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The Right Team at The Right Time

Posted by Erik Rocheford on July 12, 2023

Strengthening fundraising with tangible results.
Written by Erik Rocheford, Managing Director

The Bowdoin Group is dedicated to providing unwavering support to seed-stage biotech organizations as they transition from an idea, often originating in an academic lab, to a thriving company on the path toward their first IND submission. We understand that this journey is exceptionally challenging. The insights shared below are derived from our extensive experience working with founders and executives who have successfully navigated this transformative journey.

We engage in daily market discussions with our clients, our employees, and our extended biotech network. While we continue to hear perspectives that we are at the bottom of this dip and that M&A activity is poised to climb in the second half of 2023, there is still great uncertainty.

One certainty remains: the importance of the right executive team in raising funds for companies in 2023 and beyond. Of course, this is not a new idea, but it is one that is more critical than ever and can mean the difference between a successful fundraise and a company shutting its doors.

Founding teams often need to bring in a seasoned drug hunter prior to going to market for a new round of financing. Investors are looking to de-risk early preclinical approaches and having a tested veteran at the helm serves as a valuable data point, indicating a lower risk profile. The chicken or the egg conundrum of this recruit is that the candidate is equally focused on derisking so it becomes paramount that the early-stage organization can prove what is increasingly being coined as “proof of life” for their new platform, their new delivery approach, or their new target class. 

This proof can be established through significant milestones in discovery data, platform improvements, and securing new physical space. Additionally, the formation of an early board of directors serves as tangible evidence of a company’s proof of life. Savvy founders and CEOs are setting up boards earlier than in the past who can advise them through strategic growth, can help navigate the current investment environment, and can aid greatly in the recruitment of other executives who will help move the ball down the field toward a strong financial position and towards clinical inflection points.

Despite the prevailing market constraints in 2023, our firm still views the biotech space as a saturated market when it comes to the number of NewCos an executive can investigate as their next career stop. Moreover, we firmly believe that the leaders a CEO surround themselves with in the early days are critical to achieving early success.