Category Archives: News Releases

ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator Opens 2015 Application Process

Now in its fourth year, accelerator has track record of success

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (January 23, 2015) – 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 15, 2015.

ZeroTo510 is unique among accelerator programs in that it focuses on medical devices, leveraging the regional strengths of the Memphis area.  The goal of the 12-week, mentor-driven program 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 fourth year, the program has accelerated the creation of 16 new companies, more than 30 jobs, and $7.5 million in investments. The nationally recognized program has attracted entrepreneurs from the Memphis area and from outside the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, including Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Duke University in Durham, N.C. and from 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.

“We’re looking for students, entrepreneurs and professionals who have innovative ideas for the next generation of medical device products and technology,” said Allan Daisley, co-founder of ZeroTo510 and director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks.  “Here in Memphis, we have the expertise, network, capital and track record to help bring those ideas to life.”

ZeroTo510 is also an integral part of EPIcenter, a collaborative and community-wide strategic initiative led by Memphis Bioworks that is helping entrepreneurs conceive, launch and scale businesses in the Memphis region.  Beyond the accelerator process, ZeroTo510 participants will also have access to EPIcenter-led collaborations among entrepreneurial support organizations in Memphis, as well as expertise and support from the full entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

Process

Through a competitive application process, up to six companies will be selected for the 2015 cohort and 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.

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.

An entrepreneurship program for medical devices is an ideal match for the resources and talents in the Memphis area, which has the second-largest concentration of medical device companies in the United States.  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.

“While funding is essential in building these businesses and commercializing products, we’re also able to offer medical device expertise and mentorship to accelerator participants,” said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 co-founder. “We invest more than capital in these ZeroTo510 teams because our ultimate goal is to help these entrepreneurs build successful, scalable businesses that grow jobs and have a positive impact on our economy.”

“We are pleased to be an equity partner in the ZeroTo510 program again this year,” said Gary Stevenson, co-founder and managing partner of MB Venture Partners and a member of the ZeroTo510 board of directors.  “We have enjoyed working with all 16 of the start-ups that have finished the program to date and look forward to working with this year’s group.”

ZeroTo510 is operated by Memphis Bioworks Foundation and is an initiative of the Greater Memphis Regional Accelerator, a program funded by Launch Tennessee and the State of Tennessee.

Timeline

  • Applications to participate in ZeroTo510 are due by March 15.
  • Companies selected for participation will be notified by April 4.
  • The program will begin on May 4.

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

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.

Innovative Ag Start-ups and Investors to Present at Tennessee AgriTech Challenge

Statewide Event on November 11 Supports Governor Haslam’s Rural Challenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 23, 2014) – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development and Memphis Bioworks Foundation will host the Tennessee AgriTech Challenge on November 11, 2014, at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Tennessee AgriTech Challenge will feature presentations from agricultural technology start-ups, established companies, venture capitalists and thought leaders in support of Governor Haslam’s Rural Challenge: A 10-Year Strategic Plan.

The event will highlight statewide innovative companies that are addressing global hunger, food safety, farm efficiency, and opportunities for new farm income and rural jobs and that have participated in the entrepreneurial support programs developed by Memphis Bioworks. Participating companies are:

  • Climate Adaptive Genetics – Climate Adaptive Genetics is developing heat-tolerant cattle using technology developed at Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Croptell – Croptell is the row crop farming industry’s go-to financial farm planning software. The company’s goal is to make farm budgeting and reporting simple, accessible and relevant.
  • Hivalgo – Hivalgo will redefine the grains and oilseeds markets through information technology. Hivalgo’s customers will have access to better information on the tangible and intangible attributes of the grain and oilseeds provided by their producer suppliers and be able to purchase directly from those producers.
  • Sytheros – Sytheros Communications is developing a wireless sensor platform for agriculture and other industries where novel sensors and long-range, low-cost communications can be combined to create solutions to reduce water and energy use.

In addition, business leaders and investors will address future trends in agriculture and the vital role of agricultural innovation in Tennessee’s economy.  Presentations include:

  • Ron Meeusen, PhD, Managing Director, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures.  Cultivian Sandbox is a venture capital firm focused on building next-generation disruptive agriculture and food technology companies capable of generating superior returns.
  • Walt Mullins, PhD, Trait Manager, Bayer CropScience.  Dr. Mullins will give an overview of Bayer’s soy and cotton trait pipeline and Bayer’s $1 billion commitment to ag innovation in the United States, including $17 million investment in its Tennessee-based research center.
  • Barry Knight, Chief Executive Officer, Cresco Ag LLC. CrescoAg is a Tennessee company with the goal of helping farmers gather and compare data in order to make better management decisions for their farms.

