Tennessee Prepares For Accelerator Week

Tennessee startups, Gigtank, Zeroto510,autoXLR8R, demo day, startups, accleratorsLast year August was Demo Day month in Tennessee. During the month of August (on consecutive Thursdays no less), Chattanooga’s GigTank, Memphis’ Zeroto510, and Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry all held their demo days. The month of August was a true testament to the strong commitment to startups and entrepreneurship that exists across Tennessee.

We were fortunate enough to attend all 3 accelerator demo days and a variety of startup events that went along with those programs.

This year, Tennessee has condensed it all into one week, sans the Jumpstart Foundry demo day which is on August 22nd.

The week kicks off in Chattanooga, Tennessee today with some pre-events surrounding GigTank’s demo day on Tuesday. On Demo Day, the current class of startups who spent their summer in the GigTank will show off their work. The startup accelerator, now in it’s second year, gets it’s name from being the first accelerator on citywide gigabit ethernet.

The gigabit ethernet, and big entrepreneurial ideas, are why Bob Metcalfe, the creator of ethernet, is the keynote speaker for the GigTank’s big day.

Wednesday the festivities move about 150 miles northwest to tiny Spring Hill, TN. Spring Hill is home to a major GM plant and, this year, the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Center’s autoXLR8R. autoXLR8R focused on technologies applicable to the automotive industry, and as per usual the companies will graduate with a demo day.

Finally we head to Memphis where ZeroTo510 will hold their second demo day on Thursday. ZeroTo510 is the first cohort-based medical device accelerator.

Stay tuned to Nibletz all week long for coverage of demo day week in Tennessee and then again August 22 for Jumpstart Foundry’s demo day.

Don’t forget everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference is also in Tennessee, in February!


Memphis’ Highly Successful ZeroTo510 Accelerator Announces Summer 13 Class

Zeroto510,Startup Accelerator,Memphis startups

Charleson Bell, CEO at BioNanovations, pitches on stage at last year’s ZeroTo510 Demo Day

Earlier this morning we said it was going to be a big day for summer accelerators here at nibletz.com The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else. We kicked it off with the Techstars Boulder Summer 2013 class. Now we’ve got the official list of startups selected to participate in the highly successful medical device startup accelerator in Memphis Tennessee, Zeroto510.

Last year, 5 out of the 6 startups in the first cohort at Zeroto510 raised “follow on” funding. Four of the startups raised an additional $100,000 while the 5th, Restore Medica, went straight to series A closing a $2.5 million dollar round.

ZeroTo510 is a cohort based medical device accelerator that prepares medical device startups to go through the 510k clearance process. This is a process that shortens FDA approval because the startup idea or product concept is improving on something that’s already been through the FDA process. Often times, these new products and devices solve problems that previous devices or methods manifest.

James Bell, the CEO of Handminder, a startup in last year’s cohort is back again this year leading a different team with a startup called Mobilizer. This device helps ambulatory patients become more mobile. When we spoke with Bell he said that the big problem their product is solving is the four highly paid technicians it takes to transport a patient on monitors, IVs and pumps from one section of the hospital to another. Mobilizer allows a more modular setup of equipment that can than be monitored by one technician.

The rest of the class includes:

AIS Inc. – This is a local team led by a biomedical engineering student from The University of Memphis who previously had a career in the Army. They are building a leadless, single-surgery (battery is external), GPS- and Bluetooth-enabled hybrid cardioverter defibrillator.  Their product is targeted to pediatric patients because surgery is not required to replace the battery.

Better Walk – A team of biomedical engineering students from Georgia Tech are making a redesigned crutch that relieves the primary complaint of crutch users by eliminating the discomfort experienced in the underarm area due to axillary nerve damage.

Cuff-Gard – A nurse from West Memphis has designed a disposable skin barrier, worn by a patient, to protect and extend the life of blood pressure machine cuffs. The barriers are impenetrable; one side absorbs fluids or drainage from the skin, and the other side is a polypropylene backing that protects the blood pressure cuff from contamination.

Health and Bliss – A team from Baltimore, H&B is attempting to revolutionize the way people detect strep throat by introducing to the market a patented self-contained screening test. Strep Test Anywhere allows patients to be tested for strep throat in a convenient, affordable, and time-saving manner.

SurgiLight – This team has designed a novel LED light for use in surgeries and is led by an electrical engineering student from The University of Memphis. Connected by a long flexible tube, the light allows easier and better lighting to hard-to-access surgical sites.

During the recruitment process, we received competitive applications from around the United States, and we had two international applicants,” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks in a statement. “The high quality of the applications made the selection of this year’s participants quite a challenge.”

The companies will matriculate through an intensive, mentorship-driven, 12-week program of instruction and hands-on activities designed to guide the entrepreneurs through the process. Each company chosen for the program will receive $50,000 in initial seed capital from co-investors Innova, a pre-seed, seed and early-stage investor focused on starting and funding high-growth companies in the healthcare, technology and healthcare technology fields across the state of Tennessee, and MB Venture Partners, a Memphis-based venture capital firm that provides equity capital and strategic direction to life sciences start-ups.

Zeroto510 partners with SeedHatchery, and Launch Your City, which provides the business portion of the programming and helps develop the medical device startups investible stories.

You can find out more about Zeroto510 here at zeroto510.com.

This was a huge win for Memphis’ startup community.


