes can receive free tickets for up to 3 future RESI Conferences of their choice.

The Innovation Challenge review team has compiled a list of guidelines to help companies with their application process:

What makes a high-score company?

The 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, a high-scoring 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).

Clearly describe your technology.

Like any marketing material, you need to be clear. Be sure 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 state they have no competitors in the space, when most likely, they do. 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 short-range and long-term horizons.

If you do not have certain criteria, such as a strategic alliance or IP, that’s perfectly fine. 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 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 – the team has received hasty, effortless applications that are quickly discarded 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 answering. Remember, as your executive summary should answer all these questions alone, this application is the backbone of the evaluation process and essentially your executive summary.

Send us your marketing material.

If you have marketing material, send it. This includes your slide deck, executive summary, website, videos – any supplemental material that can boost 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.)

Companies can submit their applications for the Digital RESI September Innovation Challenge by August 12 at here. Learn more about Digital RESI September at

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.

Before Buying a Ticket to a Digital Partnering Event — Know You Have a Shot

23 Jul

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

Before buying a ticket to a digital partnering event, make sure your goals are realistic and achievable, and those will differ depending on where you are at in the funding universe. (Click here for a free copy of Life Science Nation (LSN)’s Fundraising Manifesto.) The good news is that LSN is hearing from investors that, after a brief slow-down in the early months of 2020, they are closing deals and allocating funds. The big question many are asking is, “Really? Even without face-to-face meetings?” Investors give a resounding, YES!

LSN is tracking 400+ early-stage companies in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health in a diverse range of indications who have raised between $150K – $33M in various funding stages as a direct result of connections made through the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) partnering conferences. While old-school partnering says in-person yearly meetings are the ticket, RESI disagrees, and the numbers don’t lie.

Partnering is an ongoing conversation from pitch to capital allocation, which can often take between 9-18 months. These deals are made through first establishing the fit and then creating an ongoing dialogue that turns into a relationship. This means that it is essential to communicate and meet often via whichever platform is available, which in 2020, is online. Before committing to buying a ticket to a partnering event, it’s important to understand your chances of success, as well as what success looks like for your company, and which investors are truly qualified.

LSN gives early-stage companies a helping hand by having one-on-one interviews regularly with its global investor network to ensure every investor is vetted, as well as runs conferences and an accelerator program, manages databases, and offers a trove of free resources (Next Phase Newsletter, Bootcamps, etc.). LSN has everything an early-stage company needs to get in the game and play to win. Next week’s Digital RESI July dedicated partnering event is one of those resources we hope fundraising CEOs will take advantage of and will join our growing list of innovative companies funded through RESI. Find out more and register for next week’s 2-day dedicated partnering event at

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