Archive | Redefining Early Stage Investments RSS feed for this section

Digital RESI June 2020: Innovation Challenge Finalists Announced!

21 May

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

claireOur 3-day Digital RESI June Conference is coming up in less than 3 weeks, and we are very excited to announce our Innovation Challenge finalists. With a diverse representation across therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health, these companies were selected on the basis of innovative technology, strong management team, clear pathway to commercialization, and other positive factors that demonstrated high growth potential.

This will be our second time organizing a “digital” Innovation Challenge, and each company will have a dedicated webpage as part of our virtual conference agenda. These pages will feature a virtual poster and any non-confidential materials they would like to share with the conference attendees. Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite technologies during the 3-day span, and the Top 3 winners will be announced at the end of the conference and featured on our weekly LSN newsletter of 36,000 subscribers on Thursday.

We would like to thank all applicants for their interest in the upcoming RESI and our Innovation Challenge. Congratulations to the selected finalists – please see their clickable logos below!

Therapeutics

Medical Devices

Diagnostics

Digital Health

Get Ready for Successful Partnering Meetings

21 May

By Gregory Mannix, Chief Conference Officer, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

Partnering for Digital RESI June is up and running, and you have your company and personal profiles refined, updated and uploaded to the platform. You are diligently identifying the investors who are the best fit for your technology and stage of development and have begun to request a lot of meetings with the 400 investors and strategic partners who will be participating. You will soon start to get the first confirmations of meetings and you will be following up and sending out new requests over the next 3 weeks to get as many meetings booked as possible for June 8th-10th.

Now you need to start preparing for those important meetings.  Begin to prepare your meetings early to be as ready as possible when RESI begins. Your goal is to make enough of an impression in that 30-minute meeting on each of your potential investors that you get a commitment to have a next meeting. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of those crucial 30 minutes:

1. Research the Investor Firm

Try to understand the investment firm with whom you are meeting. Typically, there is a lot of information on the firm’s website about their mission and philosophy, as well as their portfolio of companies in which they have invested. This information is key to understanding how your company might fit in. Take notes of the reasons you see a potential to work together that you can bring up during the meeting.

2. Research the person you are meeting with

You will know in advance who you are meeting with from each of the investor firms. Be sure to learn all you can about the person you will be meeting with. One important thing to discover is the background and experience of your meeting counterpart. If you see that they happen to have a deep background in your particular area of technology, you might focus your pitch differently than if they have a background in finance and business.

3. Prepare your elevator pitch

For a 30-minute meeting, it is crucial to get the investor’s attention and interest in a concise, clear pitch that highlights all of the key elements of your company, without going into deep and lengthy technical descriptions that will eat up your time. Focus on what is important and differentiates your technology or team. Let the conversation flow naturally. Engaging the investor in a discussion rather than running through your slides will often help retain investor interest.

4. Have back-up slides on hand

That doesn’t mean you are not prepared to go into more detail if you are asked a specific question. Have your slides prepared that you can easily access in case you need to explain your asset’s mechanism of action in more detail or your data achieved to date that you may have summarized in your initial pitch. You can never have too many backup slides to address questions that might come up during your meeting.

5. Bring a second attendee to meetings

You will be very focused on making your pitch and answering any questions that come up, so you likely will not be taking notes during the meeting. If you are having back-to-back meetings, it will be extremely challenging to remember all of the comments and questions from investors during each of your meetings, but that information is really important for your follow up. Having a colleague on hand to take good notes at the meetings is a really good way to be sure you don’t miss anything.

6. Prepare a binder with your notes for each meeting

You will hopefully be needing your laptop for multiple meetings during RESI, some of them back-to-back, so I highly recommend having a paper back-up of your pre-meeting notes on each of your meetings that you can quickly reference between meetings. A binder with your pre-prepared notes and space to take notes during the meeting will be very useful.

