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.