Memphis Inno Startups to Watch: SOMAVAC Medical Solutions

Since its fall 2021 launch, Memphis Inno — MBJ’s brand geared toward startups, technology, and innovation — has expanded its coverage of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Memphis Inno’s Startups to Watch highlights startups and founders who are breaking technological ground in their respective industries, with new ventures and innovative product offerings. Memphis Inno’s Startups to Watch for 2023 leaned into strengths of the local economy, with ventures selected from the medical device, logistics, and restaurant industries.

Startups to Watch features early stage companies figuring out how to get off the ground, and others that already have significant sources of funding and are looking to scale up. All are uniquely Memphis ventures.

SOMAVAC Medical Solutions

When MBJ last spoke to Esra Roan in September, her startup, SOMAVAC Medical Solutions, was continuing to perform well.

“The company is on a great trajectory right now, with a lot of positive momentum, traction, and commercialization,” she said at the time.

Flash-forward to the present and that trajectory hasn’t changed — because SOMAVAC has continued to bustle in 2023.

SOMAVAC’s flagship product is an FDA-approved, wearable surgical drain pump device called the SOMAVAC SVS and is most used in surgeries like mastectomies, breast reconstructions, and hernia repairs. Already being commercialized, the product has been praised by surgeons, as it can both continuously drain fluids after a surgery and use deep tissue negative pressure therapy to hold tissue layers together, potentially preventing seromas.

“You need suction to remove fluids, immediately, consistently, in a robust way,” Roan said in the fall. “But you also need that deep tissue negative pressure therapy … to hold those layers of tissue together.”

Amid its success, the startup has expanded into the Charlotte area — which it refers to as “region two” — where it’s hired a regional director. It has a 5,000-square-foot headquarters on Stage Post Drive, where it both has office space and manufactures its flagship product. And it’s been issued a U.S. patent for a second device, which could provide surgeons with a more comprehensive solution that treats both the interior and exterior of a surgical wound.

SOMAVAC also recently made a key new hire, tapping Joe Sinkovich to be its chief commercial officer in December. With over 20 years of experience in med tech commercialization, he’s now leading its sales and marketing efforts.

“With his leadership, we are continuing to build our commercial activities and further committing our efforts toward surgeries related to breast cancer,” Roan told MBJ recently, over email. “The company continues to grow steadily.”