7. Have questions prepared in advance

Most of your meeting with a new potential investor will be about presenting your company and yourself, and answering questions from your investor counterpart, but you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to ask questions that you may have from your pre-meeting research. Questions can be about what role the investor will play in your company if they decide to make an investment—such as, do they take a seat on the Board—or if they typically want to be the lead investor or part of a syndicate. Another thing that is always good to know is how any investor can add value to your company if they invest in you; what experience, expertise or connections do they have in your field that can help you in the future?

Best of luck to you all at Digital RESI June. It is such an exciting opportunity for you to make meaningful connections that will drive your success.

Digital RESI June Welcomes BioHealth Capital Region as a Gold Sponsor

21 May

By Bryanna Allison, Business Development Manager, LSN

The action item today is keeping up your business momentum in these challenging days. LSN has seen a distinct uptick in global regional-based tech hubs taking advantage of Digital RESI to expand into the new digital paradigm of global partnering conferences. The main strategy is to get the early stage companies back in the mix and secondly, to showcase the technology assets that are teeming in these dynamic regional hubs. The BioHealth Capital Region is a perfect example of deciding to take advantage of RESI and to expand their global reach.

The BioHealth Capital Region is uniquely positioned to help address Covid-19 with its biocluster serving as home to NIH and its 27 research institutes and 6,000 scientists, the FDA with its accelerated approval process, NIAID, BARDA and Dr. Anthony Fauci, all on the front line every day. In addition, many of the region’s industry leaders are developing innovative therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostic tools to fight the virus, including Emergent BioSolutions, Novavax, GSK, AstraZeneca, Qiagen and more than 30 more BioHealth companies of all sizes.

BioHealth Innovation, a Gold sponsor for this RESI Conference, has been busy assisting companies and entrepreneurs with their applications for the numerous Covid-19 grant opportunities, and working with international companies desiring to enter the U.S. market through the BioHealth Capital Region. We also are in the process of raising a $50 million BioHealth Capital Venture Fund to address the early stage funding gap in our ecosystem.

BioHealth Innovation, in cooperation with RESI, will be sponsoring 5 informative panels during Digital RESI June, with additional details will follow. We welcome all to join these sessions to hear from knowledgeable BioHealth experts, investors and entrepreneurs regarding best practices and information they can use to grow their businesses.

LSN and WIB Feature Companies Led by Women Founders at Digital RESI June

14 May

By Erich White, Business Development Manager, West Coast, LSN

Lisa Iadicicco
Executive Director of Women In Bio

Sibylle Hauser
MAPS Vice Chair, Founders Forum of Women In Bio

Erich White
BD Manager of LSN

Women in Bio is a sponsor of our upcoming Digital RESI June event, and I spoke with Lisa Iadicicco, Executive Director, Women In Bio and Sibylle Hauser, MAPS Vice Chair, Founders Forum of Women In Bio to learn more about their organization, their mission and why they chose to partner with LSN and RESI.

Erich White: How did the Women Founders Forum and Entrepreneur Center start?

Sibylle Hauser: The Women Founders Forum started out in San Diego, but now we have women entrepreneurs all over the United States attached to it. We will start more of these peer groups in other chapters now, as well. Lisa, together with the executive team, had the idea to grow the center, and I came from the bottom up with growing the Founders Forum into a national Entrepreneur Center. The primary goal for the Entrepreneur Center will evolve, but right now the Center offers resources, education, corporate leadership programs, and entrepreneur programs. The goal is to have three pillars. First, give women all the resources they need. Second, provide them with a roster of advisors. Third, provide them with pathways to access capital and financing. We want to prepare our women founders to really have a compelling pitch and give them an opportunity to showcase their technologies and present to as many investors as possible.

Erich White: Are you planning to use the Partnering Platform at Digital RESI to find partners for the Entrepreneur Center?

Sibylle Hauser: We are cautious not to take time away from the women entrepreneurs. Some of the investors have very limited time. Last month, during the Digital RESI 2-Day Partnering Event, I requested to meet with investors but decided to put the discussion aside to after the event. In fact, one of the outcomes form last month’s digital event was that we connected with three VCs wanting to hear more about WIB’s Entrepreneur Center, for which we have scheduled a follow-up conversation this week.