Memphis’ ZeroTo510 Accelerator Opens Applications For 2013

Restore Medical Solutions, Urova, Bioworks, ZeroTo510,Seed Hatchery, Allan Daisley

Shawn Flynn, co-founder of Restore Medical Solutions, pitches at ZeroTo510 investor day, a pitch that led to $2.5 Million dollars in follow on funding (photo: NMI)

Last year, the inaugural Zeroto510 medical device accelerator was met with phenomenal success. Five out of the six participating teams received follow on funding. Four of the teams received $100,000 dollars. The fifth team, Restore Medical Solutions, went straight to raising a Series A round at $2.5 million.

With results like those, medical device startups across the country are feverishly preparing to submit their applications for the next cohort. One of the secrets to the success of the Zeroto510 program is that it is a joint venture between Launch Your City’s Seed Hatchery accelerator and Memphis Bioworks. Bioworks supplies the lab space, and the deep rooted scientific and engineering mentorship. Launch Your City comes in with the curriculum to prepare the startups for pitching and success on the business side of the world.

When compared to other medical based accelerator and incubation programs, Zeroto510, through their unique partnership, is able to get their startup founders to communicate and pitch at a level understandable to the traditional investor, media and public. In a medically based program, founders and entrepreneurs with scientific and engineering backgrounds tend to get the science, and not necessarily the business.

Bioworks is able to offer a bridge from the surrounding medical community including St. Jude’s, Methodist, Vanderbilt University, the University of Memphis and other high ranking leaders in science and medicine, to offer hands on mentorship to refine these great ideas.

Zeroto510 gets it’s name from the FDA’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing. In laymen’s terms this filing allows medical device companies, with similar technology to something that has gone through FDA approval, to fast track a process which can sometimes take 3-5 years.

Six companies will be selected for the 2013 program. Each company will receive $50,000 in initial seed capital and be part of an intensive, mentorship driven 12 week program of instruction and hands on activities to guide the entrepreneurs through the process.

One of the other factors that makes Zeroto510 successful is the cohort size. By having a smaller group, the same size as the tech accelerator Seed Hatchery, the teams get to know each other better and collaborate more meaningfully. Last years program only featured one Memphis based startup. The other five startups relocated to Memphis for the program and are still, growing their companies in Memphis.

“We received applications from across the United States, carefully selected our six
participants and were very pleased with the quality of their ideas, the spirit of comradery that developed, the levels of learning, and, in the end, with the final presentations that resulted in additional funding. We expect even higher quality in 2013.” said Allan Daisley, director of entrepreneurship and sustainability for Memphis Bioworks.

If you’ve got a medical device startup head over to apply here at zeroto510.com


Memphis Bioworks’ ZeroTo510 Class “All In” On Everywhereelse.co Startup Conference

Memphis Bioworks, Zeroto510, SeedHatchery, Memphis, Memphis startupThe Memphis Bioworks Foundation’s partnership program with Seed Hatchery, called Zeroto510, is all in for the upcoming everywhbereelsse.co The Startup Conference event in February in Memphis Tennessee.

All 6 teams that participated in the summer acceleration program housed at Memphis Bioworks Foundation in Memphis’ Medical District, have committed to “Startup Village Booth Space” where they will pitch their companies to over 400 investors coming from out of town. They’ll also get the chance to talk about the most successful acceleration program in the United States with over 85% of the initial class receiving follow on funding.

The program was spearheaded by Steven Bares, President and Executive Director of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Lauren Bigger, Program Manager of Bioworks Business Association, Allan Daisley Director of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability for the foundation and Eric Mathews and Andre Folkes, Co-President’s at Launch Your City, the Seed Hatchery arm of the program.

Innova, an early stage investor group and MB Ventures, both of Memphis, were also major partners for the ZeroTo510 program.

The success of the Memphis Bioworks, Seed Hatchery joint venture has trickled across the country an around the globe. That prompted Dr. Laura Faulconer who runs an incubator program in Australia, to recently visit the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and spend some time learning from Daisley as well as some of the Seed Hatchery team.

Bionanovations, HandMinder, NanOpthalmics, Randall Surgical, Restore Medical and Urova Medical will all be present during the everywhereelse.co conference where attendees, investors and other startups who may be looking to go the medical device route, will get a chance to speak with the founders. Many of whom, uprooted themselves from other cities like Atlanta, and Durham NC to work with the likes of Daisley and the Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

Shawn Flynn, co-founder of Restore Medical Solutions, a company that just raised a $2.5 million dollar Series A round, will speak on a panel at the conference called “Raising Money Everywhere Else”.

Bioworks has already said they plan on running the Zeroto510 program again in 2013 but may change the focus slightly to another medical related vertical that’s exploding in the region.

Memphis Bioworks, which serves as the epicenter for biosciences entrepreneurs, startups and acceleration functions to address three very important areas in a community that thrives with Biosciences innovation. Those areas are: Building Infrastructure, Growing The Workforce, and Promoting Entrepreneurship.

One thing that you rarely hear with an accelerator is that 100% of the teams that built their businesses during the ZeroTo510 program at Bioworks, have stayed in Memphis to continue to grow their businesses. While HandMinder has roots in the Memphis area, the rest of the teams have had at least one co-founder that’s relocated to the area.


More about Bioworks here

More about everywherelse.co The Startup Conference Here

Want to exhibit alongside the ZeroTo510 teams? Click here

Memphis Startup Restore Medical Raises $2.5 Million Seed Round

Restore Medical Solutions, Memphis startup, Zeroto510,funded startup

Shawn Flynn (L) Ryan Ramkhelawan (R) founders of Restore Medical Solutions

Memphis’ startup community has kicked it into high gear as of late. In 2012 Launch Your City, the organization behind the Seed Hatchery starutp accelerator, the Launch Pad free coworking space and Launch Memphis, the curriculum arm behind Memphis’ startup ecosystem, had a big year. They saw two cohorts go through their Seed Hatchery program this year. One group of web/tech entrepreneurs took their startups through Seed Hatchery. The other group went through a collaborative effort between Seed Hatchery and Memphis BioWorks called Zeroto510.