“The Tennessee AgriTech Challenge is an opportunity to showcase new and innovative ideas and technologies in agriculture,” said Tennessee Agricultural Commissioner Julius Johnson.  “We believe that the agricultural innovation component of the Governor’s Rural Challenge is an exciting and necessary component to grow rural economies in the state.”

“From a rural development perspective, the AgriTech Challenge allows us to highlight the growing role of innovation in agricultural production and in supporting new job creation,” said Bobby Goode, State Director of Rural Development with USDA.

“Leveraging Tennessee’s agricultural strength and heritage to build successful, innovative agricultural businesses that can compete and provide solutions in a global economy is one of the keys to our state’s economic future,” said Steve Bares, PhD, president and executive director of Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

The event is expected to attract more than 100 attendees, including investors, business and community representatives and supporters.

The event is sponsored by: Ag Innovation Development Group, MidAmerica Farm Credit, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee Ag Research, and University of Tennessee at Martin.

For more information, or to register for the event, visit http://www.memphisbioworks.org/tennessee-agritech-challenge.

This project is funded under an agreement with Tennessee Department of Agriculture and USDA Rural Development.

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About Tennessee Department of Agriculture

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture promotes local produce and products and ensures safe and dependable food and fiber for all while conserving our natural resources. The Department touches the lives of Tennesseans every day through the food we eat, the fuel we pump, the clothes we wear, the wood products we use and the land we enjoy. For more information, visit www.tn.gov/agriculture.

About USDA Rural Development

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the lives of people in rural areas and the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. For more information, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/TN-Home.html.

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. Memphis Bioworks was recently tapped by the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle to lead the Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter), an organization that will serve as the single front door and single point of accountability for entrepreneurs in Memphis. For more information, visit www.memphisbioworks.org.

 

Bioworks Awarded $8M Job Training and Placement Grant

On October 15, 2014, Memphis Bioworks was awarded an $8 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor to lead an initiative to train and place long-term unemployed and underemployed Mid-South residents into bioscience and information technology jobs.

This initiative is in development, and more information will be available soon.  In the meantime, you can sign up here to be notified when more information about these training programs is available.  

The announcement from Congressman Cohen’s office is below, and you can read the Department of Labor announcement about its Ready to Work Partnership grants here.

______________________________________________________________________________

Contact: Ben Gash Garmisa (Rep. Cohen)
202.225.3265
Jessica Taveau (Memphis Bioworks Foundation)
901.866.1435

October 15, 2014

http://cohen.house.gov/press-release/cohen-new-8-million-job-training-placement-partnership-will-help-nearly-1000

Cohen: New $8 Million Job Training & Placement Partnership Will Help Nearly 1,000 Unemployed Memphians Find Jobs

Memphis Bioworks Foundation will lead Southern Education and Training Consortium’s new Bio/IT program focused on job training and placement for long-term unemployed

[MEMPHIS, TN] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced a new $8,083,138 federal grant to help 960 long-term unemployed citizens in the Memphis metropolitan area find good paying jobs in high-skills industries. This funding will help the Memphis Bioworks Foundation lead the Southern Education and Training Consortium’s new Bio/IT program, a multi-state partnership that will offer advanced job training, coaching, and other services leading to direct job placement in bioscience and information technology (IT) positions that otherwise would likely be filled by high-skilled immigrants.

“While recent indicators show signs of recovery in our nation’s economy, too many Memphians are still struggling to find decent jobs,” said Congressman Cohen. “This influx of federal funding will help provide almost 1,000 Memphians with the skills and training they need to fill good-paying, 21st century jobs in the Mid-South, and it will go an extra step to help identify and place them in those jobs. With the Memphis Bioworks’ proven track record of success, I am confident that this funding will be put to good use providing opportunities to our city’s long-term unemployed.”

“We are pleased to once again play a key role in serving local workforce training and job placement needs in the areas of bioscience and information technology,” said Memphis Bioworks Foundation President and Executive Director Steven Bares, PhD. “This grant allows Memphis Bioworks to build on demonstrated successes in leading multi-partner collaborations to train and place local residents in jobs that are in demand and in emerging fields.”