Lisa Iadicicco: We have a pretty targeted group of attendees at RESI that we want to meet with and we want to meet with anyone committed to enhancing the awareness of Women In Bio.

Erich White: Why did you decide to partner with LSN and RESI to sponsor your pitch session?

Sibylle Hauser: WIB has done a pitch session at events before and on a chapter level, as Lisa already mentioned. The Boston Chapter and Washington, D.C. chapters have pitching events there, but we wanted to do something on a national level. We also wanted this to be in an environment where there are many investors and big exposure. RESI is a great conference and platform to do that. I am really excited about doing the session with RESI. Through our outreach for this partnership, we even unearthed women entrepreneurs we never met before, so we were able increase our Women Founders Forum.

Lisa Iadicicco: Sibylle actually introduced us to RESI. We have done this as a chapter only effort in the past. Chicago is another chapter that consistently has a pitch or startup competition. But we want to create an event that we can speak to a national audience and RESI and LSN offered a platform for us to do just that.

Erich White: What part of RESI did you like the most so far?

Sibylle Hauser: We had the chance to witness the Featured Company Pitch Session during RESI San Francisco this past January. I really liked the value of the feedback. A lot of these women entrepreneurs don’t get feedback on their approach or pitch from an investor’s point of view. So, the pitch session is helping them hone in more and target their pitch to investors.

Lisa Iadicicco: That was the thing, to hear that feedback. I’ve been on panels and several pitch competitions here in the Pittsburgh area and the feedback is really critical. You don’t usually get this like you do at RESI. We want everyone to walk away from this experience having learned something, even if they are not one of the five finalists to pitch.

Sibylle Hauser: One other point about RESI that made a difference for the companies that participated in the April 2-Day Partnering event. Five of twenty-eight WIB member companies had never pitched to an institutional investor before. They are very good at getting grants from the NIH. But this was their first time getting in front of an institutional investor. It was a totally new audience for them. Obviously, it was a learning curve for them, but it was a really good opportunity for them to start relationships with some of these investors. Some of these companies may be early but, nevertheless, it is never too early to start relationships with a potential top target investor.

Erich White: Anything else you would like to say about RESI?

Sibylle Hauser: What I really liked was that LSN helped me push these women entrepreneurs to the limit. They were, in parallel, in NIH grant submissions last month. But LSN gave them a unique opportunity and a really great methodology for booking meetings with investors. LSN gave each company a list of targeted investors that were a fit for the companies and their assets as well as an introductory message template for requesting a meetings, suggestions for follow-up messages, a tear sheet template, and recommendations for their messaging and branding. And, if the company adhered to it, they would really have great success. The highest challenge was actually the pre-recorded pitch for the Featured Company Forum. But, in my view, this is the future. I work with some San Francisco investors and we now only do evaluations with pre-recorded video pitches.

Women In Bio

Women In Bio is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences.

We aim to help women achieve the highest levels of leadership, influence and decision-making that they desire. Our primary focus is to provide women-to-women mentorship and leadership support through all stages of career development

  • from bench to boardroom
  • from academia to industry
  • from first job to last
  • from idea to entrepreneur

Our members reflect the increasing spread of the life sciences. We belong to biotech and pharma companies, universities and institutes, law and accounting firms, marketing and PR firms, CROs and CMOs. Many of our members are entrepreneurs, and a focus on entrepreneurship has remained core to the mission of WIB since its foundation in 2002.

PARTNERING OPENS THIS MONDAY – Get an early start booking your meetings!