The Zeroto510 program is a medical device startup accelerator that relies on Bioworks for the medical part and Seed Hatchery for the startup, and business development portion of their training. After a rigorous accelerator program, and an intense demo day in May, the six startups in the program saw 85% follow on funding. Four of the graduating startup companies received $100,000 investments from MB Ventures and Innova. The fifth startup, Restore Medical Solutions, raised a $2.5 million dollar Series A round.

It’s no wonder that Restore Medical Solutions was able to close such a large round. Co-Founder Shawn Flynn announced that the company had a $3.75 million dollar purchase order, during his investor day pitch.

Restore Medical Solutions has come up with a concept and system to more efficiently sterilize surgical instruments. When we first met with Flynn and Co-Founder Ryan Ramkhelawan explained that not only was the current system for sterilizing surgical instruments filled with flaws, to a degree it’s also dangerous.

Currently surgical instruments are grouped in sets according to the surgery that the operating room is performing. The instruments are kept in a sterile container/tray until they are brought up to the surgical suite and used. However, if one piece of equipment is either missing, or shows signs of not being completely sterilized, the entire set is deemed unusable and another set is ordered up.

The problem with that is most hospitals don’t have a bunch of reserve sets for the operating rooms. The sterilization team has put together the sets based on that days surgeries. Waiting on instruments to be re-sterilized and recompiled can take hours. At that time the patient is either kept under anesthesia or they are woken up, either option can have risks.

Not only that but some hospitals still use sterilization procedures that are likened to the way silverware is washed in a restaurant, everything dumped on one big tray and run through a dishwasher type sterilization machine. The problem with that is the instruments at the bottom may not be as sterile as the instruments on the top. This is often the cause of hospital born infections.

Restore Medical Solutions system makes the process quicker, more efficient and completely sterile.

Flynn and Ramkhelawan get anxious and excited when talking about their process and the upside potential for hospitals. With the reduction in time, the more efficient sterilization and the cut down on infections, Restore Medical Solutions is in the business of sterilizing instruments, but more importantly to the bottom line, driving costs down. Quicker turn arounds in the sterilization process also mean quicker turn arounds in the operating rooms, and more surgeries.

How much money? We’re not talking a thousands here or a thousand there, we’re talking tens of millions of dollars per hospital.

The duo behind Restore Medical Solutions has already pitched a number of hospitals in Tennessee and along the east coast. To date they are proud to announce that they’ve at least secured a follow up meeting and in other cases, purchase orders.

While a $2.5 million dollar Series A round is great for the company and will allow them to start producing to fulfill their purchase orders, it wasn’t always easy. Both Ramkhelawan and Flynn quit their good paying day jobs in Atlanta to relocate to Memphis for the ZeroTo510 program. The program gave them a $50,000 seed round but waiting for that initial funding they were sneaker-strapping it like the rest of their cohort.

Both men left families back in Atlanta and Ramkhelawan and his wife had just had a new baby daughter. With kids, families, and houses in Atlanta these two middle aged entrepreneurs set out to live the ramen noodle eating, hipster lifestyle. They immediately went on the grind to make things happen.

And happen it did.

After finding out about the ZeroTo510 program from a friend of Flynn’s who has a marketing business in Memphis the two made the trip to Memphis to scope out the city and the program. They immediately fell in love with the town. They are sharing an apartment literally within feet from the new corporate headquarters for Restore Medical which officially opens Friday.

For what they’re doing, both entrepreneurs admit that the Memphis startup ecosystem is further along than things are in Atlanta. New initiatives have begun in Atlanta which will be great for the region but Memphis is already doing it. Also, Jackson Tennessee is doing it as well. Both entrepreneurs spend time in Jackson, helping to further that cities entrepreneurs along as well.

Flynn and Ramkelawan give a lot of credit to Launch Your City’s Eric Mathews and Bio Works’ Allan Daisley who were instrumental in the Zeroto510 programs inaugural class.


Check out Restore Medical here

Check out Zeroto510 here

Apply for Seed Hatchery’s next session here

No one covers high growth tech in the south east, like nibletz.com

Come to Memphis for this big gigantic startup conference here

Memphis Startup: HandMinder Aims To Restore Hand Movement In Stroke Victims

There are some incredible startups coming out of Memphis Tennessee and HandMinder is one of them. Handminder was part of the first class at the ZeroTo510 accelerator. Zeroto510 is the first cohort based medical device accelerator and was a joint venture between Memphis BioWorks and Seed Hatchery, the local tech startup accelerator.

HandMinder was founded by Dr. Yu Liu, MD,Phd, Randall J Nelson PhD,John M Denton, Technical Advisor & CoFounder,  James Bell who currently serves as the company’s CEO.

A shocking 15 million people suffer from strokes across the globe. 12.5 million of those people survive and of those 12.5 million, 60% of them have some form of hand dysfunction after the stroke.

The devices that are currently on the market today that help rehab stroke victims’ hands deal with the problem from a total physiological perspective. The devices today allow functionality but not learned functionality. They provide localized muscular exercise but not brain function.

The HandMinder device, which fits like a glove, restores the neurological connection between the hand and the brain. The loss of hand movement in a stroke victim is a neurological problem, not just a physiological problem. By reprogramming the stroke victims brain to hand function, HandMinder closes the natural physiological loop.