Since 2010, Memphis Bioworks’ workforce development efforts have resulted in more than 450 local residents being placed in jobs, 550 residents receiving degrees or credentials, and 900 residents receiving job and career training. The Southern Education Training Consortium Bio/IT program is a partnership between Memphis Bioworks, SeedCo, Southwest Tennessee Community College, the University of Memphis’ Bioinformatics Graduate Program, and other non-profits and educational facilities in the Tri-State area. This new Bio/IT program will be administered by Memphis Bioworks Workforce Development Director Pauline Vernon and her team. It will serve Tennessee’s Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton Counties; Mississippi’s Marshall, Tate, and Tunica Counties; and Crittenden County in Arkansas.

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.

This grant is part of more than $169 million awarded today through the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Ready to Work Partnership initiative, which aims to support and scale innovative collaborations between employers, nonprofit organizations and federal job training programs to help connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. For information about the Ready to Work program, please visit: http://www.doleta.gov/readytowork/.

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Two ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator Companies Selected for Follow-on Funding

Total investment over three years tops nearly $5 million

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, September 22, 2014 – After 90 days of intensive entrepreneurial programming, mentorship, an initial $50,000 investment, and a pitch to an audience of potential investors, two companies participating in the summer 2014 ZeroTo510 accelerator in Memphis have been selected to continue to the second phase of the program and receive additional funding in the amount of $100,000 each.

The program is operated by Memphis Bioworks, and both seed and follow-on funding is provided by co-investors Innova, a pre-seed, seed and early-stage investor focused on starting and funding high-growth companies in the healthcare, bioscience, technology and ag innovation fields across the Mid-South, and MB Venture Partners, a Memphis-based venture capital firm that provides equity capital and strategic direction to life sciences start-ups.

The two companies selected for additional accelerator funding are:

  • Compression Kinetics, which created a mobile, single-unit compression device that uses shape memory alloy fabric to deliver compression to patients’ legs, helping to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. (www.compkin.com)
  • EndoInSight, which has developed a novel device that uses single-use technology to provide medical centers with a simple, cost-effective way to adopt the use of CO2 in procedures such as colonoscopies. (www.endoinsight.com)

“Over the past three years, the support of Launch Tennessee, our investors, and the mentors and medical device experts here in Memphis have helped us take a large step forward in our leadership position in medical device commercialization,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks and program director for ZeroTo510. “The two companies selected for a second phase of funding this year each have the potential to bring to market a tool that can save lives and eliminate discomfort for millions of people. That is the kind of innovation and impact everyone involved with this program envisions and steps up to support.”

In total, ZeroTo510 has accelerated the creation of 16 new companies, more than 30 local jobs, and nearly $5 million in investments.  Three companies that have graduated from the program are now selling products in the marketplace, and the remaining companies are in the product development stage and/or raising additional funds. Among these companies’ successes:  three are generating revenue, two are supplying products to local hospitals, and one recently closed several deals with local hospitals as well as a deal with a major academic hospital in North Carolina.  Several of the companies from the 2012 and 2013 cohorts continue to build their businesses in Tennessee.

“The ZeroTo510 participants continue to set a high bar for emerging medical device and health-care technologies, and every participant that comes through the program has access to our assistance and contacts to move forward,” said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 advisor.  “These two companies show particular promise because of the large market need that they have targeted, and the success that they have shown to date in developing the prototypes and working with potential users in the marketplace. We will be working hard to ensure they are getting the assistance they need to grow and reach their next milestone. We’re excited to invest in these companies alongside MB Venture Partners and to provide the resources that they need to grow and hire employees here in Tennessee.”

“As investors, we look for long-term potential and the ability of an idea to move forward and ultimately become a respected and established product or service in the medical industry,” said  Gary Stevenson, partner, MB Venture Partners. “Each year we see entrepreneurs with ideas that have that potential. This year, we have selected two that stand out and that we think that, with the proper support, contacts and nurturing, will be long-term companies and employers that make an impact.”

