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VOL. 128 | NO. 35 | Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ZeroTo510 Accelerator Accepting Applications

By Andy Meek

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The ZeroTo510 startup accelerator is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs who’d like to be part of the program’s sophomore season.

March 25 is the deadline to apply for the program, the goal of which is to help entrepreneurs bring medical device products and services to market.

Over the course of the 12-week program, ZeroTo510 will aim to help medical device entrepreneurs navigate the startup process, refine their business models and achieve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing.

That’s where the name of the program comes from – the idea that an entrepreneur is going from zero to the 510 filing.

“Just like last year, we’re now looking to select six teams to participate,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. “We’re going to be recruiting from all over. We’re looking for basically the best teams and the ones that our investors feel like would be good investments, the ones that have good technologies we can take through the process.”

“We’re looking for basically the best teams and the ones that our investors feel like would be good investments.”

–Allan Daisley
Director of entrepreneurship and sustainability, Memphis Bioworks Foundation

One company in last year’s ZeroTo510 round, Restore Medical Solutions, completed the program with a full round of venture capital funding. Four others finished with additional funding of $100,000 each.

Over the course of the program, the companies that are chosen to participate will go through an intense, mentor-driven program of instruction and hands-on activities designed to shape their ideas and hone their entrepreneurial skills. Each company chosen for the program also will get $50,000 in seed capital from co-investors Innova and MB Venture Partners.

The program is operated by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Innova. At the end of the 12-week program, the participants will pitch to a group of investors. The investors will choose finalists who will get up to $100,000 in additional capital and the opportunity to develop their business even further.

Competition for participation in the program is open internationally, but companies chosen must be based in Memphis for the duration of the program.

“Last year, once the companies from outside of the Memphis area arrived, they soon realized the potential that Memphis offers,” said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 advisor.

Companies chosen for participation will be notified by April 11. The program will begin on May 11.

ZeroTo510 is an initiative of the Greater Memphis Regional Accelerator, a program funded by Launch Tennessee and the state as part of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s INCITE initiative.

The Memphis Bioworks Foundation has been awarded a $250,000 grant by Launch Tennessee to encourage regional startup acceleration and target new business development in medical device and biotechnology, information technology and logistics sectors. This is the second year of funding for the regional accelerator.

The Memphis Bioworks Foundation, in partnership with LaunchYourCity, Inc., will execute several programs through the accelerator.

In addition to ZeroTo510, they’ll execute Seed Hatchery, which is operated by LaunchYourCity. It’s similar to ZeroTo510, but Seed Hatchery is a mentorship-driven, seed stage investment program for general innovation and information technology startups.

The Memphis Bioworks Foundation and LaunchYourCity also are planning to jointly operate a new logistics and biologistics-focused accelerator. That new accelerator could target innovative concepts in traditional logistics, as well as innovations in the emerging field of biologistics, which provides solutions related to transportation of time- and temperature-sensitive bioscience materials.

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