Unlike other devices that address this issue, HandMinder is a take home product that allows stroke victims to rehabilitate their hands as often as they would like without having to take up extra time in their rehab clinics. It also allows them to continue their therapy while traveling, being outside and living somewhat normal lives.

When designing the HandMinder product, the team at HandMinder talked with stroke victims and their families. Because strokes are more prevalent in older patients, Handminder even talked with grandparents and grandchildren who were concerned with the way some of the medical devices looked. A lot of other devices used for this purpose, seemed somewhat scary to grandchildren which was a real concern for older patients. Handminder, while still a medical device, “looks cool”.

HandMinder presented at the ZeroTo510 demo day last month to a crowd of investors. They are currently working on their third prototype and plan to start field testing the device shortly.


For more info visit handminder.com

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more startup stories from “everywhere else”

No one covers high growth startups in the SouthEast like nibletz, more here.



Memphis Startup Accelerator ZeroTo510 Sets Record With Over 80% Follow On Funding In Less Than 30 Days

That headline is a true testament to the power of the cohort based ZeroTo510 startup accelerator in Memphis Tennessee. Five of the six startups in their recently graduated class received $100,000 or more in follow on funding from MB Ventures and Innova Memphis.

Four of the startups received follow on funding to continue acceleration of their businesses. Those four companies were:

  • BioNanovations has developed a device that uses bionanotechnology for rapid diagnosis of bacterial infection.
  • EcoSurg has developed an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional foam patient positioners used in surgeries.
  • Nanophthalmics has developed, through the use of nanotechnology, a surgical device to more effectively treat corneal abrasions.
  • Urova Medical has developed a minimally invasive treatment to address feminine stress urinary incontinence.

“In each case, we believe these four companies have shown the progress, the growth and proof-of-concept that were expected to move to the next phase of funding,” said Allan Daisley, director of innovation and sustainability initiatives for Memphis Bioworks Foundation and program director for ZeroTo510.  “It is extremely rewarding to us as an organization, because the funding of four companies exceeds what we considered to be a measure of success when this program was launched.”

The fifth startup to receive follow on funding was Restore Medical. Restore Medical wowed the audience when Co-Founder Shawn Fynn announced during their presentation that they had already secured a purchase order valued at $3.75 million dollars pending 510k approval.  In the case of Restore Medical, they decided to skip the acceleration investment and went directly to a Series A round. MB Ventures and Innova Memphis are leading that Series A round with an undisclosed investment, assumed to be more than the $100,000 Restore Medical would have received with the acceleration funds.

Handminder, a startup that has developed a rehabilitation device for people who have suffered a stroke, to regain use of their hands, did not receive follow on funding.

With an 80% success rate, by the standard of “follow on funding” Zeroto510 is the most successful accelerator in Tennessee.

Zeroto510 is a joint venture between Memphis Bioworks with cohort based accelerator programming provided by SeedHatchery a product of LaunchYourCity.

LaunchYourCity CEO & President Eric Matthews said: “The results speak for themselves.  35 companies have entered our incubators because of our efforts.  EmergeMemphis has a waiting list for the first time.  We have invested time and money in 12 promising startup technologies at our research institutions, two of which have started up as new companies.  Over 20 companies have received pre-seed capital of $50,000 or less.  Of those 8 have received follow-on capital of $100,000 or greater.”.

In addition to Zeroto510 and SeedHatchery LaunchYourCity has a sister program for independent filmmakers called “FuelFilm”. Also the local music incubator, The Memphis Music Foundation, has replicated some of the LaunchYourCity programming into their music resource offerings.


Check out LaunchYourCity at LaunchYourCity.com

Zeroto510 site is here

Nobody covers the Southeast like we do, more here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else”

Startup Demo Day Month In Tennessee The Good, The Bad, The NSFW


August is just about over and “Demo Day Month” in the great state of Tennessee concluded last Thursday at JumpStart Foundry’s Demo Day in Nashville. It was a month that Vice President Gore should be proud of afterall nothing says innovation like inventing the internet.

Overall it was an impressive month for innovators in Tennessee. Tennessee has nine regional accelerators and groups like Launch Tennessee are paramount in keeping the statewide ecosystem flourishing and the accelerator leaders connected with each other.

“Demo Day Month” kicked off in Chattanooga Tennessee with the graduation of the GigTank. The GigTank was in its first year and actually included two simultaneous classes; entrepreneurs and students. The entrepreneurs group accelerated at Colab in downtown Chattanooga while the students accelerated at the Lamp Post Group’s offices. The classes came together on Thursday August 9th to show off their startups.

Out of all three demo days Chattanooga had the most pizzazz. They really did a great job of setting up a bunch of entrepreneurial networking events on Wednesday evening all over town. Thursday’s Demo Day event was one to be reckoned with, professional lighting, big signage, and a simulcast on the local PBS channel all helped set the stage for some great demos.

To top that off, unlike the other two demo days, Chattanooga’s GigTank featured a $100,000 cash prize for the top voted startup in the entrepreneur class (Banyan) and a $50,000 prize for the top student startup (Babel Sushi).

Chattanooga merged traditional southern hospitality with blazing fast internet. The blazing fast internet was the reason it was called “GigTank”. Chattanooga was the first city in the United States to offer 1 GB ethernet to the home and office within a 600 square mile area.

The bad: We found out late Wednesday night that the startups would actually pitch in front of the judges first thing Thursday morning and again on Thursday afternoon in front of the people. We went around in circles about it and I even spent some time with Colab Director Shelddon Grizzle, who had come up with the idea for the double pitching. Regardless of the reasoning I didn’t like it and once I knew it was happening it detracted from my view of the actual presentations.