ZeroTo510 is a unique, entrepreneurial accelerator program that focuses on leveraging the regional strength of the Memphis area in medical device research and manufacturing.  The goal of ZeroTo510 is to help medical device entrepreneurs navigate the start-up process, refine business models and achieve the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing.  Through a competitive application process, four companies were selected to matriculate through an intensive, mentor-driven, 12-week program of instruction and hands-on activities designed to guide the entrepreneur through the process. As the first-ever medical device accelerator, ZeroTo510 is now recognized as a benchmark model for subsequent medical device accelerators, including one in Australia.

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.

More information on the ZeroTo510 program is available at http://www.zeroto510.com.

This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee.

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About the 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.  Memphis Bioworks was tapped by the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle to lead the Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter), an organization that will serve as the single front door and single point of accountability for entrepreneurs in Memphis. For more information, visit www.memphisbioworks.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/MemphisBioworks or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.

About INNOVA

Innova is a pre-seed, seed and early-stage investor focused on starting and funding high-growth companies in the Biosciences, Technology and AgBio fields across the state of Tennessee. Innova was created by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation to help establish Memphis as a national center of excellence in entrepreneurship. Innova provides entrepreneurs with access to incubator facilities, training and mentoring, industry networks and seasoned executives. Innova’s goal is to nurture the growth of high technology and entrepreneurial efforts in the Mid-South that will result in significant job creation, economic growth and competitiveness. To learn more about Innova, visit www.innovamemphis.com.

About MB Venture Partners

MB Venture Partners is a Memphis-based venture capital firm that provides equity capital and strategic direction to life sciences start-ups. The Firm invests in medical device and biotechnology companies at various stages of development and has now funded more than 40 start-ups. The Firm is especially focused on product solutions for musculoskeletal conditions, where we have specific domain expertise and relationships to assist portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.mbventures.com.

TriMetis Life Sciences Acquires Biologistics Start-up

Acquisition expands Memphis-based pre-clinical research services for biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceutical companies

Memphis, Tenn. (August 22, 2014) – TriMetis Life Sciences, a pre-clinical research services company, has expanded by acquiring FoundationBio, a biospecimen procurement start-up with offices in Memphis and Boston.  FoundationBio utilizes access to tissue donors via hospitals and community oncology clinics and their supporting pathology and laboratory services partners around the world to obtain specimens for research. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For the full news release, visit the TriMetis website.

Vanderbilt University Collaborates with Bioworks to Encourage Growth of Tennessee-based Businesses

Nashville (July 8, 2014) – Vanderbilt University and Memphis Bioworks Foundation are teaming up CTTC_Final2011LIV#2_900_px_widthto accelerate business and product ideas from the university into the marketplace.

Vanderbilt’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization (CTTC) and Memphis Bioworks will introduce educational entrepreneurship programming, mentorship and strategic networks developed by Bioworks and its affiliate organizations to Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students.

Specifically, Memphis Bioworks’ medical device business accelerator program, ZeroTo510, will dedicate spots in its applicant pool for Vanderbilt nominees.  These nominees will be granted the opportunity to participate in the annual ZeroTo510 cohort via fast-tracked access to the final round of the selection process.

“Memphis Bioworks has built a successful entrepreneurship pathway for start-up companies, so working with them presents a unique opportunity for the Vanderbilt community to access a valuable platform for launching what has been created and developed here at Vanderbilt into viable businesses,” said Alan Bentley, Vanderbilt’s assistant vice chancellor for technology transfer and intellectual property protection.

ZeroTo510, now in its third year, is a first-of-its-kind accelerator program that focuses on medical devices, leveraging the regional strength of the Memphis area. Operated by Memphis Bioworks Foundation, 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.

“In the ZeroTo510 program over the last three years, we’ve been impressed with the quality of innovative technologies developed by Vanderbilt students and graduates,” said Steve Bares, PhD, president and executive director of Memphis Bioworks. “We’re excited to work with the university to ensure the best ideas are given the levels of awareness and access necessary to take the vital first steps toward potential commercialization of those ideas, and ultimately grow businesses and jobs here in Tennessee.”

Through Memphis Bioworks’ ZeroTo510 program, Innova – a pre-seed and early stage investor focused on supporting Tennessee-based startups in healthcare and technology fields – will work with CTTC to identify promising technologies being developed at Vanderbilt and make strategic investments in those technologies.

