VOL. 129 | NO. 165 | Monday, August 25, 2014
Silicone Arts Laboratories Recruited for Dallas Accelerator
By Andy Meek
A Memphis company founded in 2011 that makes innovative cosmetic products has been recruited to participate in the Dallas-based health care accelerator Health Wildcatters.
The company is Silicone Arts Laboratories, which manufacturers a topical filler called Dermaflage that uses silicone to simulate skin and instantly conceal recessed imperfections. The product is waterproof and conceals skin imperfections for up to 36 hours. Designed for ease of use among consumers, Dermaflage’s other strength is that it provides a cosmetic option for concealing recessed scars and skin defects on the face and body without having to resort automatically to surgery or injections.
The company has said it saw quick success from the get-go with a growing international customer base, including sales on the TV shopping network QVC. Its board includes veteran executives from companies like Proctor and Gamble, and the company closed its initial round of investment capital through local investors.
The company is now raising its Series A funding round. Silicone Arts Labs’ lead investor group is Green Park & Golf out of Dallas, which has supported the company for a while now and, according to Silicone Arts Labs CEO Oscar Atkinson, encouraged the company to participate in the Health Wildcatters program.
He added that the program, a spin-off of the Forbes top 10 accelerator Tech Wildcatters, will serve as an opportunity for the company to fine-tune and develop its strategy in medical channels as it extends its product line.
Silicone Arts Laboratories chief marketing officer Jocelyn Atkinson recently joined the company full time after dividing her focus between the company and Southern Growth Studio, another Memphis venture.
“For the past two years, I have been splitting my time between Southern Growth Studio and Silicone Arts Labs, working tirelessly to grow both businesses,” she said. “The building momentum at Silicone Arts Labs over the last 12 months really triggered my move to join the management team in a full-time capacity, and I am enjoying channeling my energy in a singular direction.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without our Memphis-based investors, but it has been tough to raise the next round of growth capital in Memphis. We are a consumer product company sold through retail and medical channels, and we were told that we were not a clean fit for the medical device and life sciences investor focus here in Memphis. The early stage venture investment community is more robust in Dallas, and the guidance of the Health Wildcatters will accelerate our penetration of the dermatology and plastic surgery markets.”
That’s why, she added, the company decided to head south to find strategic advisers and investors who understand the space and the nature of its technology.
For its part, Health Wildcatters taps promising health care startups to go through the program and provides them with seed funding as well as mentoring to prepare them for the challenges of doing business in the competitive, highly regulated health care industry.
The accelerator’s 2013 inaugural class raised about $5 million within six months. The 12-week program begins in late August and culminates in a pitch day to an audience of more than 500 angel investors, venture capitalists, business leaders and media members at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas in November.