Memphis medical products startup EcoSurg is gravitating toward a prescription for success.
The firm has secured a third round of capital from Innova Memphis and MB Venture Partners, a Memphis venture capital fund co-founded by philanthropist J.R. “Pitt” Hyde III.
While the funding amount was not disclosed, it follows EcoSurg’s recent growth. It’s now shipping products nationwide.
“We’re hiring, we’re expanding our footprint across the country and we’re planning to keep scaling up,” said company co-founder and chief executive officer Ray Randall in a phone interview from South Carolina where he was conducting interviews for new sales representatives. “It’s been an amazing year, but we couldn’t have done all this without the financial assistance and mentoring opportunities from the ZeroTo510 program.”
EcoSurg has shifted operations from the original office space at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation near Downtown to a 10,000-square-foot warehouse that will serve as EcoSurg’s local headquarters.
Bioworks, a non-profit agency formed a decade ago to spur tech startups, created Innova to help fund entrepreneurs and operates the ZeroTo510 program to help promising tech startups grow.
EcoSurg left the small business incubator a year ago as its product line gained sales volume. Its disposable patient positioners are pads used to cushion patients during surgery. An orthopedic surgeon, for example, might place the pad beneath the ankle of a person undergoing foot surgery.
Randall developed the idea after working in the medical device and pharmaceutical distribution industry. Instead of the industry standard of using petroleum-based products, he created a line of soybean oil-based foam surgical supplies that were greener than what most hospitals and clinics were using. Adding to the eco-friendly appeal, Randall’s products were cheaper than foam devices made from petroleum products.
And he perfected that concept after being accepted into last year’s inaugural ZeroTo510 accelerator, which offers financial backing and intensive training for entrepreneurs to ready their products to receive clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Early in the process Randall brought Ben Ricketts aboard as chief marketing officer. Their products are now sold to more than two dozen medical facilities located throughout the nation.
EcoSurg’s initial product line of 20 items has more than doubled in the last year. and future growth strategies include exploring the global market.
“We’re reducing the carbon footprint because of the materials we use, which are grown, manufactured, cut and stored primarily in Tennessee and Kentucky,” Ricketts said about soybeans used to make the foam. “We believe our value proposition is a win-win for everyone.”
EcoSurg’s growth amounts to a major score for the ZeroTo510 accelerator, which will showcase six more startups at its second annual Demo Day on Thursday.
“EcoSurg’s development and distribution services here will positively impact the local economy and help position Memphis as a significant community for entrepreneurs in this space,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability at Memphis Bioworks Foundation and ZeroTo510 coordinator. “I think their success illustrates the quality of our programming and the value of industry-specific training and mentoring.”
Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 adviser, agreed.
“This is clearly what we hoped would come out of the ZeroTo510 program,” Bouten said. “Starting from nothing and progressing to this kind of growth in just about a year is certainly amazing, but we hope not atypical. We’d like to see more of these type of companies hit the space.”