Insights and full recording from our recent Southeast Life Science investor panel and webinar

On Tuesday, April 13, Southeast Life Sciences convened a panel of industry leading medtech and life science investors to discuss how activities have shifted and what the mid-long term ramifications will mean to early stage innovators. 

Bob Crutchfield moderated the discussion including insights from:

Gerry Brunk of Lumira Ventures, Joe Cook III of Mountain Group Partners and Kyparissia Sirinakis of Epidarex Capital.

A few of the top takeaways included:

  • There are, and will continue to be, significant disruptions in GLP preclinical work required to achieve an IND or entry into clinical trials. 
  • New medical technologies with ‘capex’ implications for hospital budgets will be at a significant funding and commercialization disadvantage for at least 12 to 24 months.
  • Telehealth and remote monitoring should be poised well for structural changes including adoption and reimbursement.
  • High net worth family offices have plenty of capital to invest. They will ‘lean in’ on increasing stakes in existing investments and in sectors or stages least likely to be impacted. The telehealth genie, for example, will not likely go ‘back into its lamp.’ Opportunity: What is going to really make it sing? 
  • Innovators need to adjust timelines to reflect new realities and resources required. Runway extension is the current name of the game, especially for technologies requiring clinical studies. Break up your pathway into ‘bite size’ milestones and discontinue using any pre-COVID-19 valuation and structure analogs.
  • Keep the conversation going. Investors are now considering technologies they may have passed on previously. They are continuing to do their due diligence. Many are focused more highly on solutions so transformative on patient benefit and cost reduction than they ever have been before. Early stage companies’ funding rounds will take longer, but great companies will always find funding.
  • The translational aspect of new medtech and life science innovations needs to be stronger than ever before.

We encourage everyone, especially early stage medtech and life science companies, to give the full session a watch or listen HERE.

Announcing Virtual PitchRounds – Covid-19


Southeast Life Sciences, the organization behind 400 presentations, 790 funding transactions, and $5.2B in investments from 500 distinct investors is going virtual for a special edition of PitchRounds.

As the nation and globe battle Covid-19, innovators and early stage companies continue to attempt to address the worst pandemic in a century. In some cases they are, or will need to, pivot to position themselves to succeed as the industry including early stage investors adjusts.

The week of June 16 we will host a special PitchRounds competition for early-stage southeastern companies working on Covid-19 products. We are accepting applications until May 22 through the F6S application. We encourage southeast-based early stage medtech and life science companies in any aspect of healthcare – diagnostics, treatments, vaccines, telehealth technologies, devices and even hygienics and PPE to apply.

The inaugural virtual event will follow the same format as our in-person PitchRounds events. Selected companies will make 10-minute presentations followed by Q&A from our investor panel.

April 6 Covid-19 Newsletter

April 6 Covid-19 Newsletter


Today I am kicking off a weekly newsletter to track the progress of Covid-19 in the southeast and provide useful information from the region and nation. This is an effort to keep you informed on what’s going on in each of the states in the southeast, as well as provide interesting articles, data, and good news to help break the monotony.

I have found many resources, but if you have any suggestions please let me know and I’ll do my best to include it in future posts. At heart, I’m a data nerd, so data is especially welcome!

Stay Safe!  

Numbers for the Week

New Cases
New Deaths
Total Cases
Total Deaths

Peak Resource Usage

April 20
April 24
April 14
April 14
May 10
April 4
April 21
April 14
April 29
April 18
April 18

Upcoming Free Content

BIO Webinar 2PM TODAY: BIO invites you to join us for a special webinar  to discuss the Payment Protection Program and what it means for your company. During the webinar we will discuss key items to know and understand in advance of applying for the program. 

 HIMSS Webinar 2PM Tuesday: Deploying Technology During COVID

 SCBIO Webinar 10AM Friday: Maintaining Cybersecurity in light of COVID-19

 Southeast Life Sciences Webinar 12PM Monday, April 13: Life science investors: Is the faucet still on?

Resources & Links

Health Connect South Resource Page: Our friends at HCS have put together a robust database on resources available and needed by state. Instead of reinventing the wheel, please check out their site for valuable information. 

 Biotechnology Innovation Organization Covid-19 Hub

 Worldmeters information on cases, deaths, and recoveries. projections for resources uses. 

 American Enterprise Institute action tracker – tremendous database for tracking data and resources by state 


Paycheck Protection Program Starts today – April 3, 2020

Today the Treasury Department is launching the Payment Protection Program that was created as part of the CARES Act. The program authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans, up to $10M per company, to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

The program is intended to be a simple process that will be implemented through your banks. Below is more for your review.