The other downside to GigTank is that we saw a lot of slides, a lot of presentations and a lot of business plans. Unfortunately we didn’t see nearly enough working demo products. Also most of the startups said they would build scale organically and virally over the next year and make money in year two. This isn’t a practical path to scale in a market outside Silicon Valley or New York. I felt that go to market strategies needed improvement.

The NSFW: Check out this story about the first startup that presented at GigTank.

The following week we moved on to Memphis Tennessee and the Zeroto510 accelerator Demo Day. Zeroto510 is a cohort based accelerator based on medical devices. It’s a joint venture between Memphis Bioworks and Seed Hatchery.

The ZeroTo510 Demo Day was very academic in nature and top-notch professional. You could tell that all of the startups had worked extremely hard on their presentations. One of the biggest challenges that ZeroTo510 startups overcame was actually “dumbing” their presentations down so that the public and investors without medical backgrounds could understand. Luckily all of the startups were able to do that.

The startups that we really liked at ZeroTo510 Demo Day were Bionanovations and Restore Medical.

Restore Medical offers a new system for cleaning and sterilizing surgical instruments. Their system is vital as we head into Obama Care in 2014 because it helps reduce cost, but more importantly it’s more effective in the sterilization process which will drive down hospital born infection numbers. This couldn’t come at a better time. In 2014 hospitals will need to publicize and keep down their hospital born infection numbers in order to get reimbursement on the millions of extra patients that will be seeking hospital care.

One of the biggest moments at ZeroTo510’s Demo Day was when onstage Restore Medical co-founder Shawn Flynn revealed on stage that they already had a $3.75 million dollar purchase order pending their 510k approval from the FDA.

BioNanovations is the first pre-culture bacterial infection diagnosis platform. There were some shocking facts about hospitals in co-founder and CEO Charleson Bell’s presentation that echo why we like this startup so much and why it will also be crucial going into 2014.

There was no NSFW in the Zeroto510 Demo Day however the bad was definitely Urova Medical. This wet behind the ears team of entrepreneurs had great technology and did a fair job of presenting they just didn’t have the same vigor that the rest of the startups had. They immediately left Memphis to go back home and it appeared that the young student founders of Urova simply participated in the program to get $50,000 for “summer camp”. Just calling it like I see it.

Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry has had some practice at this. They’re definitely the veteran accelerator out of the bunch and it shows. Co-Founder and Managing Director Marcus Whitney is a serial entrepreneur himself. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day at JumpStart Foundry he is also a co-founder and the CTO of startup MoonToast a social media/network management platform with a top shelf list of clients.

The theme about Whitney was echoed over and over again throughout Jumpstart’s Demo Day, and that is he’s a pull no punches take no crap kind of guy. In fact, together with Solidus Partner and Jumpstart Foundry co-founder Vic Gatto, they ran such a tight program that three startups called it quits before demo day.

The venue for the Jumpstart Foundry demo day was great, it was open, and they did a great job with lighting and ambience. The presentations showed that the startups had been working hard on refining their message for the public and potential investors. All of the presenters did a great job of talking more and relying on slides less. When slides went up on the screen they were very graphic and very easy to understand.

The entire class had great presentations. Whitney and Baker Donelson Emerging Technologies Lead Chris Sloan (also a mentor at JSF) both agreed that the most improved startup was PhotoRankr. Sloan and Whitney both commented that if any startup in this years JSF class showed what an accelerator does it was PhotoRankr.

PhotoRankr definitely topped our list of favorites at the JumpStart Foundry Demo Day. We also really liked The Skillery and their off-line workshops platform that empowers small business owners to teach classes on subjects they actually know and love.

We can’t report on JSF Demo Day without mentioning EverMind either. EverMind is a consumer monitoring system for the elderly. It works as easily as installing a “Clapper” you simply take the plug-in modules to your elderly loved ones home and hook them up to the coffee maker, television, lamp, toaster or other small electronics and it monitors their daily routine. When your loved one deviates from the routine you’re notified and you can check on them. The system gives them independence and piece of mind. It helps that it was also founded by a group of folks from Griffin Technologies, a Nashville company that makes some of the most widely known iPhone, iPad and Android accessories.

As for the NSFW, it wasn’t really NSFW it was more just ugly. The startup we liked the least at JSF was by a landslide KiWi, first off there are hundreds of other short form video services out there, can anyone say SocialCam. But the thing that drove us to even point this out was that at the end of the micromachine-man-esque presentation the founder of Kiwi actually said he would look for term sheets in Nashville for 30 days and then go somewhere else. Seemed like an F-U to the hard work that Whitney, Gatto and the entire crew at Jumpstart Foundry Demo Day put on.

It was also great that folks from Memphis like Biowork’s Allan Daisley and a>m ventures Patrick Woods were right there with us at all three demo days to support Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville as parts of a whole “Tennessee”, the Nashville guys.. not so much.


More Demo Day Coverage Here

Nibletz is the voice of startups everywhere else

Memphis Startup: BioNanovations Shows Off Amazing TestQuick Technology

BioNanovations CEO/Co-Founder Charleson Bell Presenting at Demo Day (photo: nibletz llc)

It was Demo Day at the Memphis based ZeroTo510 startup accelerator this past Thursday. ZeroTo510 is the first cohort based medical device accelerator and was created with a partnership between Seed Hatchery and Memphis BioWorks.

