Memphis’ emerging status as a hub of medical device activity is getting some major international recognition this month via honors flowing to two startups being incubated here.
Two of the four companies participating in this year’s ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator program have, in different ways, scored honors from separate international innovation and entrepreneurial programs.
Earlier this week, GlucosAlarm co-founder Carlos Bernal set out for Nairobi, Kenya, where his company will participate in this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit. GlucosAlarm, which created a technology to measure glucose in diabetic patients’ urine and simplifies the testing procedure, got the nod to participate after being tapped as one of 30 U.S. State Department Global Innovation through Science and Technology Tech-I finalists.
President Barack Obama is attending the summit’s closing ceremony July 26.
Meanwhile, fellow ZeroTo510 startup Inspire Living – which has a portable health monitor that lets anyone, anywhere, conduct an automated respiratory and rapid vitals exam on a child – has been nominated as a leading innovation in the maternal, child, and newborn health category that’s part of Reimagining Global Health. That’s the inaugural report of the Innovation Countdown 2030 initiative, which was launched at the third UN Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in recent days.
Reimagining Global Health features, among other things, 30 innovations picked by independent global experts for their potential to save lives. The Innovation Countdown initiative is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
ZeroTo510 co-founder Allan Daisley said these are examples of the kinds of companies led by medical device entrepreneurs the program wants to attract to Memphis.
“The selection of two of our 2015 companies for such prestigious and highly competitive international programs is an honor for us,” he said, adding that it’s “a reflection on the status that our program has received, and a great benefit to the reputation of Memphis.”
This year’s full ZeroTo510 cohort quickly is heading toward the culmination of the program: Demo Day is Aug. 13, when participants will pitch their companies and products to investors.
From there, investors will pick finalists to get a capital infusion of as much as $100,000.
Those finalists also will be in a position to expand the program’s growing list of successful companies.
ZeroTo510 – now in its fourth year – already has helped create 20 new companies, nearly 40 jobs, and generate $7.5 million in investments, according to the program.
The program is built around a 12-week, mentor-driven schedule that includes helping entrepreneurs learn everything from how to navigate the startup process to how to refine their business models.
The four companies for 2015 already have received $50,000 in initial seed capital from co-investors Innova and MB Venture Partners. Besides GlucosAlarm and Inspire Living, the other companies include Sweet Bio, which makes membranes for tissue regeneration used in oral surgeries that use medical-grade honey as an ingredient, and SiteSaver, which provides hospitals with a device to protect and preserve patient IV sites and central lines.
ZeroTo510 is operated by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and is an initiative of the Greater Memphis Regional Accelerator, a program funded by Launch Tennessee and the state of Tennessee.