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VOL. 127 | NO. 159 | Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Investor Day Arrives for ZeroTo510

By Andy Meek

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The first entrepreneurs to go through the ZeroTo510 business accelerator program are 24 hours away from their moment of truth.

Six medical-focused startups that participated in the first phase of the entrepreneurship boot camp, launched earlier this year by Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Innova, will pitch their concepts to investors Thursday, Aug. 16, in the hope of securing funding that takes them to the next level.

During “Investor Day” a group of industry experts and investors will choose up to three of the startups to get an additional $100,000 investment in exchange for an incremental equity stake in the company.

That starts a second 90-day period in which the companies shepherd their prototypes through the next phase of development and will focus on meeting U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements for a 510(k) regulatory filing.

Investor Day runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday in the Memphis Bioworks Foundation Conference Center, 20 S. Dudley St.

“We’ve got a really good group of companies, and they’ve made tremendous progress over the summer,” said Allan Daisley, ZeroTo510 program director. “On Investor Day, there’ll be investors in the audience, and the companies will be presenting their plans, showing them the progress they’ve made over the 90 days of this program and really looking for that next level of funding for their businesses.

“There’ll be opening remarks, and we have a representative from the state who’s going to talk about entrepreneurship grants and activities they’ve been doing and offering to help promote business acceleration and the growth of new startups across the state. I will give an overview of the ZeroTo510 program for the audience. And we have a keynote speaker, Dr. Steve Charles, who’ll speak about his view of startups.”

Each of the six companies got a $50,000 investment to get them started toward developing their business and designing prototypes. The work they did preceding Investor Day included classroom activity, hands-on exercises and guidance from mentors.

“I’ve enjoyed working with these companies and watching them grow and develop over the course of the ZeroTo510 program,” said Emily Brackstone, an associate in the Memphis office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

Brackstone and fellow Baker Donelson attorneys Trey Haire and Matt Heiter have been working with the program, providing legal advice and a foundational body of knowledge to get the entrepreneurs on their way. Baker Donelson also is a sponsor of the Investor Day event.

The six ZeroTo510 companies are:

• Bionanovations, which uses bio-nanotechnology to help with the rapid detection and monitoring of bacterial infection.

• Handminder, which provides a device and method for more effective rehabilitation of the use of hand function in stroke victims.

• NanOphthalmics, which has devised a way to more effectively treat corneal abrasions, leading to faster healing and recovery time.

• Randall Surgical, which provides an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional patient positioners used in the more than 20 million surgeries performed in the U.S. each year.

• Restore Medical, which has invented a surgical tray and method that increases speed and efficacy in reprocessing sterile surgical instruments.

• Urova Medical, which has invented a way of treating feminine stress urinary incontinence, a condition that affects up to one in three adult females.

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