Applications Open for 2014 ZeroTo510 Cohort

Applications Requested for ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator

Now in its third year, accelerator application process seeks business ideas from around the globe

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Jan. 24, 2014) – Applications are now open for ZeroTo510, an entrepreneurship accelerator program that has proven to help start-ups bring medical device products and services to market.  Applications will be accepted until March 16, 2014, with up to three slots being eligible for “early acceptance.”

ZeroTo510 is unique among accelerator programs in that it focuses on medical devices, leveraging the regional strengths of the Memphis area.  The goal of ZeroTo510 is to help medical device entrepreneurs navigate the start-up process, refine their business models and achieve the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing.

Now in its third year, the program has accelerated the creation of 12 new companies, more than 25 local jobs, and more than $4 million in investments.  The nationally recognized program has attracted entrepreneurs locally and from places like Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Duke University in Durham, N.C. and Greenville, S.C. Among these companies’ successes: three are in the marketplace generating revenue, one has received FDA clearance, and one is treating patients in an IRB study.  As the first-ever medical device accelerator, ZeroTo510 is now recognized as a benchmark model for subsequent medical device accelerators, including one in Australia.

Through a competitive application process, six companies will again be selected for the 2014 ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator, where they will matriculate through an intensive, mentor-driven, 12-week program of instruction and hands-on activities designed to guide the entrepreneurs through the process. Each company chosen for the program will receive $50,000 in initial seed capital from co-investors Innova, a pre-seed, seed and early-stage investor focused on starting and funding high-growth companies in the healthcare, technology and healthcare technology fields across the state of Tennessee, and MB Venture Partners, a Memphis-based venture capital firm that provides equity capital and strategic direction to life sciences start-ups.

The program is operated by Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the region’s go-to organization for creating companies, jobs and investments in bioscience, and Innova.  ZeroTo510 is an initiative of the Greater Memphis Regional Accelerator, a program funded by Launch Tennessee and the State of Tennessee as part of Governor Haslam’s INCITE initiative.  Announced in May 2012, the INCITE program is designed to support innovation across the state and drive growth in the creation of knowledge-based jobs. INCITE is named for its focus on innovation, commercialization, investment, technology and entrepreneurship.

“Though it originally was the first of its kind, ZeroTo510 is now a proven model that has resulted in two years of successfully helping entrepreneurs from around the country accelerate medical device companies and create jobs,” said Allan Daisley, co-founder of ZeroTo510 and director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks.  “This year, we’re looking forward to building on the momentum of the program by providing world-class expertise and guidance to six more companies and entrepreneur teams.”

An entrepreneurship program for medical devices is an ideal match for the resources and talents in the Memphis area.  Typically, it can take several years for ideas to pass through the traditional FDA regulatory process.  The 510(k) process provides an expedited path to market, and as such makes a good fit for an accelerator program. Achieving success on that path requires unique skills and knowledge, and ZeroTo510 provides the coaching, mentoring, networking and access to subject matter experts that entrepreneurs need to be successful.

At the end of the 12-week program, the participants will pitch to a group of investors. The investors will select finalists, who will receive as much as $100,000 in additional capital infusion and the opportunity to further develop their businesses.  And, there is always additional funding potential once the presentation round is reached.

Competition for participation in the program is open internationally.  However, companies selected must be based in Memphis for the duration of the program.

“Memphis, Tennessee has the industry expertise and ecosystem that makes it a perfect environment for a medical device business accelerator,” said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 co-founder. “Memphis is the place to be if you want to build a successful medical device company, and ZeroTo510 provides the guidance and mentorship needed to achieve that success.”

Applications to participate in ZeroTo510 are due by March 16.  Companies selected for participation will be notified by April 11, or earlier if they meet the “early acceptance” criteria.  The program will begin on May 14.  Information on applying and additional information about the ZeroTo510 program is available at http://www.zeroto510.com.

This project is funded under an agreement with Launch Tennessee and/or the State of Tennessee.

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About Memphis Bioworks Foundation
Memphis Bioworks is the Mid-South’s go-to organization for creating companies, jobs and investments in bioscience and sustainability.  A visionary community leader, Memphis Bioworks has a well-established record of sparking new levels of economic vitality by investing in entrepreneurs, building state-of-the-art labs and facilities, and training the next generation of workers.  For more information, visit www.memphisbioworks.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/MemphisBioworks or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.