SBA overview of the program
More Information

Find eligible lenders
More Information

Dept of Treasury Fact Sheet
More Information

The application process is meant to be easy – fill in the application and take it to your bank.
Application Link

Venture-backed companies
 Uncertainty remains whether venture-backed companies would be eligible for the program, however there is a commitment from Congress and the Treasury Department to fix this problem. Due to the “affiliation rule” that was intended for companies owned by private equity, there is concern that venture-backed companies would not be eligible for the program. According to senior leaders in Congress, this has been or will be clarified by the Department of Treasury and venture-backed companies will be eligible.
Read More

If you would like more information, the Washington Post has a comprehensive FAQ to the program. Unlike most Washington Post articles, this is not restricted behind a paywall.
Read More


Southeast Life Sciences signs coalition letter on behalf of small businesses with equity investors

This week, Southeast Life Sciences joined a national coalition to encourage the federal government to clarify that small businesses with equity investors will be included in the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act provision included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

The imminent fate of hundreds of thousands of jobs across the Southeast and America hinges on the implementation of these rules.  In order to survive, these companies must make difficult decisions over the course of the next several days. Rapid clarity on how these rules will be interpreted for purposes of the program can provide confidence to these vital small businesses that resources will be available and will mitigate the layoffs beginning to sweep across the startup ecosystem.

The Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act is one of the most powerful small business recovery programs ever passed by the United States Congress.  This program will provide loans of up to $10 million dollars to small businesses up to 500 employees.  The benefits are carefully crafted to encourage the retention of middle-class jobs through the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  If this is effective then millions of jobs across America will be preserved, potentially preventing the downward spiral in economic activity created by widespread layoffs.

Most American startups are below 500 employees and are not yet profitable.  Like other small businesses, these companies survive on a month-to-month basis, meaning their workforces are also particularly vulnerable in an economic downturn.  Startups commonly take equity financing, and in an economic crisis, that capital must be used to keep the entity in operation.  Companies must make difficult decisions fast on whether to lay off some of their workforce or run the risk of exhausting their available capital and destroying the business.  Every single one of these companies are currently looking through their books to better understand how far they can stretch their current available capital to preserve the entity through the economic crisis.  This timeline is often colloquially referred to as “runway.”  Because such a high percentage of the capital is spent on payroll, often the only way for startups to extend their runway is furloughs and layoffs.

Thankfully, Congress responded to the crisis with the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed program that is designed to prevent mass layoffs at small businesses.  But how the Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) will apply the rules in upcoming guidance to implement the program is a central question to program access for startups and other small businesses with equity investors.  If the current SBA rules on affiliation are applied, they will create significant confusion about eligibility, delay the application process, render many small businesses ineligible, and cause many more to forego the process.  Each of these challenges will exacerbate layoffs.

In the last few days a brief survey of a cross-section of venture investors was conducted to gauge what the impact would be on their portfolio companies if they do not have access to the small business lending facility.  The responses were dramatic, with many companies considering layoffs between 25 and 50 percent of their workforce.  To provide a perspective of the impact of these layoffs on the workforce, about 34,000 companies in the United States have raised venture funding since 2015.  Of the approximately 20,000 of these companies for which the employee count is captured, 97% have fewer than 500 employees. 1   As noted above, about 2.27 million Americans work at these companies, with many more people employed in support roles at other companies.

Failure to provide clarity that small businesses with equity investors are eligible for the loan facility will cost jobs not only at startups, but at many of the independently owned service oriented small businesses in communities across America.  These startup workers, who include engineers, customer service representatives, and human resources professionals, are the very customers that service-oriented small businesses such as restaurants and coffee shops rely on for sales making an economic comeback post crisis even more difficult.

Finally, if the affiliation rules are not applied appropriately, our country will experience incalculable cost to our science and technology leadership.  Venture capital backs the world’s most innovative companies, but without support from the government hundreds of research projects across the country are at risk of being shelved.  This is potential progress that will pause overnight, and just as important, will set back American competitiveness in an increasingly global race for innovation leadership back by years.

Full Coalition Letter Here

About Southeast Life Sciences

Southeast Life Sciences is a regional non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of the life sciences industry. It was formed in 2019 through the merger of Southeast BIO and the Southeast Medical Device Association (SEMDA).

The mission of Southeast Life Sciences is to efficiently, effectively connect our industry’s innovators and entrepreneurs with the right investment and partners be they institutions, corporations, venture capitalists or angels.

We facilitate connections, conversations and capital investments through continuous networking, education and funding opportunities for life-science innovators of all shapes and sizes.

Request for Supplies from National Association of Manufacturers

March 18, 2020

Forwarded Correspondence from Jay Timmons, President, National Association of Manufacturers

Please note this deadline is COB TODAY (March 18), but if you miss the deadline, please fill out the survey when you can.