We were really excited when Charleson Bell, the CEO and co-founder of BioNanovations presented their TestQuick technology on Thursday. First off, Bell and his partner Andre T Stevenson had spent some time with us a few weeks back during office hours. It was then that we learned how BioNanovations was preparing to really change the world. We all know that most startups say they’re going to change the world, the ZeroTo510 class is really going to do it.

Bell and Stevenson gave us a crash course in nano particles when we first met for office hours. Bell has done a great job of “dumbing down” the science behind their technology for laymen like myself.

We were fascinated by the BioNanovations team when we first met them. While Bell had been working on using nano particles to find bacterial infections early on and Stevenson had discovered the biomarkers for cancer before they had become cancer.

The BioNanovations team will most likely bring many great products to market but their debut product “TestQuick” will have a huge impact for millions of people suffering from bacterial infections.

Bacterial infections kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer and automobile accidents combined, every year. What’s even more troubling than that is the fact that over 1.7 million bacterial infections are hospital born. That means that people who have gone into the hospital for something else, incur some kind of bacterial infection. These hospital borne infections cost over $40 billion dollars.

That’s not all though. One of the most alarming facts in all of this is that these bacterial infections can claim a life or a limb in less than 48 hours, however the traditional diagnostic testing can take 4-5 days. Yes, unfortunately, the traditional way means that several people lose their lives before getting the diagnosis back on the infection.

What BioNanovations TestQuick product offers is a testing platform and reader that can confirm the type of infection and the level of the infection in under 30 minutes and patient side.

Bell was quick to point out his competition. That’s actually key in an investor pitch day.

BioNanovations main competition is a company called Nanosphere. They offer a diagnostic testing platform that comes back in three hours. Nanosphere received FDA approval and has 200 orders already. Their testing cassettes are $75 a piece and the machine to scan them is $100,000.

Compare that to BioNanovations TestQuick cassettes that sell for $100 a piece but the reader costs just $1000.

But that’s not all. Nanosphere’s technology has a three-hour turn around time, post culture. That means after the initial diagnosis.  BioNanovations, TestQuick platform is the first pre-culture diagnostic tool, saving critical time and lives.

Check out Bell’s ZeroTo510 Demo Day pitch video below:


Check out BioNannovations here at their website

Investors, reach bell at charleson.s.bell@bionanovations.com

Here’s more Demo Day coverage from Nibletz

Memphis Startup: EcoSurg Pitches At Zero To 510 Demo Day

Every startup that has participated in an accelerator program wants to change the world. Some founders verbalize that they wantto change the world while others just think it. Well the six startups that participated in the inaugural class at Zero To 510, a cohort based medical device accelerator in Memphis Tennessee, are doing it.

Every startup that presented at Zero To 510’s demo day has developed to solve problems in the medical space. EcoSurg is one of those startups.

There is an environmental problem that stems from just about every surgical procedure, every day. Most surgeries use medical positioners which are foam devices that are designed to position patients in ways that are both safe, and the most convenient for doctors. These foam positioners keep legs propped up, arms propped up, patients on their side and other positions so that the surgeons have better access to the surgery site.

According to EcoSurg CEO Ray Randall, over 20 million surgical procedures per year use these foam positioners. This of course creates tons of non biodegradable waste. Specifically these foam positioners contain petroleum-based derivatives. Not only are these medical positioners harmful for the environment, but because of that, they cost more in disposal which is passed down to the customer/patient.

Randall’s company EcoSurg has developed a new line of patient positioners which are manufactured using alternative foam comprised of soybean-based composites.

With Obama Care coming into play in 2014, the amount of surgeries is going to increase significantly. EcoSurg’s medical positioners will help hospitals cut down on costs and help the environment in the process.

Check our Randall’s pitch video from Zero To 510 Demo Day below:


Find EcoSurg on the web here

See more of our Zero To 510 Demo Day Coverage Here

Nibletz is on a sneaker-strapped nationwide startup roadtrip here

Two Down One To Go: Nashville’s JumpStart Foundry Prepares For Demo Day

Last week we were in Chattanooga Tennessee for GigTank. GigTank was the first ever accelerator focused on startups building around 1 GB ethernet. Chattanooga was the first city in the United States with one gigabit fiber optic internet to every home and business in a 600 square mile radius. They beat Kansas City, who’s 1 GB fiber project with Google debuted last month.

We saw some great startups present great ideas. Banyan, a collaborative research tool, that is both up and running,and demonstrated first hand the effects of super fast 1 GB ethernet, was the winner. GigTank broke the mold of the traditional accelerator demo day by offering a $100,000 cash prize to the startup that won their pitch contest in the entrepreneur category.

GigTank broke the mold yet again when they ran a student track along the entrepreneur track. The students received free room and board and incubated at the LampPost Group’s offices in downtown Chattanooga. The student track had a $50,000 cash prize won by two girls whose startup Babel Sushi, is an on the go translating platform.  The entrepreneurs incubated at Colab a few blocks down the road from LampPost. The entrepreneurs however, received a $15,000 seed investment.

This Thursday was Demo Day for the ZeroTo510 accelerator in Memphis Tennessee. The ZeroTo510 accelerator was a joint project of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Seed Hatchery. It was also the first cohort based medical device accelerator.

Zeroto510’s demo day was more traditional in that there wasn’t a cash prize but rather a showing of what the six teams were working on and what they had accomplished in the 90 day period. All six teams did a great job presenting. They all had viable go to market strategies as well as thoroughly researched projects. Some actually had products to show off, which is a break from the traditional web based accelerators.

