Healthcare IT Investors Share Their Strategies at RESI on MaRS

16 Mar

By Cole Bunn, Senior Research Analyst, LSN


Healthcare IT entrepreneurs, as opposed to biotech/medtech entrepreneurs, enjoy some favorable realities when it comes to successfully launching and sustaining a new venture. However, even though software and healthcare IT companies require far less capital than a biopharmaceutical product or medical device to get up and running, investors tend to place an emphasis on market penetration and traction, often the rate limiting step for these startups. A key to overcoming this hurdle is healthy ecosystem with innovative institutions willing to put programs in place to help new digital health technologies enter the marketplace and refine their product.

Canada is embracing digital health and the impact it can have on the public, patients and the healthcare system at large. Toronto, as the epicenter of Canadian healthcare and innovation, is naturally working to catalyze venture creation in healthcare IT and will host the RESI conference and a panel of venture investors active in the space.

The session will feature the following investors:

By registering for RESI on MaRS, you’ll be able to listen to the Healthcare IT panel live, interact with the investors and experience numerous opportunities to expand your network.

Hot Investor Mandate 1: Cross-Border Fund Invests in Highly Innovative Early Stage Medtech, Diagnostics and Healthcare IT

16 Mar

A VC firm with offices in California, Beijing, and Hong Kong manages over 100 portfolio companies in the US and China. The firm generally invests in the early stages, mostly in seed and Series A rounds. The firm focuses its investments in U.S. and China, but also considers companies based in Canada.

In the life sciences sector, the firm will consider medical technology, diagnostic, and healthcare IT companies. The firm is open to all types of medical technology in all types of indications, and will look at both 510k and PMA medical devices in development or clinical trials. Previously, the firm has also invested in the synthetic engineering space.

The firm is looking for early-stage companies with a highly innovative product. The management team of potential portfolio companies is expected to be committed to the company full-time and will have a track of strong, successful entrepreneurship. The firm does not require a board seat in its portfolio companies.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Investor Mandate 2: Seed Investment Firm Raises New Fund, Seeks Healthcare IT Opportunities

16 Mar

An early-stage seed fund based in Palo Alto, CA focuses on seed stage and sometimes Series A. Typical equity allocations range from $500 – 750 K per company. The firm is open to both leading and co-investing. The firm has been investing from a $50M fund and is currently raising a new fund, from which it expects to make new investments. The firm is seeking opportunities from across the US with a focus on the Bay Area.

The firm invests across multiple industries including healthcare IT. The firm prefers products that do not require FDA approval. Within healthcare IT, the firm considers both consumer-facing and enterprise solutions that demonstrate customer traction and large market potential.

The firm can work with incomplete management teams and would require a board seat on a case-by-case basis. The firm has funded companies in which the founders were either current students or recent graduates from top US universities

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Investor Mandate 3: China-based Firm Invests in Preclinical Drugs in Oncology and Chronic Diseases

16 Mar

The biotech and healthcare subsidiary company of a large real estate corporation in China is interested in biotech technology, products and services with large potential in the Chinese market. The firm aims to launch them in China through partnership, investment and cooperation. Typical equity investments range from US$0.7-1.5 million (RMB 5-10 million), up to 3.5 million in later stage companies. The firm prefers to co-invest in a round with a strong, reputable lead. The firm considers opportunities from around the world with a focus on China, the US, and Australia.

The firm is interested in preclinical therapeutic projects in oncology, chronic diseases such as diabetes, and other disease indications with large market potential. The firm is open to all therapeutic modalities.

The firm is looking for experienced teams backed by strong lead investors. The firm may request board representation on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Investor Mandate 4: New Subsidiary of Investment Firm Seeks Technology-Driven Medical Devices

16 Mar

A Chinese investment company has founded a new U.S. based subsidiary, which typically makes seed investments of US$50k-250k in technology companies. The firm is currently focused on companies based in the Cambridge, MA area, but it is also open to opportunities from across the US. The firm would prefer companies with a China angle although they are open to investing in companies with a U.S. focus.

