BioStock befinner sig mitt i minglet på LSX Nordic Congress. Här stöter vi på Managing Director Josh Dance som berättade om hur kongressen startade 2018, hur finansieringslandskapet har ändrats sedan dess och vad man som bolag kan göra för att stå ut i havet av life science innovation på plats.
LSX verkar för att föra samman exekutiva ledare inom life science-området och därigenom främja investeringar, finansiering, partnerskap och avtal. En stor del av arbetet utgörs av partneringkongresser och årets nordiska upplaga är den sjätte i ordningen efter att man först slagit upp portarna på Nasdaqs lokaler i Stockholm 2018. Dit kom man även tillbaka året därpå, men 2020 och 2021 hölls eventet digitalt på grund av pandemin. Sedan i fjol är kongressen åter i fysisk form, nu i Köpenhamn där man också planerar 2024 års upplaga.
Managing Director Josh Dance har jobbat på LSX sedan 2016, först som produktionschef för event och nätverk. I sin nuvarande roll har han helhetsansvar för LSX verksamhet. BioStock träffade honom under den pågående kongressen i Köpenhamn och passade på att prata med honom såväl om kongressen i sig, det rådande investeringsklimatet och vad deltagande bolag kan tänka på för att stå ut och attrahera investerarnas intresse.
How did the LSX Nordic Congress come in place?
– Overall, the landscape has shifted drastically. We launched the event back in 2018, strengthened by a surprising number of health care IPOs in 2017. I think there were about 57 healthcare IPOs on the Nordic markets in that year alone, which was way in excess of what we saw in the other European markets.
– Since our business started, we have been working with Nasdaq as a partner. At that time, they invited us to come and organise an event that addressed some of the challenges of the time, which had sparked the IPO wave. There was a huge deficit of private growth stage capital for growing life science companies, forcing them to go public at very early stages.
How has the funding landscape shifted since then?
– Now, six years later, there is still room for improvement and a need for more capital within the space, but we see more local funds that have built around this ecosystem. We have also seen an increased international interest in the region.
– Even though we do try to get as many international investors to our Nordic congress as possible, it is apparent that the local landscape has shifted significantly.
How do you think the overall economic climate right now affects investment of this nature?
– Obviously, the macro-economic situation is not ideal for health care at the moment. However, by the end of this year, and certainly in 2024, we hope to see a reduction of the inflation and more stable public markets that can spill over to private investments.
If we look at the agenda of the ongoing congress, what do you look forward to the most?
– We are seeing many transformations of the health care industry at the moment and try to appeal to all types of health care innovation companies. We have some very interesting talks in the health tech section on data sharing and the high quality of data in the Nordic region and how that can be maximised.
– In addition, we have a Pharma partnering panel, something that I think has become ever more important as the capital markets are not as strong as they used to be. Instead, there is some real opportunity to raise capital through partnering with pharmaceutical companies and realise value that way.
– In addition, we had a really interesting session within the medtech space earlier where the value of Nordic collaboration was discussed. So, there are numerous valuable insights and opportunities to explore at our event.
For the many participating companies that are here during these two days, what do you think they should do to stand out?
– We run events all over the world, and I have found that there are both great science and management teams here in the Nordic. Still, the Nordic company pitches differ a lot from those of American – and to some extent even British – companies. So, I would say to keep in mind that bravado is a good thing! This is part true when it comes to American investors who tend to buy into that.
– Apart from that, key factors are obviously the fundamentals of having a great product, smart people around you, a compelling investment case and milestones that investors can get behind.