Patrick Woods, Director at archer>malmo’s a>m ventures group said “there was actually physical products you could touch” making reference to the several accelerator demo days he’s seen where everything was either on the web, in the cloud or still in pre-release formative stages.

You can see a quick background on the six teams at ZeroTo510 here.

Some of the presenters had already secured physical trials, others, like Restore Medical had great news, like the fact that they already had a purchase order for $3.75 million.

Next week marks the end of the current session of Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry. Now in it’s third year, the JumpStart Foundry has a great class of startups that will be pitching next week.

Life in an accelerator is tough. Tennessee Venture Capitalist and Partner at Solidus, Vic Gatto, told nibletz last week that there were originally ten teams in JumpStart Foundry and three have since dropped out. The best of the best for next week are ready present and include:

Contigo Financial, an online consumer lender offering a suite of responsible loan products through the workplace.

Jamplify (formerly OKDJ), a social media marketing platform which turns fans into active promoters of online content.

The Skillery, a marketplace for classes and workshops led by experts in the community.

Evermind, the first consumer-friendly senior monitoring system. If you can plug-in a surge protector and use a smartphone, Evermind is easy.

Kiwi (formerly Wax),  the best way to capture any exciting moment on video.

PhotoRankr, the first online photography marketplace to leverage the power of social media.

OurVinyl, allows users to discover new music through video. The modern day MTV minus the re-runs.

Nibletz is the voice of startups everywhere else and the national voice of startups in Tennessee we can’t wait to see what these great startups have to offer.


There are still a limited number of tickets available for JumpStart Foundry’s Demo Day get them here

Nibletz is the national voice of startups in Tennessee and everywhere else, check out our southern coverage here


Memphis Gears Up For Zeroto510 Demo Day

When you think about Memphis Tennessee thoughts of music, culture, barbecue and Elvis Presley often consume those thoughts.  You may not be quick to associate the birth place of Rock & Roll and the overnight package (FedEx) with startups, innovation and bio medical devices.

Since 2006 Memphians have band together to launch several entrepreneurial and startup resources. In fact the city of just under 650,000 residents has an infrastructure of resources for startups and entrepreneurs that would rival cities twice it’s size.

Four of those resources, Seed Hatchery, the local startup accelerator program; Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the local bio and life sciences incubator; along with Innova and MB Ventures (both venture capital firms) have created Zeroto510.

They’re calling Zeroto510 the first cohort-based medical device accelerator. To that end Eric Matthews the President of Seed Hatchery is working with Allan Daisley, who runs Memphis Bioworks, to apply the Seed Hatchery and familiar tech incubator model to medical device ideas, and turning them into startups.

Charleson Bell, a PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University, and the co-founder of Zeroto510 resident company, BioNanovations explained: “Doctors and researchers have great ideas that often times get shelved because they don’t have the resources or skills to apply a business model to those ideas”.

That’s exactly why Seed Hatchery and BioWorks started Zeroto510. Chief Brand Officer at LaunchYourCity, the company that manages Seed Hatchery told us: “In addition to seed capital and mentorship the six companies in Zeroto510 also receive advice on marketing their idea and pitching it to investors”.

Mike Hoffmeyer CEO and Co-Founder of Memphis based Paytopia was a recent graduate from the 2012 class at Seed Hatchery, and told us “I consider myself a smart guy but after a few minutes of Zeroto510 pitches I was totally lost”. Hoffmeyer is helping the Zeroto510 residents with refining their pitches into laymen’s terms.

For a better understanding to Bell’s company for instance. Bell and his co-founder Andre T. Stevenson developed separate research projects at Vanderbilt. Bell had discovered a new nanoparticle that could be used with far better accuracy than what’s currently available, to identify and track virus’, bacteria and infections.  Prior to Zeroto510 Bell would roll through his presentation despite losing people’s attention because he was talking over their heads.

Now his pitch includes a great description of a nanoparticle “imagine taking one piece of human hair and dividing it by 1000, that’s roughly the size of a nanoparticle”. The PhD scientist seems a little uneasy about the example because you can’t objectively measure one piece of human hair, but it gets the point across.

The name Zeroto510 comes from the term 510K clearance which is the clearance given to medical devices. With a 510K a similar device or process that has already been approved by the FDA is compared to the new process or device, which fastracks the approval process at the FDA.

The goal around ZeroTo510 is to take the medical device and process startups from 0 to a point where they are ready for their 510k

There are six startups in all going through the current session at Zeroto510 which are:

  • BioNanovations uses nanotechnology to more quickly diagnose specific types of bacterial infections. Rather than treating with broad antibiotics and waiting days for test results, TestQuick provides physicians a portable option that can recognize a flesh-eating bacteria in only 30 minutes.
  • HandMinder is building a glove-like device that aids the rehabilitation process for stroke victims. Self-contained and battery-operated, the glove provides an affordable and convenient alternative for regaining motor control.
  • Nanophthalmics brings engineering concepts to clinical medicine, creating microscopic tools with etched glass for ocular surgery which will help remove scar tissue for patients with retinal or corneal diseases.
  • Randall Surgical is working on soy-based surgical positioners, an eco-friendly alternative to the foam currently used that contains petroleum and releases toxic chemicals when incinerated after use.
  • Restore Medical Solutions increases the speed and effectiveness of the sterilization process necessary for surgical instruments. Their product could lead to cleaner tools and the ability to perform more surgeries in a day- wins for both hospitals and patients.
  • Urova Medical is building UroGuide, a device that can be implanted during an outpatient procedure that provides a permanent and safe solution to stress urinary incontinence in women.

