As of today, the Memphis-based ZeroTo510 accelerator for medical device startups has launched a dozen companies, generated more than two dozen new jobs and helped its entrepreneurs secure $3.3 million in investment funding.
Not bad for a program that has only existed for about a year and has completed only two seasons of its successful program.
Thursday offered outsiders – entrerpreneurs, investors and supporters – the chance to see what all the fuss is about. AutoZone founder Pitt Hyde offered the keynote address, ZeroTo510 program director Allan Daisley stoked the fires to promote local entrepreneurship and Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock offered the audience of more than 200 folks a look at how entrepreneurship is playing out across the state.
And then, of course, there were pitches by founders of six new companies, all developed, nurtured and launched right here in Memphis.
I was at Demo Day and I thought the program showcased some amazing innovations from local entrepreneurs. I talked to founders of the six startups – AIS, Better Walk, Cuff-Mate, Health & Bliss, Mobilizer, and View Medical – and every one of them offered enough passion and expertise and energy to drive their companies to success.
And along with the ZeroTo510 organizers, I know the rest of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem hopes that this year’s cohort is even more successful than last year’s group. Already, some of the new companies are making business deals and selling their products to medical facilities here and across the country. That spells a big win for the Memphis medical device community and as Charlie Brock said during the Demo Day intermission, “Drawing attention to these kinds of ideas and companies and making people aware that this is a great place to start a medical device company will make more entrepreneurs want to move to Memphis and launch their own startups. That’s good for Memphis and it’s good for Tennessee.”
Now let’s hope that some savvy investors are listening and pay heed to Brock’s prediction.
And let’s wish for loads of success for the entrepreneurs who pitched their companies yesterday – Partha Unnava, Gloria Howard, Simren Dhaliwal, James Bell, Carlos Ortiz, and Bliss Lansing – and all their team members. You’re making Memphis a better place.