HGN: Medical device startup companies share their pitches

HGN: Medical device startup companies share their pitches

Last week the summer session of Memphis Bioworks Zeroto510 medical device startup program took a moment to relax and mingle with other local business leaders, entrepreneurs and potential investors at Wiseacre Brewery on Broad Avenue. At the event Zeroto510 companies shared their elevator pitches.

First up was Michael Ollukaren who explained how his company, FlexSpark, was working to prevent deep vein thrombosis, a problem many recovering hospital patients must contend with as they heal from whatever sent them to the hospital. … FlexSpark is working on new technology to prevent deep vein thrombosis, improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, and reduce staff labor.

Michael was Srinath “Sri” Vaddepally kicked off his talk with a focus on the importance of communication, especially in the care setting, where information is needed about patients being out of bed, hungry, thirsty, in danger or pain, and so on. That is why Sri came to Zeroto510, to spend the summer working on a communications solution called RistCall, a system that helps hospitals to improve patient safety and satisfaction scores through wireless, wearable call bell devices. This is a hospital “smartwatch,” he explained,  that can be used to track patient care and location. The device can be ised to call for medication, bath, nourishment, and more. Ristcall is working to prevent falls, improve patient outcome and satisfaction, and reduce staff labor.

Josh Herwig pitched another wearable device, this time for outside the hospital, a product of his company SOMAVAC. SOMAVAC’s pilot project is a post-surgical device that changes the way drainage is managed after major surgeries…

Ashley Moy powerfully pitched for Cast21, a revolutionary new waterproof, open cast that is applied while still flexible and then hardened in the appropriate position. … Cast21 is working to decrease healing time, improve patient outcome, comfort and satisfaction.

The ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator focuses on leveraging key regional strengths of the Memphis area: biomedical research and medical device manufacturing. The goal of ZeroTo510 is to help medical device startups navigate the startup process, refine their business models and complete the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) premarket notification filing. Zeroto510 sponsors donated over $100,000 in legal fees to create the documents.

In Phase I, the companies receive a $50,000 cash investment and $50,000 in services and perks. The cash investment is structured as a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), as conceived by Y-Combinator. Where the company is asked to reserve 5 percent equity in lieu of cash for mentors and/or board members they need to bring on to help ensure success.  In Phase II, the investors may invest additional dollars based on agreed-upon milestones. The initial investments come locally from Innova Memphis and MB Ventures.

HGN: Medical device startup companies share their pitches

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