Within healthcare, the firm is currently interested in technology-driven medical devices, robotics, and artificial intelligence. The firm is not interested in software-only products.

The firm is looking for founders with strong academic credentials and sector expertise.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

30 Leading Life Science Startups Compete in Innovation Challenge at The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference at MaRS

9 Mar

By Michael Quigley, VP of Market Research, LSN


As RESI gears up for its second landing on MaRs in Toronto this April 4th we are proud to announce our latest batch of life science/health tech companies that will be participating in the RESI Innovation Challenge.

30 companies from across North America, hand selected by LSN’s scientific and commercial review team, will compete directly on merits of innovation and commercial viability.  Past RESI events have seen as many as 50% of innovation challenge contestants go on to receive funding or significant partnerships within a year from the competition.

From companies helping to detect oncoming seizures to those developing cost effective ways of growing blood stem cells, this diverse class of competitors is sure to impress. Come check them our yourself in the Exhibition Hall at RESI on MaRs on April 4th!

Medical Device
Healthcare IT

“Third Coast” Contenders: Rising Life Science Hubs in Houston and Seattle

9 Mar

By James Huang, Research Analyst, LSN

Claire Jeong, Research Analyst, LSN


Last week, LSN looked into the emerging life science hubs in Toronto and NYC to assess where the “Third Coast” of life sciences might emerge.  This week, we’ll take a look at two more cities that are looking to become beacons for the life science industry: Houston and Seattle.

The emergence of Texas Medical Center’s innovation programs has put Houston on the life science map.  In 2015, JLABS @ TMC opened to provide wet lab space for young biotech companies.  In Seattle, Juno Therapeutics has recently put the city back into the spotlight.  Both cities are home to major research centers, and are looking to convert their scientific acumen into further commercial progress.  Here’s how they stack up.

Houston Seattle
Research institutions Texas Medical Center comprises over 40 institutions, including major research centers such as MD Anderson, Baylor, Texas Children’s, and Rice University Major institutions include the University of Washington (UW), Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, Allen Institute for Brain Science, and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.
Pharma presence Johnson & Johnson have opened JLABS @ TMC. Alcon, Lonza, Mylan, Bayer and Novartis also have facilities in Houston. Pharma companies with Seattle operations include Celgene,  Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk and Gilead Sciences. Juno Therapeutics is based in Seattle.
Local investors The LSN Investor Platform tracks 52 life science investors based in Texas. The LSN Investor Platform tracks 18 life science investors based in Washington State.
Government support CPRIT (Cancer Prevention and Research Initiative of Texas) provides $3 billion in funding From 2005-2015, the Life Sciences Discovery Fund provided support to biotech startups. This continued into 2017 as a competitive grant program.
Startup companies The LSN Company Platform tracks 69 biotech and 123 medtech startups in Texas. The LSN Company Platform tracks 61 biotech and 35 medtech startups in Washington State.

Both cities have the potential to become biotech hubs.  Seattle has recently been challenged by a pullback in state support for the Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund, and a loss of jobs due to Amgen pulling out of the city.  (Amgen had previously purchased Seattle’s leading biotech company, Immunex).  However with a rising star in Juno Therapeutics, the city has the potential to rebuild its status in the life sciences.  Additionally, the city’s tech expertise could lead to success in the booming Healthcare IT market.

Houston is eager to diversify its economy, and its local oil and gas wealth provide a source of capital to deploy into the life science industry.  With JLABS @ TMC, the TMCx accelerator, and AT&T’s Foundry, there are now many facilities for young healthcare companies to use while they develop their ideas.  Texas Medical Center is a major local employer and has become a source of skilled staff for new companies.  That said, the city has little previous experience as a biotech hub; any major company emerging from Houston would be the city’s first.

We’ll be keeping an eye on these two cities as they continue to build out their hubs.  Which do you think is most likely to make it as the “Third Coast”?