How Do Family Offices View Seed & Series A Rounds?

When Life Science Nation (LSN) first launched the Redefining Early Stage Investments Conference Series (RESI), we focused on bringing investors from beyond venture capital to meet face to face with entrepreneurs. Angels and family offices are two of these alternative sources of early stage capital. These investor types are distinct from each other in many ways but also work well together. The Angels & Family Offices panel will introduce RESI’s entrepreneurs to these distinctions and also the ways in which these private capital pools are working together to fund healthcare innovation.

  • What do Angels and Family Offices have in common?
  • How do Angels and Family Offices plan their investment horizons?
  • Are Angels and Family Offices looking at the same sectors and opportunities as VCs?


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Rob Manning, Chairman, Cherrystone Angel Group

Robert Manning is President and Owner of Gray’s Point Investments LLC, a private family investment company. Mr. Manning is also the Chairman of the Cherrystone Angel group, a 65 member angel investing consortium based in Providence, R.I. He is or has been on the boards of Windgap Medical Inc, Avaxia Inc., Respiratory Motion Inc., Smartcells Inc., Cartcraft Corp, Narragansett Brewing Corp, and the advisory board of Ximedica Inc. Prior to establishing Gray’s Point, Mr. Manning retired after 25 years with Citibank and Citigroup, where he was most recently Managing Director and Head of Corporate Finance for Citigroup in Japan. He was a Citigroup Senior Credit Officer, and one of five global co-heads of Citigroup’s Structured Products business. He has an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA from Brown University in International Relations.


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Laura Davis, Managing Director, Golden Seeds

Laura Davis manages Golden Seeds’ Office Hours program, co-leader of the Health Care Sector Group, and assists with Health Care deal flow activities for the Boston Chapter. She is active in the Boston life sciences ecosystem, mentoring at the Harvard iLabs and judging for numerous pitch competitions.  Laura was an academic scientist in cell biology and genetics for over 20 years, as a faculty member at Duke Medical School and subsequently Brandeis University.  She did her postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, and has a Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University.

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Ron Paliwoda, Founder and President, Paliwoda Group

Ron Paliwoda is an accidental entrepreneur and seasoned investor, primarily through the Ventures arm of The Paliwoda Group, the firm he founded over 20 years ago. The firm’s evergreen Health Tech Fund targets early-stage innovation that reduces costs to healthcare consumers, including projects that promote cost transparency to help consumers make more informed decisions in selecting service providers; that weave raw data streaming from remote patient monitors into insight about one’s health and fitness (i.e. BioArray); and innovations at the intersection of molecular diagnostics and computational biology that use machine-learning tools to better understand complex disorders (i.e. Genotype Diagnostics). Ron actively advises entrepreneur leaders working to solve care and education challenges at underserved communities, and is a passionate advocate of local working environments where startups are nurtured and high-potential teams can excel.

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Marcia Dawood, Managing Partner, Individual Angel

Marcia Dawood is a Managing Director in two angel investment groups, Golden Seeds (New York City) and BlueTree Allied Angels (Pittsburgh), where she is also the Chairman of the Education Committee. Marcia evaluates and mentors startup companies and investment opportunities with a clear emphasis on women led businesses. She served on the board of directors of a company where she was a founder and legal/compliance/financial director giving her experience as an entrepreneur. Previously, Marcia spent 16+ years with Kaplan Higher Education Campuses (KHEC), serving as Vice President of Career Services and also in sales and marketing, operations, and compliance. She is a graduate of the Global Executive MBA program at UNC’s Kenan Flagler’s School of Business.

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Merom Klein, Entrepreneur Mentor, Keiretsu Forum

Merom is a business psychologist – who advises investors and entrepreneur CEOs about innovation leadership and the “people issues” that impact success as they teams acquire capital, customers, partners and scale. Merom also works with several angel investment groups as an entrepreneur mentor, including Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic/Southeast and iAngels – advising portfolio company CEOs on their pitches, due diligence, human capital growth plans and innovation leadership practices. Merom is a Principal at Courage Growth Partners in the US and the Courage Institute in Israel. He is a world renowned authority on leadership practices that impact Courage – with books, simulation exercises and assessments that give leaders feedback about the Courage that equips their teams to break free of risk-averse thinking traps and improve inventive thinking with diverse flat matrix teams. He earned his PhD in Organizational Psychology at Temple University, Philadelphia USA.