ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator Accepting Applications

Deadline for fifth cohort of nationally ranked accelerator is March 15

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, February 22, 2016 – Applications for the fifth cohort of ZeroTo510, the leading entrepreneurship accelerator program for medical device products and services with a demonstrated track record of success in bringing start-up companies to market, will be accepted until March 15, 2016.

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 three-month, 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 fifth year, the program has accelerated the creation of 20 new companies, $9.2 million in investments, and more than 40 jobs. In addition, 60 percent of graduates have received post-accelerator follow-on funding, at an average of $675,000 per company. 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 Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Ark., and Chihuahua, Mexico. Among these companies’ successes: five have completed the FDA clearance or exemption process and have products in the marketplace generating revenue. As the first-ever medical device accelerator, ZeroTo510 is now recognized as a benchmark model for medical device accelerators both nationally and internationally.

Highlights from 2015 include:

  • In March, ZeroTo510 was announced as one of the top 15 accelerators in the United States (and the only medical device accelerator on the list) by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project. The ranking was announced at SXSW and in TechCrunch.
  • In July, GlucosAlarm won first place in the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Also in July, Inspire Living, from Fairfax Station, Va., a start-up company offering a portable pediatric health monitor, was named by independent experts as a leading innovation in the maternal, child, and newborn health category as part of Reimagining Global Health, the inaugural report of the Innovation Countdown 2030 initiative. Reimagining Global Health was officially launched at the third UN Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • In December, SweetBio, a medical device startup specializing in wound healing biomaterials and focusing in dental, raised an additional $900,000 of equity financing to support FDA 510(k) clearance and commercialization of the SweetBio GTR (Guided Tissue Regeneration) Membrane.
  • Just this month, 2015 ZeroTo510 graduate LineGard Med raised an additional $800,000 in funding to continue development of its SafeBreak IV device and submit its 510(k) clearance filing to the FDA.

“In our fifth year, we’re leveraging our national ranking and our graduates’ successes to reach a global applicant pool,” said Allan Daisley, president and co-founder of ZeroTo510.  “Alongside our community’s robust medical device industry, ZeroTo510 is consistently attracting innovative technologies, businesses and jobs right here to Memphis.”

Process

Through a competitive application process, up to six companies will be selected for the 2016 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. ZeroTo510 is operated by Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

ZeroTo510 is also an integral part of EPIcenter, which serves as a central point of contact for the Memphis region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and coordinates resources from various organizations in the community such as accelerators, incubators, mentors, investors, networking programs, and technical assistance programs for entrepreneurs.  Together with the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle, Memphis Bioworks, Emerge Memphis, Start Co., and other partners, EPIcenter is pursuing a common goal of creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Memphis to service the Mid-South 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.

At the end of the three-month program, the participants will pitch to a group of investors at the community’s Memphis Demo Day on August 11, 2016. The investors will select finalists, who will receive an additional negotiated capital infusion and the opportunity to further develop their businesses.

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.

“Our 2015 cohort was particularly successful because we’ve refined our selection criteria in order to match our cohort companies to mentors and resources specific to Memphis,” Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 co-founder. “As investors, we’re also happy to see many of these resources resulting from collaborations across the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem through EPIcenter.”

“Beyond capital, we are proud to connect these companies to expertise and customers in the medical device ecosystem here,” said Gary Stevenson, co-founder and managing partner of MB Venture Partners and a member of the ZeroTo510 board of directors.  “There’s no better place to build a medical device business than in Memphis.”

Timeline

  • Applications to participate in ZeroTo510 are due by March 15.
  • Companies selected for participation will be notified by April 2.
  • The program will begin on May 2.

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.