Like most incubators, the current session at Zeroto510 will culminate with an investor pitch day later this afternoon. If the program is effective, the audience will have no trouble understanding the brilliant minds behind these startups.


More about Zero To 510 here

Check out LaunchMemphis.com

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more startup stories from “everywhere else”

Startups,It’s Demo Day Month In Tennessee: Chattanooga, Memphis And Nashville

Chattanooga Startups,Memphis startups,Nashville startups,Gigtank,Zeroto510,Jumpstart Foundry,Solidus,demo dayThere are a lot of spring/summer accelerator programs “everywhere else”, Tennessee has three significant programs that will be coming to a close in the coming weeks and culminating with a demo day at the end of their session. Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville are exploding with startup and entrepreneurial growth and it shows in the graduating classes of Gig Tank (Chattanooga), Zero To 510 (Memphis) and Jumpstart Foundry in Nashville.

The next few Thursdays will be filled with great companies, great entrepreneurs, great angels and venture capitalists and great national coverage provided by nibletz.com, and to our ever growing list of some of the top members of the venture community that subscribe to us by email and follow us on Twitter. We’ve seen 17 startups that we’ve covered in the last year, pick up traction starting with a story written on nibletz.com and seen by the venture community “everywhere else”, which is what is why our mission, as the voice of startups everywhere else, is so important. We’ve received thank you cards, thank you emails and heck even some cash from these 17 startups and at last count they were collectively funded to over $20M.

That trend will hopefully continue over the next three weeks as we continue to case the national spotlight on one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the country, the great state of Tennessee.


Chattanooga Startups,Memphis startups,Nashville startups,Gigtank,Zeroto510,Jumpstart Foundry,Solidus,demo dayThe Gig Tank started back in May. This is a unique accelerator program because it’s really two programs in one. First there is an entrepreneur track. The entrepreneur’s track started May 14th. All of the teams selected for that track received a $15,000 seed investment, lodging and a host of services from GigTank sponsors.  Their season ends with a demo day and a $100,000 cash prize up for grabs for the most disruptive business plan.

The second track for GigTank is a student track. The students started their track on June 11th. They just needed to come up with a great idea to utilize Chattanooga’s gigabit internet, the first gigabit internet in the country (sorry Google). The students are competing for a chance to win a $50,000 prize and the chance to pitch their idea in front of a solid group of angels and VC’s.

GigTank comes to a close with a demo day on August 9th.

Click here for GigTank’s Website


Chattanooga Startups,Memphis startups,Nashville startups,Gigtank,Zeroto510,Jumpstart Foundry,Solidus,demo dayMemphis is bursting at the seams with entrepreneurial and startup activity. In the last few months alone we’ve covered their 48 hour launch event and Startup Weekend Memphis.

Memphis has a great infrastructure set up for entrepreneurs and startups, with most of it being based at Emerge Memphis. Launch Your City, Launch Memphis and of course the Seed Hatchery accelerator play a key role in the Memphis tech community.

August 16th it will be all eyes on Memphis again as the Zero to 510 accelerator holds their demo day. Zero to 510 is a medical device  accelerator program and a joint venture between BioWorks and SeedHatchery. It’s the nation’s first cohort-based medical device incubator. The program is funded by Innova Memphis an early stage investment firm.

The companies presenting at demo day on the 16th are:

BioNanovations- a startup using bio nanotechnology for rapid detection and monitoring of bacterial infection

Handminder- has developed a technology that will help rehabilitate those with loss of function in their hands and fingers from a stroke.

NanOphthalmics- This company uses nanotechnology to more effectively treat corneal abrasions which leads to faster healing with less pain.

Randall Surgical- These guys have created an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional patient positioners used in 20 million+ surgeries in the US every year.

Restore Medical- has found a way to drastically cut down the time it takes to sterilize instruments in the OR while cutting costs and insuring compliance under the upcoming radical changes in healthcare.

Urova Medical- They’ve come up with a new way to treat feminine stress urinary incontinence.

Click here for ZeroTo510’s website



Chattanooga Startups,Memphis startups,Nashville startups,Gigtank,Zeroto510,Jumpstart Foundry,Solidus,demo dayJumpstart Foundry is in it’s third year and they keep kicking out hit after hit after hit. One of our favorite Tennessee startups, RentStuff (who recently moved to Chicago’s 1871) is a product of Jumpstart Foundry.  Co-founded in 2010 by serial startup founder Marcus Whitney, the Jumpstart Foundry follows the traditional accelerator model that has been so successful in other regions.

According to their site they’ve seen a 62% success rate to date, which is actually VERY high and quite impressive.  Jumpstart Foundry (not to be confused with the national Cleveland based Jumpstart Inc) has seen a good number of their graduates see post program capital. Wannado (2011), Daio (2011), RentStuff (2011), Bizen (2010), NextGxDx (2010), and Spitsecnd (2010) have all received additional growth capital.

This years class is equally as impressive and will share their ideas on Demo Day August 23rd. Here are the companies presenting at their demo day:

Contigo Financial, an online consumer lender offering a suite of responsible loan products through the workplace.

Jamplify (formerly OKDJ), a social media marketing platform which turns fans into active promoters of online content.

The Skillery, a marketplace for classes and workshops led by experts in the community.

Evermind, the first consumer-friendly senior monitoring system. If you can plug-in a surge protector and use a smartphone, Evermind is easy.

Wax, an app that allows extreme athletes to compete with one another by completing tricks and challenges.

PhotoRankr, the first online photography marketplace to leverage the power of social media.

OurVinyl, allows users to discover new music through video. The modern day MTV minus the re-runs.

Click here for Jumpstart Foundry’s Website