Please complete this survey, if you possibly can. Tonight, the White House asked us to “reach out to our members” to identify their capabilities to step up and help the United States during this all-hands-on-deck crisis. The administration is seeking volunteers who can donate and provide and/or produce within two weeks large-scale quantities of critical supplies to help the nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions about this survey or other COVID-19-related issues, please email the NAM’s COVID-19 response team at

Thank you once again for your partnership and support.


Jay Timmons
President and CEO
National Association of Manufacturers

Southeast Life Sciences Postpones the AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference

March 18, 2020

We have continued to follow the Covid-19 updates closely and want to announce that we will be postponing the AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference originally scheduled for May 27-28. We have not yet determined a new date, but we are working through the available options and will follow up as quickly as we can.

The last week has seen an incredible change in the situation, from WHO declaring a global pandemic, to the US declaring a state of emergency, and individual states, counties, and cities implementing strict limits on group gatherings.
These changes would make it impossible to hold the conference, but even without these measures, the safety and welfare of our attendees, their families, and the larger community warrants a postponement.

All of that being said, among our primary mission is to bring together constituents to nurture the deal flow in the Southeast, resulting in new products to the market and an improved human condition. We are actively consulting with our state partners, investor firms, and others how we might still fill this function during the intervening period until the conference is rescheduled. If you have thoughts along these lines, we would very much like to hear from you.

If you have any questions, please contact Jason Rupp or David Day.

Thank you for all of your support!
Jason & David

Apply for SE PitchRounds

The inaugural AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference is May 26 – 28, 2020, in Isle of Palms, SC. A highlight of the event is SE PitchRounds, our small company program.
We are looking for the best companies in the southeast in biopharma, medical devices, digital health, and diagnostics to present during the conference.
The deadline to apply is April 10. We accept applications from companies at any stage – from an idea on a napkin to profitable companies looking for expansion capital. Companies selected for PitchRounds will receive benefits including:
  • Two significantly discounted (more than 25%) off early-bird registration
  • In-depth workshops on topics such as Go-To-Market, Valuation, and Persuasive Pitch coaching
  • Mentoring with a team of investors, entrepreneurs, regulatory and reimbursement professionals, etc.
  • And more!
For more information or to apply, follow the links below.

Southeastern Medical Device Association and Southeast BIO Merge to Form Southeast Life Sciences

Southeastern Medical Device Association and Southeast BIO Merge to Form Southeast Life Sciences

Atlanta – February 20, 2020 – Representatives from the Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA) and Southeast BIO (SEBIO) have announced that the two organizations have officially merged to form Southeast Life Sciences. The merger provides a single platform for medtech and bioscience innovation, partnering and investor relations in the region.

“The convergence of medical technologies, including devices, with bioscience technologies including drugs, data, digital and combination products necessitates the convergence of these entities,” former SEMDA Executive Director and now Southeast Life Science Executive Director Jason Rupp says. “In order to respond to the combined needs of stakeholders in both ecosystems, the time has arrived for SEBIO and SEMDA to come together under one roof.”

Combining individuals, corporations, universities and other entities in one regional industry organization mitigates “death by one thousand conferences,” ensuring more efficient use of time and resources, Rupp says.

New technologies like nanoparticles and microneedles for drug delivery coming out of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint program of Emory University and Georgia Tech, are tangible examples of the potential for innovation when multiple scientific disciplines connect.

“With the advent of devices like Cardiomems that blend device with data and devices that deliver pharmaceutical therapies, close connectivity between medical device and bioscience innovators is advantageous to regional stakeholders, especially investors,” Rupp says.

“Because clients span the entirety of medtech innovation including devices, pharmaceutical therapies and combination devices, many companies like ours needed to support both organizations,” says former SEMDA Chair Tiffany Wilson, CEO of the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI). “Financially, this meant telling them, ‘We have this amount of funding support for you. You have to figure out how to divvy it up.’ While both SEBIO and SEMDA flagship conferences had value, bringing them under the same roof brings connectivity, educational and financial efficiency gains for all concerned that should lift medtech and life science innovation and investment across the board.”

The inaugural ADVANSE Life Science Conference, Southeast Life Science’s flagship event will be May 28-29, 2020 in Charleston, SC. Organizers expect to convene more than 500 attendees, including a significant number of investors, highlighting innovations from 50 early stage medtech and bioscience companies over the two-day conference.

David Day, Executive Director of Southeast BIO, added, “Southeast BIO and SEMDA have been operating as sister organizations for medtech and life science stakeholders in the southeast. The resulting merger will provide a critical mass of innovation that will be more than the sum of its parts.”


Jason Rupp
Executive Director, Southeast Life Sciences