Fourteen startups graduating at Memphis Demo Day Aug. 13

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 3, 2015) Start Co. and ZeroTo510 recently announced that their graduating startup teams will collectively present their companies to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including community leaders, at Demo Day Aug. 13. Demo Day is the culmination of both organizations’ summer startup training and mentoring program.

 

Each team will pitch their business on stage in the ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Memphis to celebrate progress to date and to seek additional funding. The event will begin at 2:00 p.m. and conclude with a reception at Felicia Suzanne’s at 5:30 p.m. More than 200 attendees are expected, ranging from successful entrepreneurs to regional and community leaders and investors from throughout the Mid-South. Both programs are highly recognized; Start Co. was granted membership in the Global Accelerator Network and ZeroTo510’s unique medical device accelerator was named one of the top 15 accelerators in the U.S. by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.

 

“It is always a proud moment for us to see our graduating cohort showcase their work and share their experiences with investors and the entrepreneurial community,” said Eric Mathews, Start Co. CEO and founder. “We invest a great deal of time and energy each year to strengthen our programming, and we are delighted that many of our teams already have existing customer bases and have been focused on refining their business models during the program.”

 

Start Co. operates three accelerator programs, Seed Hatchery, Upstart and Sky High. Each is an intensive summer program created for entrepreneurs with high-growth startup ideas; this year’s graduating cohort included 10 teams from a diverse set of B2B companies. ZeroTo510, operated by Memphis Bioworks, is a mentor-driven program created to help medical device entrepreneurs navigate the startup process, refine their business models and achieve the FDA’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing. This year’s graduating cohort included four teams. Both programs are integral parts of EPIcenter and initiatives of the Greater Memphis Accelerator Consortium (a program funded by Launch Tennessee and the State of Tennessee). Teams from both groups benefitted from the expertise of about 100 business and community leader mentors who lent their time and expertise to the founders.

 

“Because of the globally significant medical device industry here in Memphis and ZeroTo510’s connections to decision-makers and mentors, these companies have met milestone after milestone and are ready for the next phase of growth,” said Allan Daisley, President of ZeroTo510 and director of entrepreneurship and sustainability at Memphis Bioworks. “We’re confident that this group of companies will impress the audience and shine a light on the Memphis entrepreneurship ecosystem, and we’re thrilled to team up with Start Co. to showcase all of the companies graduating from Memphis business accelerators.”

 

Teams will present their business plan as well as progress to-date in developing their networks, launching products, and sourcing strategic and corporate partnerships.

 

Start Co. and ZeroTo510 partners invested time or resources during the programs providing monetary or professional service support for the programming and cohort teams. Joint partners include EPIcenter, Launch Tennessee, Innova, and Baker Donelson. Additional partners include:

 

To find out more information or to register for a media pass, please contact Liz Hamilton at lhamilton@archermalmo.com, (901) 260-4168 or Jessica Taveau at jtaveau@memphisbioworks.org, (901) 866-1435.

 

About Start Co.:

Start Co. is a nationally recognized nonprofit 501(c)(3) venture development organization based in Memphis, Tennessee, that relentlessly builds founders and companies, promoting entrepreneurship for everyone with a focus on digital startups. Start Co. is a member of the Global Accelerator Network and aims to advance Memphis’ economic growth through entrepreneurship. The organization is supported by partners including American Airlines, Archer Malmo, Baker Donelson, The Marston Group, Mosaik Solutions and Softlayer (an IBM company). More information can be found at neverstop.co.

 

About Memphis Bioworks Foundation

Memphis Bioworks is the Mid-South’s go-to organization for creating companies, jobs and investments in bioscience and sustainability.  A visionary community leader, Memphis Bioworks has a well-established record of sparking new levels of economic vitality by investing in entrepreneurs, building state-of-the-art labs and facilities, and training the next generation of workers.  For more information, visit www.memphisbioworks.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/MemphisBioworks or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.

