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Wed, Jul 21


Online Zoom Webinar

Life Science SPACs: An Overview and Future Trends in 2021/2022

Join us on Thursday, July 21 to learn about the rising popularity of SPACs and how they are evolving in the Life Sciences Industry.

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 Life Science SPACs: An Overview and Future Trends in 2021/2022
 Life Science SPACs: An Overview and Future Trends in 2021/2022

Time & Location

Jul 21, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Online Zoom Webinar

About the Event

Join us on Thursday, July 21 to learn about the rising popularity of SPACs and how they are evolving in the Life Sciences Industry.

SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) have emerged as one of the hottest financing options for life science companies. Positioned as a superior, faster alternative to the traditional IPO process, SPACs help institutional investors reach their highest IPO investment targets, and help growth companies become public without the market exposure and execution risk of a typical IPO process.

But what are the pros and cons of the SPAC vehicle as it continues to evolve? It is a short-term structural finance fad, or is it here to stay and change IPOs for the long term?

For InnoTalk of July, we invited Gregory Benning, an expert in life sciences investment banking at Back Bay Life Science Advisors, to share the pros and cons of the SPAC vehicle as it continues to evolve and discuss whether life science SPACs are a short-term structural finance fad, or changing the face of the IPO forever.

Here is what you will learn:

  • An Introduction to the Life Science SPACs
  • This era of SPACs/Current Situation
  • Pros and Cons of the SPAC vehicle
  • Future trends of Life Science SPACs in 2021/2022
  • Interactive Q&A Session for all attendees

About MedLabs InnoTalk Series

MedLabs InnoTalk Series gives MedLabs Accelerator and ZGC’s community direct contact with the top trends and ideas in the healthcare industry and with people who are leading the innovations in healthcare investment, entrepreneurship, and research. The series events are open to the public for free, with invitations sent to all our members, mentors, and corporate partners.

Event Agenda

10:00 AM -10:05 AM

Welcome, Intros

10:05 AM -10:15 AM

Opening Speech: Current Landscape of Life Science SPACs

Greg Benning, Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking at Back Bay Life Science Advisors

10:15 AM -10:45 AM

Fireside Chat: Overview and Future Trends of Life Science SPACs

Ella Li (Moderator), Partner of ZGC US Fund, CEO of ZGC Capital at

Greg Benning, Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking at Back Bay Life Science Advisors

Jonathan P. Gertler, MD, Co-Founder | Managing Partner & CEO at Back Bay Life Science Advisors

10:45 AM -11:00 AM

Questions and Answers

About Speakers

Gregory Benning, MBA

Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking at Back Bay Life Science Advisors

Gregory Benning, MBA, is managing director and head of our investment banking practice. He is a highly experienced M&A specialist, with over 25 years of client advisory and transactional experience. He has managed and executed more than 300 M&A, divestiture and financing transactions, with proceeds totaling over $15B.

Before joining Back Bay in 2013, Mr. Benning was Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for the emerging growth investment bank, Adams Harkness, and a partner-level banker at the Boston-based investment bank, Tucker Anthony. He launched middle market M&A practices for A.G. Edwards & Sons and Barrington Associates, both now part of Wells Fargo.

Mr. Benning is an acknowledged expert on M&A transaction markets, deal structures and acquisition finance, and has presented, spoken, and written for organizations including ACG Boston, the Angel Capital Association, Babson College, Boston University, Corporate Board Member, DKBIO, Ernst & Young, IBF's Venture Capital Summit, MassBIO, the Nantucket Conference, the National Association of Corporate Directors, Thomson Financial and YCombinator. He regularly participates in the professional development programs of several regional and national law firms, covering topics including embedded derivatives in M&A deal structures, earnouts and contingent payment structures and fairness opinion best practices.

Mr. Benning earned an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, and a BA in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Registered Securities Principal with BML Securities LLC.

Recent industry articles by Mr. Benning: A Look at 2020 BioPharma IPOs

Jonathan P. Gertler, MD

Managing Partner & CEO at Back Bay Life Science Advisors

Jonathan P. Gertler, MD, is Managing Partner and CEO of Back Bay Life Science Advisors and Managing Director, BioVentures Investors MedTech Funds. He has over 30 years of clinical and scientific experience, and extensive advisory work with biotechnology, diagnostic, medical device and health care IT companies in both the private and public sector. A former vascular surgeon and founder of several life science companies, Dr. Gertler is a frequent speaker and writer on strategic issues facing life science companies at all stages.

Before founding Back Bay in 2010, Dr. Gertler served as Senior Partner and Managing Director of Leerink Swann Strategic Advisors, Head of BioPharma Investment Banking at Leerink Swann & Company, as well as Head of Life Science Investment Banking at Adams Harkness/Canaccord Adams.

