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Memphis Bioworks™ Foundation Release: Three Companies From ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator in Memphis Selected for Follow-On Funding Total investment Over Two Years Tops $4 Million


9/4/2013 10:13:27 AM

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MEMPHIS, Tennessee, September 4, 2013 – After 90 days of intensive entrepreneurial programming, mentorship, an initial $50,000 investment, and a pitch to an audience of potential investors, three companies participating in the summer 2013 ZeroTo510 program have been selected to continue to the second phase of the program and receive additional funding in the amount of $100,000 each.

The program is operated by Memphis Bioworks, and both seed and follow-on funding is provided by co-investors Innova, a pre-seed, seed and early-stage investor focused on starting and funding high-growth companies in the healthcare, bioscience, technology and ag innovation 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 three companies selected for additional accelerator funding are:

- Better Walk has developed a redesigned crutch that is designed to reduce forearm fatigue, improve patient comfort, and reduce the amount of force in the underarm.

- Mobilizer has developed a device modeled after a wheeled walker, with shelves and attachments that help carry equipment for more efficient ambulation of critical care patients.

- View Medical has designed a novel LED light with a long, flexible tube that allows for easier and better lighting for deep-cavity surgeries.

“The ZeroTo510 program clearly has excellent momentum and a growing reputation for success. We are proud to graduate another cohort of medical device start-up businesses, each with a real opportunity to have a lasting impact on the medical community,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks and program director for ZeroTo510.

In total, the program has accelerated the creation of 12 new companies, more than 25 local jobs, and more than $4 million in investments. The nationally recognized program has attracted entrepreneurs locally and from places like Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Duke University in Durham, N.C. and Greenville, S.C. The six companies that participated in the 2012 ZeroTo510 cohort also continue to build their businesses here in Tennessee, validating one of the program’s goals of growing businesses and creating jobs locally. Among these companies’ successes: one is in the marketplace generating revenue, one has treated its first patient in an IRB study, and one is in the final stages of receiving its FDA clearance.

“At this point in the process, the three selected companies from the 2013 ZeroTo510 class have met the milestones needed to move to the next phase of funding,” said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 advisor. “We expect each of the companies receiving additional investment to use that money to further develop their products, build a business and hire local talent, right here in Memphis.”

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 were 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.

ZeroTo510 is an initiative of the Greater Memphis Regional Accelerator, a program administered by Launch Tennessee and funded by the State of Tennessee as part of Tennessee Governor Bill 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.

More information on the ZeroTo510 program is available at http://www.zeroto510.com.

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

About the 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.

About INNOVA

Innova is a pre-seed, seed and early-stage investor focused on starting and funding high-growth companies in the Biosciences, Technology and AgBio fields across the state of Tennessee. Innova was created by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation to help establish Memphis as a national center of excellence in entrepreneurship. Innova provides entrepreneurs with access to incubator facilities, training and mentoring, industry networks and seasoned executives. Innova’s goal is to nurture the growth of high technology and entrepreneurial efforts in the Mid-South that will result in significant job creation, economic growth and competitiveness. To learn more about Innova, visit www.innovamemphis.com.

About MB Venture Partners

MB Venture Partners is a Memphis-based venture capital firm that provides equity capital and strategic direction to life sciences start-ups. The Firm invests in medical device and biotechnology companies at various stages of development and has now funded 24 start-ups. The Firm is especially focused on product solutions for musculoskeletal conditions, where we have specific domain expertise and relationships to assist portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.mbventures.com.

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