Home Interviews LSX’s Managing Director: “A good pitch requires bravado”     

LSX’s Managing Director: “A good pitch requires bravado”     

LSX’s Managing Director: “A good pitch requires bravado”     

11 October, 2023

BioStock was on the floor of the LSX Nordic Congress when we met the congress’ Managing Director Josh Dance. He talked about how the congress started in 2018, how the financing landscape has changed since then, and what a company can do to stand out in the sea of life science innovation on site. 

LSX works to bring together life science executives to foster investments, financing, partnerships and agreements. For this, the LSX partner congresses play a large role. This year’s Nordic edition is the sixth of its kind, after first opening the doors at Nasdaq in Stockholm in 2018. The congress returned the following year, while the event went digital in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Since last year, the congress is back in its original form, now in Copenhagen, where the 2024 edition is also being planned.  

Managing Director Josh Dance has worked at LSX since 2016, first as production manager for events and networks. In his current role, he has overall responsibility for LSX’s operations. BioStock met him during the ongoing Nordic Congress and took the opportunity to talk to him both about the congress itself, the prevailing investment climate and what participating companies should think of to stand out and attract investors’ interest.  

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.  

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