Tag Archives: networking

Use RESI Innovation Challenge As Part of Your Global Marketing Plan

25 Jun

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

Market Your Life Science Startup to Investors

life science nation marketing

A fundraising campaign starts with presenting yourself and your technology to potential channel partners and investors who are a fit for your product and stage of development. As part of the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference, attendees can apply to the RESI Innovation Challenge which, if you are selected to participate, can greatly increase exposure for your company before, during and after the day of the conference. The partners and investors who frequent RESI know that the companies selected, routinely showcase compelling technology. Attending RESI and participating in the RESI Innovation Challenge are only one part of fundraising for CEOs and scientist-entrepreneurs. Here is Life Science Nation’s step-by-step process for a successful fundraising campaign and how and why RESI plays an important role.

 

Step 1: You need a list of investors and contacts

To raise capital, an early-stage CEO needs to create a Global Target List of potential investors. There are around 400-500 relevant global early-stage investors on a typical Global Target List, spanning 10 categories of investors in early-stage Biotech, Medtech, Diagnostics, and Digital Health. This list should be sourced from a curated platform to ensure the most up-to-date information. With a vetted list of qualified investors who are a fit, the fundraising executive can be more efficient in their outreach. This will lead to a higher response rate from your phone and email campaigns and thus result in a higher number of meetings booked to initiate dialogue with your partnering targets.

Step 2: Hire the right people

A fundraising campaign is something your company can execute internally with the right staff: phoning and emailing investors, setting up meetings, and organizing the campaign follow-up takes an enthusiastic personality. While many CEOs might be tempted to look for an outside service provider to manage the fundraising campaign, my recommendation is to do it internally. Personal outreach and clear messaging are equally important when reaching out to potential investors. At the end of the day, fundraising is a numbers game and having the right staff canvassing your Global Target List and initiating dialogue causes relationships to take root. However, initiating the conversation is never enough – the follow-ups, second and third meetings are when you’re generating real interest. This requires dedicated effort to ensure proper follow-through.

Step 3: Join opportunities to network

Face-to-face meetings are best for promoting relationships – that’s why we’ve created the RESI Conference. If you come to our next RESI, you may find 20-30% of your targeted investment firms are attending to find the earliest and hottest innovators within the healthcare industry. We offer one-on-one partnering all day for all global attendees at our Partnering Forum. By taking full advantage of our Partnering Platform, you have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with up to 16 of these investors, supplemented by ad hoc meetings, especially if you are a participant in the RESI Innovation Challenge.

 

the life science executive's fundraising manifesto by dennis ford

Want to learn more about fundraising?

If you read my free book The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto, you will see that I am a big proponent of getting a complete Global Target List and then working the whole list. Establish a dialogue, go to RESI or other events and meet them–you must network. Follow up regularly by emailing all the targets with news on your company and how it is reaching milestones and getting compelling data: investor updates are key to your success and their vested interest in your company.

If you market to this list in an adroit and cogent way you will get on the investors’ radar screen. It’s a numbers game, and when you market to your Global Target List consistently you never know who will surface and what opportunities may arise. If you are just sending out material to investors who are attending an event, why not send out to all who are a potential fit for you? It only takes one interested investor to move a deal along.

It’s hard for fundraising CEOs to avoid cutting corners to save a few thousand dollars on campaign costs, but this can lead to a lot of missed opportunities. Putting your company out there as much as possible by investing in a high-quality marketing package and web presence, hiring staff who can conduct a campaign, and traveling to major investment events will maximize your odds of getting funded.

In addition, being selected as a participant in the RESI innovation Challenge has a compelling track record of helping companies get funded. The deadline to sign up for the RESI Innovation Challenge is soon! Click here to sign up.

Additional resources LSN has created for fundraising CEOs:

[Article] When Raising Capital, CEOs Should Understand the LSN Value Proposition

[Video] “The 10 Myths of Fundraising” Presentation at Freemind Group’s Non-Dilutive Funding Summit

[Article] Life Science Nation Ecosystem – A Matching Platform for Buyers and Sellers

[Book Chapter] LSN Summer Reading Series Chapter 9: “Global Target List—Match Your Firm with Investors That Are a Fit”

[Article] 10 Steps to a Life Science Fundraising Campaign

Partnering: Transitioning Conferences from Information-Centric to Relationship-Centric

14 Dec

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

Life Science Nation’s Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference is a partnering event that requires high touch on both the buy side (investors and pharma) and sell side (startup) constituents. To do partnering correctly takes a high human resource allocation; it is expensive to fund, and requires deep curation of a clientele database for each conference iteration. LSN has discovered that our database curation begets savvy list management, which in turn allows us to target constituents and provide them with customer support and training to use the partnering system efficiently. In today’s life science domain, conferences still lead as a place to make new business connections in addition to accessing the latest information on the advances in drugs, devices, diagnostics, and healthcare IT.

Informational-based life science conferences have worked for decades to successfully “break the profitability code”. Breaking the code means finding the precise point between internal resource output and maximum revenue gain, and balancing on it. The irony here is that if the conferences wish to be part of the industry’s new trend of relationship-based conferences with a strong partnering component, they will have to modify their view on resource allocation for partnering at their events. This may seem like a small issue that simply requires dedicating more resources to partnering, which causes a hit to the bottom line. However, it is actually a huge core issue that exposes an inherent dichotomy that must be traversed, or we will see a upheaval in the traditional conference market.

A lot of the information-based, super technical, scientific conferences that cater to academia and very early stage discoveries have found themselves in the crosshairs of big pharma and other large partners who are moving upstream to find technology that isn’t already identified and partnered up. This is another reason why these early stage scientific conferences are now in need of a partnering component, which will require higher capital spend and higher human resources to implement. This epiphany will go against the basic grain of the business philosophy of most of the conference providers. I will posit that if they don’t get partnering right, they will become vulnerable as there is a distinct and growing need from both buyers and sellers to build business connections at these conferences. The question is, can the conference providers change the lens on how they value their conferences?

The conference folks I talk to seem unconvinced that you really need a partnering effort that goes beyond a basic software application and a dedicated space at their venues. Indeed, it seems as if they are still trying to talk themselves into supporting partnering at all! Is this a fatal flaw?

Based on the 5 years of experience that I have garnered in the partnering conference marketplace, I will provide some of my insights. Great partnering is very hard to get right, it’s resource intensive and it is “high touch”. You do successful partnering by creating a consistent dialogue with your constituents. This entails focused marketing via newsletters promos, emails and phone canvassing. You need dedicated staff who reach out (yes, talk with!) and understand both the buy-side and sell-side needs of the clients. The staff’s job is to talk to the clients and understand their needs and keep a record of what the client needs, what technology they are interested in and who they are seeking to meet. If you initiate this compelling dialogue, it soon turns into a relationship, and having a direct relationship with your clients is the holy grail.

I also question whether the conference providers want great partnering or “me too” partnering? LSN’s style of interactive dialogue and relationship building through business development is very different than that of info-based conference organizations. LSN’s thesis is that we are NOT a conference company; we are a buyer seller matching platform with a conference, and that’s what gives RESI’s partnering platform its incredible power to forge new connections.

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