14 May

By Gregory Mannix, Chief Conference Officer, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

Partnering for Digital RESI June is about to open, and after 29 successful RESI partnering events, we can see what strategies lead companies to successfully book many productive meetings using the RESI Partnering Platform. Follow these tips and you will see the results:

 

  1. Start Early: Be sure to register before partnering opens to get on the platform from the beginning.
  2. Company Profile: create a compelling profile for both your company and yourself
  3. Choose Your Meetings: us the Partnering Platform to filter for the investors and strategics who are a fit for your technology and stage of development.
  4. Meeting Request Message: put a lot of thought into developing a concise but compelling message to request meetings.
  5. Request Many Meetings: request meetings with all of the investors/strategics who you think might be a fit for you. The 72-hour non-stop partnering format at Digital RESI June allows all attendees to book more meetings than ever before at a RESI conference!
  6. Follow Up: don’t forget to send follow-up messages to the people you are hoping to meet with until you hear back. Craft several messages with additional information about your company you can use to follow up.

Check out these partnering success stories:

If you haven’t registered yet, you can REGISTER HERE

Confirmed investors for Digital RESI June:

 

Early Stage Life Science Investors and Companies Pivot to Digital

7 May

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

Over the past 8 years, LSN has created a global early stage funding superstructure that has helped over 500 companies raise over $500M. Not a week goes by that a startup CEO doesn’t reach out to thank us for putting this partnering ecosystem together – it may not be perfect, but it works!  RESI is a great tool for those who are not connected to the “gods of Mt. Olympus” who can make “that” magical phone call to wire you into a top highfalutin VC in your space.

Over the years, RESI has coalesced a group of 2000+ early stage global investors, of which 400-600 attend 3 or more RESI events a year. These investors make an effort to attend RESI as regular part of their sourcing and vetting process, and as a reliable source of quality deal flow. For these investors, if they are a fit and you didn’t have a chance to speak with them at one RESI, they will be back. Or, if you are too early for them, meet at a future RESI once you’ve hit that next milestone, maintaining your relationship.

With the recent paradigm shift to all-digital conferences, there is an opportunity for companies to meet not only with investors who regularly attend RESI, but also a new group of investors that are taking advantage of the convenience of virtual partnering. Here are some metrics: at the first Digital March RESI event there were over 250 investors registered and at the second Digital RESI in April we had over 300 investors. Drum roll please, the up and coming three day RESI June event, already has in excess of 300 investors (expecting 400+) and of that 300, a whopping 125 new investors are signed up to Digital RESI June. This translates to more opportunity and proves that Digital RESI is working and investors are eager to continue sourcing new deal flow, despite the current restrictions.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to advance your fundraising efforts – remember that fundraising is a numbers game, and that you need to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way!

Reglagene Nails RESI Partnering with 25 Investor Meetings

7 May

Richard Austin

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Karen Deyo

At LSN, we always like to hear success stories and how they came about. I spoke to Richard Austin, CEO of Reglagene to hear about his success at our Digital RESI 2-day partnering event last week, and what he did to bring it about.

Karen Deyo (KD): I hear you had a very successful partnering event last week. How many meetings did you get?

Richard Austin (RA): Between the meetings through the partnering platform and those set up outside the event, we had 25 investor partnering meetings!

KD: Congratulations! What do you think contributed to your success?

RA: A large part of it was the work we did with LSN as part of their Focus on Cures, the immersion program for fundraising CEOs. LSN had to cancel their planned May class but provided me a modified version in which I interacted with Dennis Ford, LSN CEO, Erich White, LSN BD Manager, and I even had a chat with Bill Kohlbrenner, LSN CSO, all providing insights and pointers to improve our marketing materials. It began with our tagline. Cancer Medicines Reversing Drug Resistance turned into Epigenetic Medicines Regulating Cancer Genes. Previously, it wasn’t very effective, or memorable. Dennis and I went back and forth – we must have had about 20 versions before we reached the final tagline. When the right tagline surfaced it was very obvious and I immediately noticed the effect. The new tagline caught the attention of investors, increasing the number of responses we got. The LSN team knows the market and they know what is hot and what will resonate with prospective partners.

KD: What was the rest of your outreach process?