 

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2015 Accelerator Cohorts:

 

  • Start Co. Seed Hatchery: Memphis’ first accelerator program is focused on the unique needs of B2B tech startups, including customer development, direct and online sales, product and market validation and fundraising strategies specifically designed to fit sales and product development life cycles. Seed Hatchery founders get $25,000 in seed-funding and the program has launched 23 companies since its inception in 2011. This year’s graduating cohort includes:

 

  • DivorceSecure, an online collaboration tool for divorcees and attorneys. Company founders are Hirsch Serman and Noam Davidovics.
  • LendMed, (formerly DeliverTo), a controlled lending, borrowing and accountability for the medical industry. The company founder is Ryan Freiden.
  • Ncrease, a social media analytics add-on that improves social sharing and visitor conversions. Company founders are Aaron Fitzgerald, Morgan McCullough, Kelly Schricker and Laney Mills.
  • Preteckt, a technology that predicts vehicle breakdowns and assists in better preventative vehicle maintenance. Company founders are Peter Bassa, Sasha Kucharczyk and Ken Sills.

 

  • Start Co. Upstart: Upstart is one of the nation’s first accelerators dedicated to women-led startups. In addition to participating in the Seed Hatchery curriculum, Upstart places an additional emphasis on personal and professional development and networking for female founders. Upstart founders also get $25,000 in seed-funding and nine women-led companies have launched since its inception in 2013. This year’s graduating cohort includes:

 

  • 6Figure, a personalized shopping platform for the professional woman. Company founder is Michael Wolf.
  • Care Current, a centralized communication platform connecting caregivers and their families. The company founders are Nick Fuller, Rachel Fuller, Evan Black and Kieran Blazier.
  • MLS My Nest, a real estate service that markets homes for a flat $1,500 to sell in the most effective way. Company founders are Jessica Buffington and Dustie Zvolanek.

 

  • Start Co. Sky High: Sky High is Memphis’ first social innovation accelerator, which focuses on the unique needs of social impact tech startups, combining startup building methods with social innovation building methods from intense Start Co. curriculums. Since its inception last year, four companies have launched through Sky High. This year’s graduating cohort includes:

 

  • Capital C, a code school for adults looking to transition into full-time software development careers. Company founders are Joel Cox and Meka Egwuekwe.
  • CodeCrew, a nonprofit organization leading the youth coding movement in Memphis. CodeCrew empowers kids from underserved communities to be tech innovators and leaders through practical, hands-on computer science training. Company founders are Audrey Jones, Meka Egwuekwe and Petya Grady.
  • MyCollegeSTREAM, a webapp that helps guidance counselors get students engaged in the college search process by using college social media. The company founders Bryant Warren and Brian Summerhill.

 

  • ZeroTo5010: ZeroTo510 is a unique program that enables entrepreneurs with ideas for medical devices to get cleared for commercial deployment through the FDA’s 510(k) process, which is the fastest and most economical route to market for new medical devices. ZeroTo510 founders also get $50,000 in seed-funding from co-investors Innova and MB Venture Partners. Since its inception in 2012, 20 companies have launched through ZeroTo510. This year’s graduating cohort includes:
    • SweetBio, with ties to both the University of Memphis and San Francisco, makes membranes for tissue regeneration used in oral surgeries utilizing medical-grade honey as one of the ingredients. Company founders are Isaac Rodriguez, Kayla Rodriguez and Marsalas Whitaker.
    • LineGard Med (formerly Site Saver), from Little Rock, Ark., provides hospitals with a simple device that protects and preserves patients’ IV sites and central lines. Company founders are Spencer Jones and Louis Diesel.
    • GlucosAlarm, an international company from Chihuahua, Mexico, has created a technology to measure glucose in diabetic patients’ urine, which simplifies the testing procedure. Company founders are Nancy Guerra and Carlos Bernal.
    • Inspire Living, from Fairfax Station, Va., offers a portable health monitor that enables anyone, anywhere, to conduct an automated respiratory and rapid vitals exam on a child. Company founder is Kristi Otto.

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