Since 2009, Bioworks and Innova have supported nearly 200 entrepreneurs, formed 60 companies and managed $53 million in equity investments. In 2013, 20 companies resided in Bioworks’ Business Incubator, and annual revenue from Bioworks Incubator and Innova portfolio companies totaled nearly $53 million.

The ZeroTo510 project is funded under an agreement with Launch Tennessee and/or the State of Tennessee.

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About Vanderbilt University Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Vanderbilt CTTC provides professional commercialization services to the Vanderbilt community, thus optimizing the flow of innovation to the marketplace and generating revenue that supports future research activities while having a positive impact on society. For more information, visit www.vanderbilt.edu/cttc or find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

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.  Memphis Bioworks was tapped by the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle to lead the Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter), an organization that will serve as the single front door and single point of accountability for entrepreneurs in Memphis. For more information, visit www.memphisbioworks.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/MemphisBioworks or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.

ZeroTo510 Grad Pitches at the White House

A graduate of Memphis accelerator ZeroTo510 demonstrated his innovative medical device to President Obama at the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18.

Partha Unnava, CEO of Better Walk, part of the 2013 ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator cohort, demonstrated the company’s re-imagined and re-designed crutch for the President as one of seven selected exhibitors at the event.

Through an online application process, Better Walk was selected to exhibit at the White House’s Maker Faire as one of three university teams. Unnava, a student at Georgia Tech, represented the university alongside students from MIT and Stanford.

Better Walk White House

Partha Unnava demonstrates Better Walk’s crutch to President Obama at the White House’s Maker Faire.

According to Unnava, President Obama tried the crutch, asked how it worked, and congratulated the company on their progress to date. Unnava was also selected to present a letter to President Obama on behalf of 150 universities encouraging the President to support the maker movement on university campuses. The letter was created using a 3D printer in both metal and plastic.

Better Walk is supported by Memphis 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 startups. Better Walk recently received six letters of intent from orthopedic clinics for purchasing the crutch, and the company is raising funds to manufacture the product to meet this demand.

In conjunction with the White House event, the City of Memphis joined 90 cities from around the country in marking the first-ever White House Mayors Maker Challenge. Chief Administrative Officer George Little and several local makers and entrepreneurs, including Bioworks President and Executive Director Steve Bares, PhD, and ZeroTo510 graduate Shawn Flynn, CEO of Restore Medical Solutions, spotlighted the City’s burgeoning maker movement and announced a maker roundtable, to be held this fall.

The roundtable will convene local, state, and federal officials, as well as private sector and non-profit stakeholders, for a focused discussion of the City’s maker and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and to explore partnerships and key policies that can continue to strengthen it.

The maker movement is gaining national recognition for its contributions to local manufacturing, education, economic growth, and entrepreneurship. While emphasizing diversity among makers, who range from those who tinker, build, and craft as hobbyists to thriving entrepreneurs, Chief Little emphasized their contributions to building an innovation economy in Memphis.

More information about the ZeroTo510 program and the 2014 cohort is available at ZeroTo510.com. For more information about Better Walk, visit bwcrutches.com.

Companies Selected for 2014 ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator

Now in its third year, accelerator seeks to develop the next generation of
medical device companies and ideas

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, May 12, 2014 – Four entrepreneurial teams have been accepted in the 2014 ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator and will begin the 12-week program at the Memphis Bioworks Business Incubator on Wednesday, May 14. The 2014 participants are:ZT5_Full_White

Blood Monitoring Solutions – This team, led by a recent graduate from Vanderbilt University, has created a tracking system device that reduces the amount of blood that is wasted in hospitals due to compliance parameters.

EndoInsight – Using patented technology out of Vanderbilt University, this company is bringing to market a novel low-cost carbon dioxide insufflation system that will help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with colonoscopies.

Innometrix – This team from Oxford, Miss., has cultivated a diagnostic technology that produces a biomechanical snapshot of the female pelvic floor that will give physicians better data prior to surgery.

Compression Kinetics– This team from Chapel Hill, N.C., has created a new type of compression sleeve, which uses a shape memory alloy to create a pressure wave to increase circulation throughout the human body and decrease peripheral edema.

“We received a high quality of applications this year, which made the selection process a challenge,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks Foundation. “In watching the development of the first two years’ companies, we have learned what types of concepts and products have the greatest likelihood of emerging into our ecosystem with both the potential for follow-on funding and long-term business viability. As a result, we chose to accept fewer teams into the program this year to be able to focus more time and attention on their success.”