Dr. Gertler founded Antyllus Therapeutics, a development-stage biotechnology company focused on aortic diseases, and Biofeedback Systems Design, a digital medicine company developed for the wellness market. Dr. Gertler also founded Cardiovascular Technologies, which successfully exited in 2001.

Over the course of his advisory career, Dr. Gertler has counseled companies on growth and liquidity strategies and has been responsible for significant aggregate consideration in M&A, private and public equity for biotech, medtech, and HCIT companies. Prior to his advisory and consulting career and during the latter phases of his academic career, he was a Venture Partner at SV Life Sciences from 1997-2001.

Dr. Gertler was an academic vascular surgeon, primarily as Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has published extensively in clinical vascular surgery and endothelial and smooth muscle cell biology and has served as an ad-hoc editor for the Journal of Vascular Surgery, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, among others. He currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at Boston University School of Medicine, among other academic affiliations, and was previously a board member of several private and public companies and non-profit organizations.

Dr. Gertler trained at Yale in General Surgery and at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Vascular Surgery. He earned a medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, an MBA in Health Policy and Management from Boston University and a BA from Wesleyan University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of numerous academic and clinical surgical societies. He is a Series 24 Registered Securities Principal. He is married with three grown sons and is an avid musician, athlete and fly angler.

Dr. Ella Li

Partner of ZGC US Fund, CEO of ZGC Capital

Dr. Ella Li the CEO of ZGC Capital and also the partner of ZGC U.S. Fund, leading ZGC’s team in investment and incubator operation. She’ established and managed several VC and fund of funds, including one with portfolio funds including KPCB, Menlo, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel and Foundation Capital. She is also the founder of Medlabs healthcare accelerator, providing companies with funding, mentorship and key resources to transform healthcare.

Dr. Li has 15+ years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors and has rich experiences in therapeutic investment opportunities from discovery and clinical proof-of-concept to commercialization. She also serves as board advisor, consultant and mentor in several major VC, accelerators, and startups. Dr. Ella Li earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Peking University School of Pharmacy, Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Centers, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard Medical School. Ella has extensive publications in prestigious journals with IMF over 10 including Nature Communication, Cell Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS, Molecular Cell, Diabetes etc.

About MedLabs Healthcare Accelerator

MedLabs is established and run by ZGC Capital and Global Health Impact Network, We have 60+ mentors, corporate partners in more than 6 countries. It’s our mission to connect the best healthcare startups in Silicon Valley with investors, mentors, and corporate partners around the world to build a Healthcare Innovation Ecosystem.

During the three-month program, MedLabs offers healthcare startups several key resources: the opportunity to receive a $100,000 #funding provided by Global Health Impact Fund, access to capital, dedicated #mentorship, #workshop training, global business partnerships, a huge #clinical network, private investor meeting, and #workspace in Silicon Valley and Boston.

About ZGC Capital Corporation

ZGC is a multi-functional platform dedicated to accelerating the world’s innovative business by providing dynamic space services and integrated business solutions for startups, entrepreneurs, investors, corporate intrapreneurs, and industry evolution seekers.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we started our journey in 2014, with a mission to bridge top-tiered resources between the world’s top innovation hubs. Our two centers, located in the heart of Silicon Valley and Boston-Cambridge, provide an internationally collaborative environment for tech startups, venture capitals, and cross-border organizations to exchange, create, and innovate.

About Global Health Impact Network

Global Health Impact Network is building a robust global health professional driven network of communities across professions and specialties. GHIN is the place where Healthcare Professionals collaborate on the future of Digital Health Innovation. GHIN is a community of like-minded healthcare professionals who share a common vision “empower healthcare professionals to actively participate in shaping the evolving digital healthcare revolution."

About Back Bay Life Science Advisors

Back Bay is a globally-respected boutique consultancy that has accomplished what no other firm has—pairing expert strategy throughout the product lifecycle with expert guidance in banking.

Back Bay partners with life science innovators ranging from global brands to nascent startups, academic centers of technology transfer to government bodies. We help to advance biopharma and MedTech development on an international level.

Founded in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood in 2010 by an investment banker/consultant with a long academic medical background, and a life science consultant, Back Bay Life Science Advisors quickly established trusted relationships that helped to shape Boston’s life science ecosystem. Soon after, Back Bay’s reach extended to Europe. Our teams are comprised of scientific researchers, biotech executives, physicians, surgeons, bankers and data researchers who excel at partnership and in guiding global life sciences companies and their investors through complex decisions.

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