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Memphis Bioworks™ Foundation Release: Applications Requested for First-Ever Medical Device Accelerator

2/21/2012 2:02:20 PM

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, February 21, 2012 – Applications are now open for ZeroTo510, a program designed to help entrepreneurs bring medical device products and companies to market, and are being accepted now through April 5.

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, six companies will be 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. In addition, each company chosen for the program will receive $50,000 in 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 launched 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 Accelerator Consortium, a Startup TN affiliate program funded by the State of Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commission.

“ZeroTo510 is the first-ever program of its kind in the United States focused on medical devices,” said Allan Daisley, director of innovation and sustainability initiatives for Memphis Bioworks. “An entrepreneurship program for medical devices is an ideal match for the resources and talents of the Memphis area. Typically, it can take years for ideas to pass through regulatory hurdles. An accelerator program that focuses on the 510(k) filing is the right approach to achieving an expedited path to market, but achieving success in that path requires unique skills and knowledge. ZeroTo510 will provide that.”

At the end of the 12-week program, the participants will pitch to a group of investors. The investors will select up to three finalists, who will receive as much as $100,000 in additional capital infusion and the opportunity to further develop their business and then present at the 10th Musculoskeletal New Ventures Conference in Memphis this October.

Competition for participation in the program is open internationally. However, companies selected must be Memphis-based or willing to relocate to Memphis for participation.

“Those who are already Memphis-based know the resources and talent available to them here,” said Ken Woody, Innova partner and Zeroto510 board member. “Those who relocate here will soon learn that Memphis is the right environment to launch and grow a medical device company, and we expect them to quickly develop connections here.”

Applications to participate in ZeroTo510 are due by April 5. Companies for participation will be notified by April 12. The program will begin on May 12. Information on applying and additional information about the ZeroTo510 program is available at

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

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