The companies will matriculate through an intensive, mentorship-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 startups.

ZeroTo510, now in its third year, is unique among accelerator programs in that it focuses on medical devices, leveraging the regional strength of the Memphis area. Each selected entrepreneurial team must locate in Memphis for the duration of the program as a way of ensuring maximum benefits from classroom, collaboration, mentoring and the opportunity to tap into the unique Memphis medical device infrastructure and environment. The goal of ZeroTo510 is to help medical device entrepreneurs navigate the startup process, refine their business models and achieve the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing.

The program achieves results in a short period of time. Last year, three companies in the program received $100,000 of follow-up funding. Over the past two years, companies have achieved $4.5 million of investment funding. Three companies that have graduated from the program are now selling products in the marketplace, two are in a dormant phase to evaluate their long term potential and the remaining companies are in the product development stage and/or raising additional funds.

The accelerator program will conclude on “Demo Day” on August 14, when the participants will pitch to a group of investors, who will select the finalists, who will receive as much as $100,000 in additional capital funding and the opportunity to further develop their businesses in Phase II of the program. Also, there is additional funding potential if the investors are sufficiently impressed, as demonstrated by the $2.5 million Series A funding round received by Restore Medical Solutions, based on their impressive accomplishments achieved by Demo Day in 2012.

“Companies from across the United States want to participate in the ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator program with hopes of achieving the FDA 510(k) filing and obtaining capital, and they know that Memphis has the resources and talent available to them here,” said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 advisor. “Because of the globally significant medical device industry here in Memphis, we are able to get these start-ups in front of decision-makers and mentors who can help guide them to success. We have had much success with our prior cohorts and are excited to support this next class.”

The program is operated by Memphis Bioworks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that is leading the collaboration among public, private, academic, and government entities to accelerate the growth of the bioscience industry in the Memphis region, 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. Named for its focus on innovation, commercialization, investment, technology and entrepreneurship, INCITE is designed to support innovation across the state and drive growth in the creation of knowledge-based jobs.

More information about the ZeroTo510 program and the 2014 cohort is available at zeroto510.com.

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

Memphis Bioworks Celebrates Progress at UT-Baptist Research Park

Memphis Bioworks Celebrates Progress at UT-Baptist Research Park and Honors Baptist Memorial Health Care with Commemorative Plaque

The plaque honoring Baptist Memorial Hospital - Medical Center is mounted at 45 S. Dudley in the heart of the UT-Baptist Research Park.

The plaque honoring Baptist Memorial Hospital – Medical Center is mounted at 45 S. Dudley in the heart of the UT-Baptist Research Park.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (May 9, 2014) – Memphis Bioworks today celebrated the completion of the fourth phase of development on the UT-Baptist Research Park with the dedication of the Central Green and the unveiling of the Baptist Memorial Hospital – Medical Center commemorative plaque. Program speakers at the commemorative event included leadership from Memphis Bioworks, UT Health Science Center, Baptist Memorial Health Care and Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris.

“Over a century ago, the Baptist Memorial Hospital – Medical Center paved the way for medical advancement at the exact site that now serves as the center for bioscience innovation in Memphis,” said Steve Bares, Ph.D., Executive Director of Memphis Bioworks Foundation. “Today, with this dedication we permanently honor Baptist Memorial Health Care’s commitment to medical excellence and pledge to continue the tradition of health care innovation throughout Biowork’s UT-Baptist Research Park.”

From an infrastructure perspective, Bioworks began working to raise money in the early 2000s to develop a world class research park in the Memphis Medical Center at the former site of the Baptist Memorial Hospital. Federal, state, local and private funds were raised to clear the site including the demolition of more than 1.3 million square feet of space. In 2005, the implosion of the old hospital building was the largest demolition project in the U.S. In total, more than $140 Million has been invested in new construction and property renovation across the research park campus. Today there are 305,000 square-feet of built and renovated space.

Development phases completed to-date at the UT-Baptist Research Park:

·         Phase 1: Renovation of 20 S. Dudley, where Bioworks is headquartered and 36 companies are incubated.

·         Phase 2: Completion of Regional Biocontainment Laboratory

·         Phase 3: Completion of University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy building

·         Phase 4: Completion of TriMetis Specialized Laboratory and Central Green (the eco-roof)