MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2013) – Applications are now open for ZeroTo510, an entrepreneurship accelerator program designed to help start-ups bring medical device products and services to market. Applications will be accepted until March 25, 2013.
ZeroTo510 is unique among accelerator programs in that it focuses on medical devices, leveraging the regional strength 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.
Results for the six companies in the inaugural 2012 program were outstanding, with one company, Restore Medical Solutions, completing the program with a full round (Series A) of venture capital funding, and four others finishing the accelerator with additional funding in the amount of $100,000 each.
Through a competitive application process, six companies will again be selected for the 2013 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, 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. 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.
“Last year, ZeroTo510 was launched as the first-ever program of its kind in the United States focused on medical devices,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks. “We received applications from across the United States, carefully selected our six participants and were very pleased with the quality of their ideas, the spirit of comradery that developed, the levels of learning, and, in the end, with the final presentations that resulted in additional funding. We expect even higher quality in 2013.”
An entrepreneurship program for medical devices is an ideal match for the resources and talents of 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, but achieving success in that path requires unique skills and knowledge. ZeroTo510 will provide the coaching, mentoring, networking and access to subject matter experts that entrepreneurs need in order 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 business. And, there is always additional funding potential, as demonstrated by last year’s Series A funding for one company, once the presentation round is reached.
“When we entered the ZeroTo510 program last year, we expected it to be very helpful in developing our concept and our company. What we did not anticipate is the level of education, contacts and business development help the program would give,” said Ryan Ramkhelawan, chief executive officer, Restore Medical Solutions. “We emerged from ZeroTo510 prepared to take our company to the next level and with a full round of Series A venture capital funding.”
Competition for participation in the program is open internationally. However, companies selected must be based in Memphis for the duration of the program.
“Last year, once the companies from outside of the Memphis area arrived, they soon realized the potential that Memphis offers,” said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 advisor. “The Memphis-based resources, talent and overall environment to launch and grow a medical device company are strategic advantages in the medical device industry.”
Applications to participate in ZeroTo510 are due by March 25. Companies for participation will be notified by April 11. The program will begin on May 11. 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
The Memphis Bioworks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was formed to lead the collaboration among public, private, academic, and government entities to accelerate the growth of the bioscience industry in the region. Memphis Bioworks strives to leverage and expand the regional strengths in the biosciences through education, research, job training, and commercialization. Memphis Bioworks is leading the development of the UT-Baptist Research Park, which serves as the focal point of the city’s biomedical economic development. For more information, visit www.memphisbioworks.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/MemphisBioworks or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.