RA: In addition to the work on materials such as our pitch deck and executive summary, we created a compelling intro email based on our new messaging and then created 3 different follow up messages, each with different information. The first message was a well thought out, brief company intro that netted out Reglagene’s distinct value. The second, was a well-crafted, easy to understand, couple of paragraphs about Reglagene’s technology. The third was a message highlighting our CSO, who was responsible for over 20 years of research which led to our technology, and a final message with our one page tear sheet. I signed up for the partnering event only a week before, so my partnering was done in a condensed timeline. I reached out to my targets, and sent a follow up message every couple of days leading up to the event. After each follow up, I would receive more responses, either accepting or declining the meeting request, or scheduling a meeting after the event ended. Additionally, as a subscriber to the LSN Investor Platform, I reached out to each of my targets through their personal email, attaching my pitch deck and executive summary. This combination was a real game changer in terms of meeting requests. The quality of the investor participants was greatly upgraded and these investors are showing interest in next steps, NDAs and follow-on meetings.

KD: How was the response from investors different from what you have seen in previous events?

RA: To my surprise, using the new branding and messaging materials, we started ramping up meetings immediately. It just felt like we had new momentum and wound up with 25 meetings after reaching out to 50 targets that had been preselected by me and the team. LSN taught me that a rifle shot approach to known investor fits will give you a 50% response rate, which was much higher than my traditional shot gun approach, going after general targets.

My previous record for a RESI conference was 10 meetings in one event, and our average was 6 over the 8 RESIs we have previously attended. I was feeling very frustrated that I was trying my best but I didn’t feel like I was optimizing my efforts. After several conversations with the team they really bolstered my confidence, reinforcing to me that I had a great company and product and just needed some tweaking. They were right!

KD: And how did the meetings go for you?

RA: My first couple of meetings, I felt I could have done better. After a brief conversation introducing ourselves, I turned to our pitch deck and used that to guide the rest of the discussion. After another conversation with Dennis, I changed my approach to my meetings. Instead of immediately pulling up my pitch deck, I was advised to keep up the conversation with the investors, and concentrate on the dialogue and trying to get the relationship started, only referring to the pitch deck if I wanted to show specific data. The response was great, and the investors seemed a lot more engaged. This made me feel better and more confident and so the cycle started to repeat with each meeting. I just needed some minor coaching and things really started to change.

KD: One final question: what advice would you give to other CEOs?

RA: One big thing I would say: don’t assume you know how to do this and check your ego at the door. When working on my messaging, I realized that I knew what to say, but not HOW to say it. I would strongly advise companies to get an external third party source like LSN that can help with that. The benefit with working with the LSN team is the mix of technical and sales/BD people. Working with people without a technical background helped in making the message more universal for investors of all backgrounds. I did not feel I had to dumb it down or make it simple, but get the words and phrasing correct so that I could net out my core value and differentiation quickly. For me, the key was getting myself comfortable with the new flow and focusing on what makes the technology unique without burying it in scientific jargon and going into deep technology dives on the first meeting. Additionally, working with Dennis and his team was extremely useful on two levels: first, learning how to hone and net out my pitch as a sales/marketing pitch (in a good way) and develop those sales 101 skills that help make a fundraise successful; get a target list, triage that list, go after that list and follow-up, follow up, follow-up. I needed to learn follow-up! Last but not least, is learning these skills from a team that knows the state of the current market – investors – and what they specifically are looking for to shape our message to them. Finding the right advisors who can help you with your immediate needs, in the present, just really clicks and proves out immediately. LSN’s Focus on Cures immersion class will have made a big difference to my success going forward.

KD: Thanks for sharing all of this, and good luck!

Reglagene

Reglagene deciphers gene-based mechanisms of disease to deliver breakthrough epigenetic medicines that manage gene expression, the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a target protein. Gene abnormalities often result in the manufacture of too little or too much protein causing a myriad of life-threatening diseases, such as cancer.  Reglagene’s medicines target the protein production problem at its source, the gene, and gets it back to functioning properly.

%d bloggers like this: