LifeSci Accelerate Finds its Audience: Early Successes and Growing Momentum

One month after launch, the LifeSci Accelerate search offering for early-stage biotechs is already producing wins for clients. We’ll bring the program to industry events in Q3 and Q4 of this year.

| August 26, 2022

Written by: Matt Toner

Accelerating Young Companies 

Biotech is a fiercely competitive space for startups. One of the greatest challenges new companies face is finding exemplary leadership. Executives and directors with the right combination of scientific and business acumen are in high demand. And founders often find themselves in a bind:

  • Retained search services are too expensive
  • Contingency search doesn’t always get the job done
  • Their networks don’t include the people they need

That’s why we created LifeSci Search Accelerate, a unique search offering designed for the needs of new companies. Accelerate is a fixed-price, highly affordable executive search option. Still, it brings all the benefits of working with an industry-leading team, such as: 

  1. Broad networks. Our search leads have unmatched connections and contacts. 
  2. Expansive research. The talent maps and background research we generate are available to clients.  
  3. Professional representation. LifeSci Search team members handle outreach and interviews, giving even the newest companies a way to connect with C-Suite leaders at top firms. 
  4. Strategy and guidance. We don’t just handle the search process; we’ll coach and advise your leaders on business development and financial decision-making during critical growth.  

The Growing Demand for Early-Stage Search 

Part of the inspiration for Accelerate came from the shifts we’re seeing in the biotech funding and venture capital spaces. The broader economic slowdown has delayed, canceled, or downsized most biotech IPOs in the first half of 2022. As a result, the traditional lifeblood of young companies—large Series B funding rounds from “crossover” investors, leading to a quick IPO—has dried up. Series B investment dropped from $3.5 billion in December 2021 to just $1.8 billion in March.  

The consequences of that drop have changed the prospects for early-stage companies. With IPOs for mature companies pushed down the road, the risks of investing in unproven products look more appealing by comparison, especially given the low cost of Series A funding relative to later rounds.  

That’s why we think that Accelerate is more important now than ever. Experienced leadership is the most critical tool for young companies to connect with venture capitalists looking for likely prospects. And this program is designed to facilitate precisely those kinds of connections.  

Early Successes 

Best of all, the results so far tell us we were right. We’ve already contacted half a dozen companies ready to jump into formal Accelerate agreements, and we’re getting positive feedback from every industry level. Founders are excited about a high-level alternative to traditional incubators and accelerators. Likewise, investors are happy to have reliable contact points to support their decisions.  

The methods we’re using with these new clients build on the techniques we developed for early-stage clients in the past. For example, one Seed cell therapy company had struggled to raise money throughout a two-year window. They needed a new CEO to reposition them. It took us just four months to find an experienced executive fresh off a successful merger whose medical background gave them the insight and vocabulary to sell the product’s potential. In short order, the company had raised a $100 million Series A round from investors, including Leaps by Bayer and Northpond.  

Other companies have found similar success. One early-stage diagnostics and tools company had just a six-month runway when they came to us for help finding a CEO capable of leading VC and PE capital raises. We identified and interviewed six candidates with excellent track records for launching medical device products. The company had two new significant strategic partnerships within six months of their selection. Another company, about to launch a Series A round, needed a Scientific Advisory Board member to help sell the AI component of their product. It took us just one week to generate the shortlist and less than three before they interviewed their chosen candidate.  

That flexibility and speed are what we’re offering through Accelerate, and we’re excited to create even more success stories.   

The Future of Accelerate 

The next phase of Accelerate’s development will ensure it’s available to the companies who need it. We’re building the program’s profile at a wide range of industry events across Q3 and Q4 of this year, leading into J.P. Morgan’s Global Healthcare Conference in January.   

Our team members will present at Cantor Fitzgerald’s Cell and Genetics Medicines Conference in September, LifeSci Partners’ HealthTech Symposium two weeks later, and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium just before the holidays, amongst others. Keep an eye out on LinkedIn for additional events our team will attend. 

We look forward to networking and discussing how Accelerate may benefit your business. We’d also love to hear from you if you know of early-stage companies ready for a boost.   

To discuss LifeSci Search Accelerate, we invite you to contact Matt Toner. 

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