Tag Archives: partnering

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

Big Pharmas Explain Partnering Strategy At RESI On June 4th

17 May

By Lucy Parkinson, VP of Investor Research, LSN

In recent years, big pharma companies have begun looking outwards for innovative new therapeutics to add to their pipelines.  RESI has become a venue for these major players to make connections with early stage biotech companies, and RESI includes a panel on Big Pharma to provide entrepreneurs with an opportunity to learn directly from experienced pharma scouts on how to find the right partner and get a deal made.

This panel will feature five speakers from various big pharma companies discussing topics such as:

  •     How does big pharma source these assets?
  •     How does the evaluation and investment process work?
  •     How can a startup position themselves to make a deal?
  •     What are some key factors that big pharma companies look for?
  •     How early stage is big pharma willing to look?

These panelists will shed some light on the process that big pharma goes through when sourcing early stage assets and advise startups on how they can best make a case for themselves. Panelists will also explore various trends within the therapeutics marketplace, what assets are of interest to their company, and what they think will be big in the future.

The panelists are:

  • Aaron Schwartz, Director, R&D Innovation Sourcing, Novo Nordisk
  • Brian Bronk, Head of External Innovation, Rare Diseases, Sanofi
  • Murali Gopalakrishnan, Sr. Director, Head Search & Evaluation Neuroscience, AbbVie
  • Nicola La Monica, Senior Director, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines Scientific Innovation, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston
  • Yvonne Kobayashi, Sr Director, Emerging Technology & Innovation, Eli Lilly & Co

Hot Investor Mandate 2: Company Acquired by Chinese Pharma Seeks Early to Mid-Stage Therapeutics Partnering Opportunities, Capable of Investing Up to $100M

17 May

A spin-out pharmaceutical company recently acquired by a Chinese pharmaceutical company is seeking early to mid-stage technology for equity, in-licensing, and acquisition opportunities, and typically invests $10M to $100M per project depending on the opportunity. In the past several years, the company also acquired two USA companies at $200-300M range. The company is seeking opportunities on a global level.

The firm is interested in early to mid-stage therapeutics in inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. The firm seeks preclinical to clinical stage pharmaceuticals with particular interest in large molecule biologics including naturally derived molecules and fermentation based products.

The firm is open to talking with companies, including virtual organizations.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com.

RESI Partnering Is Live: Book One-on-One Meetings For June 4th Now

10 May

By Lucy Parkinson, VP of Investor Research, LSN

On Monday June 4th, RESI will kick off Boston’s life science week with a full day of focused one-on-one partnering meetings, as well as panel and workshop content that covers the full nuances of early stage fundraising. With less than a month to go, RESI Partnering is now live, and it’s time to get your meeting requests out to these investors – and more. You can register online now

Confirmed Investors and Strategic Partners

As of May 7


15 Mar

By Gregory Mannix, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

Life Science Nation’s Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference series is a great opportunity to network and make connections with key players that can help move your company to the next phase. The RESI conference series, because of its unique focus and format, is by far the best opportunity for early-stage companies to meet and partner with investors and strategics. But, like everything else in life, it is competitive and it is challenging.

I have worked with many sell-side RESI attendees. Some are consistently very successful getting many good investor meetings at each and every RESI conference they attend, while others struggle to get any meetings at all.

So what is the key to success?

Clearly, your degree of success is directly proportionate to the effort you put into it. There are 4 key elements to successful partnering:

  1. Create a compelling and complete profile for your company and yourself on the Partnering Platform
  2. Spend time on developing an outbound meeting request message
  3. Request as many meetings as possible
  4. Follow up frequently

Yes, this is a big task and a lot of work over the weeks leading up to a conference, but the effort you put into partnering will determine the outcome. Let’s have a look at each key element of your partnering strategy.


a. Start with brief overview, similar to your “elevator pitch”, that simply introduces your company and describes what you do and what makes you special.

b. Complete all of the sections in the profile with concise information that investors can easily navigate. The sections to complete are:

  1. Technology Overview
  2. Alliances and Collaborations
  3. Supporting Metrics or Evidence
  4. Current Financing Needs
  5. Current Investors
  6. Current Timeline
  7. IP Status
  8. Management Team Highlights
  9. Recent milestones
  10. Personal profiles of attendees at RESI

c. Upload your logo, your website and any supporting materials for investors to review, like an investor deck and Executive Summary


Make your message compelling as this is what the investor is going to see before deciding whether to look at your profile in more depth. Include the key points, without making it so long that you lose the interest of the reader. The key elements should include the following:
1. Introduce yourself, your title, and the name of your company. Although obvious, you might be surprised by how many people don’t do this.

2. Introduce Your Company. Give a brief overview of your company so that an investor can determine from the first sentence whether you are a fit for their investment mandate. Here are five key data points that are likely to affect investor fit:

a. Where your company is based
b. What sector your company is in (biotech, medtech, diagnostics, healthcare IT, etc.)
c. The indication you are treating or problem you are trying to solve
d. Your product’s stage of development

3. Key Value Proposition/Elevator Pitch. Use the next part of the email to describe the key value proposition of your technology. This should include a high-level description of the core technology and its major differentiators from currently available products or solutions. This is the core of your messaging and should reveal enough information to grab the investor’s interest.

4. The Stage of Your Fundraising Campaign. You should clearly state where you are in the fundraising process (beginning, middle or end) and what the use of those proceeds will be. This way an investor can gauge if your round is a fit for their capital allocation.

5. Reaffirm. You should do your homework on every investor you reach out to and reference a relevant data point to reaffirm the reason you are reaching out.

6. Request the meeting.


Keep in mind that investors are juggling their own agendas for the day of the conference and are in high demand. Use the RESI Partnering Platform to determine which investors are a fit for you, and request meetings with all of those that you target. Our data show that the fundraising companies that get the most meetings sent out upwards of 50 invitations. See graph below:


A common pitfall in partnering is to not follow up sufficiently until you achieve your goal: to get that investor meeting. It is usually not sufficient to send a meeting request out and just wait for the answers to come rolling in.

The best strategy is to begin your outreach as soon as the Partnering Platform opens. This will give you time to follow up sufficiently with investors you want to meet with. After sending out all of your initial meeting requests, wait for about a week. At that point, send a message through the Partnering Platform using the “SEND A MESSAGE” option to all those who have not answered you after a week, simply reminding them that you hope to meet with them at RESI. If you still don’t hear back, continue to reach out. Be organized and persistent. Use the platform messaging option, email (if you have Premier Partnering Plus), LinkedIn, telephone… whatever it takes to get a response back.

If you follow these steps, you will see the results and have a better partnering experience.


RESI Partnering Launches On March 12th

8 Mar

By Lucy Parkinson, VP of Investor Research, LSN

Toronto Health Innovation Week is coming up in early April, and when RESI Partnering launches on Monday March 12th, RESI on MaRS attendees will be able to book meetings with other participants.  LSN is projecting a total of about 700 attendees, and we expect meeting spots to move fast.

With both local Toronto firms and global strategic investors in attendance, the investors attending RESI on MaRS represent a huge pool of capital, and RESI’s unique Partnering system allows those investors to home in on the startups that match their technological focus areas and investment criteria.  Look below to see which investors you could meet at RESI.

Confirmed Investors and Strategic Partners

As of March 7th, 2018

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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