FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Highly motivated founders can apply to ZeroTo510 by filling out the application form here. A subset of those that apply will be invited to have follow-up conversations with our team. Those with the most promising and innovative ideas will enter an intense ninety day cohort program coupled with investment and mentoring. We expect 6 ventures to be funded in each cohort. Up to 3 companies that move through the accelerator will be candidates for an additional program with follow-on investment.
WHAT IS THE FOCUS AREA OF THE ACCELERATOR?
If you have a medical device idea or prototype that would be a likely candidate for FDA 510(K) clearance or exemption, and you have the passion and energy to launch your device and venture in 90 days, then this program is designed for you and your founding team. Have a look at the companies from our prior cohorts to get a better feel for what type of companies we look for. If you are unsure, please contact us and we’d be happy to help you evaluate if you’re a good candidate.
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE MAIN 90-DAY ACCELERATOR?
The program is designed to answer the following key questions for your startup:
- Who is your customer?
- How much will they pay?
- How do you sell to your market?
- What is your business model?
- What is the appropriate FDA path to market?
- What reimbursement mechanism is in place for your product/service?
- How do you protect your company’s intellectual property?
- How do you pitch your company to investors?
- How much money does your company need to raise?
- Oh and lastly… building your product or prototype.
To address these key areas we have a mix of:
- Seminars from industry experts, consultants, lawyers etc.
- Meetings and interactions with experienced entrepreneurs
- Meetings with potential customers
- Introductions to expert clinicians
- Weekly progress meetings with ZeroTo510 managers
- Regular update meetings with investors to ensure the team is tracking toward their goals
- Social gatherings to create a strong collaborative culture and provide access to Memphis’ entrepreneurial ecosystem
CAN I APPLY ON MY OWN WITH JUST AN IDEA?
We encourage applications with more than one person on the initial team. We have learned that there is simply too much to be done during the program for a single person to effectively deal with. If you’re an engineer with a great idea, consider inviting a close friend to join your startup journey. Make sure your co-founders pass the “ATL test”: would you mind being stuck with them at the Atlanta airport for 8 hours waiting for your delayed flight? Your founding team is like a family: you have to be able to have heated arguments, hug, and be friends again.
HOW FAR DEVELOPED DOES MY IDEA OR COMPANY NEED TO BE TO APPLY?
We have seen successful participants all the way from a raw idea to a functioning prototype. What we look for are companies that can really benefit from the program’s focus, mentors, investors and industry network. We also try and gauge if $50,000 can help you reach reasonable value creating milestones; consequently, if you think you need at least $5,000,000 to build a prototype, this may not be the right program for you.
WHY DO WE NEED MENTORS?
Our mentors come from a wide array of backgrounds and have seen success and failure first hand in their business career. In addition to business and startup acumen, our mentors provide domain expertise. Whatever your concept, there is a strong chance that a couple of the mentors have expertise to accelerate your success. Mentors sharpen your concept and provide a source of accountability to ensure founding entrepreneurs execute quickly and works towards to right goals.
WHAT IS THE INVESTMENT STRUCTURE?
If you accept a spot in ZeroTo510 you agree to the standard terms of the program. These terms have been modeled after several other accelerator programs and our sponsors have donated over $100,000 in legal fees creating the documents.
When you enter the program, we will invest $50,000 cash in your company. Furthermore the program provides $50,000 in services and perks to you as well.
In Phase I of the program you will receive a $50,000 investment. The investment is structured as a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), as conceived by Y-Combinator. See details on how the SAFE works here.
We ask that you reserve 5% of your company for mentors and/or board members who you need to bring on to help ensure success, but may not be able to afford to pay in cash. This is very important to your company’s success. You have discretion over how to assign these shares.
Should you be selected for Phase II of the program, the investors will have the option to invest additional dollars based on agreed-upon milestones.
We welcome that you review the terms with your own legal counsel, but we are certain the terms are fair and balanced and we will not make exceptions or modifications for individual participants.
WILL YOU SIGN A NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT BEFORE I SEND IN MY APPLICATION?
Sorry, we can’t sign non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements to review the application. This is typical for the investment industry and for accelerators. Once you get accepted into the program, agreements to protect the intellectual property of the teams will be put in place.