Six Companies Selected for 2013 ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 13, 2013) – The six participating teams in the 2013 ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator have been accepted and start the program today at the Memphis Bioworks Business Incubator. The 2013 participants are:

AIS Inc. – This is a local team led by a biomedical engineering student from The University of Memphis who previously had a career in the Army. They are building a leadless, single-surgery (battery is external), GPS- and Bluetooth-enabled hybrid cardioverter defibrillator. Their product is targeted to pediatric patients because surgery is not required to replace the battery.

Better Walk – A team of biomedical engineering students from Georgia Tech are making a redesigned crutch that relieves the primary complaint of crutch users by eliminating the discomfort experienced in the underarm area due to axillary nerve damage.

Cuff-Gard – A nurse from West Memphis has designed a disposable skin barrier, worn by a patient, to protect and extend the life of blood pressure machine cuffs. The barriers are impenetrable; one side absorbs fluids or drainage from the skin, and the other side is a polypropylene backing that protects the blood pressure cuff from contamination.

Health and Bliss – A team from Baltimore, H&B is attempting to revolutionize the way people detect strep throat by introducing to the market a patented self-contained screening test. Strep Test Anywhere allows patients to be tested for strep throat in a convenient, affordable, and time-saving manner.

Mobilizer – Led by one of last year’s participants, James Bell, this mobilization device is modeled after a wheeled walker, but has shelves and attachments that help carry around other medical devices like IV drips, oxygen tanks, etc. The team is attempting to solve the expensive problem of helping wounded patients become mobile by reducing the need for additional staff assistance.

SurgiLight – This team has designed a novel LED light for use in surgeries and is led by an electrical engineering student from The University of Memphis. Connected by a long flexible tube, the light allows easier and better lighting to hard-to-access surgical sites.

“During the recruitment process, we received competitive applications from around the United States, and we had two international applicants,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks. “The high quality of the applications made the selection of this year’s participants quite a challenge.”

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 start-ups.

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 achieving follow-on funding in the amount of $100,000 each.

The 12-week program will culminate in Demo Day on August 8, when the participants will pitch to a group of investors, who will select the finalists, who could receive as much as $100,000 in additional capital infusion and the opportunity to further develop their businesses in Phase II of the program. And, there is always additional funding potential if the investors are sufficiently impressed, as demonstrated by the $2.5M Series A funding received by Restore Medical Solutions, based on their impressive accomplishments achieved by Demo Day.

“Though the ultimate goals of ZeroTo510 are helping participants achieve the FDA 510(k) filing and obtaining capital, the programs benefits reach far beyond those goals,” 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.”

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 is available at

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, Facebook at or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.