New conference focused on early-stage funding comes to Houston

The Texas Medical Center plans to host an international conference this summer to help match investors and life science CEOs.

The Redefining Early Stage Investment Conference, or RESI, will take place June 8 at TMCx, the Texas Medical Center’s new accelerator and co-working space.

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RESI, based out of Boston, plans to feature a variety of investor-types, including angels, venture capitalists, private endowments and corporate venture arms looking for new technology to invest in, according to a statement.

Houston-based Oncolix Inc. has already reaped the benefits of previous RESI conferences held in Boston and San Francisco. Those conferences have been the catalyst for investment opportunities, said Michael Redman, CEO of Oncolix Inc.

“I find these conferences different than what other conferences are offering because they are specifically targeting early-stage investors,” Redman told the Houston Business Journal.

Oncolix was able to get its initial start due to the Emerging Technology Fund, the controversial fund that puts money into startups. However, through Gov. Jim Abbott’s initiative, that effort may come to an end.

The problem for local entrepreneurs is that there’s simply not enough investors willing to pump money into early-stage companies, Redman said. That problem becomes even more apparent when you look at the health care space.

And nationally, the life science industry has been a tough sell for venture capitalists who are wary about placing significant investment in biopharmaceutical companies that will require more capital down the road for further trials.

But with new technology, it appears that could change soon.

“The main reason (for this conference) is that the entire industry has been moving to early-stage investment, and it’s a really hot pocket in life science,” Dennis Ford, CEO of Life Science Nation, told the HBJ. “Life science is entering a golden age. Everything we know about medicine and health care is about to change because of the technology leaps that are happening.”

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2015/02/new-conference-focused-on-early-stage-funding.html?page=all

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