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    Restore Medical Solutions, one of ZeroTo510 startups in Memphis, to get full venture capital funding

    James Dowd - The Commercial Appeal -

    Restore Medical Solutions, one of the original startups that participated in the inaugural ZeroTo510 cohort, will proceed to a full round of venture capital funding led by Innova Memphis and MB Venture Partners, program organizers announced Friday.

    Financial terms of the investment were not released, but the multimillion dollar deal may include additional investors, said Jan Bouten, partner at Innova and ZeroTo510 advisor. During the recent ZeroTo510 Investor Day Restore Medical representatives requested an initial investment of $2.5 million.

    The move toward venture capital funding signaled that the company, which designed a modular tray and method for reprocessing sterile surgical instruments and already has a customer base, is at a mature market-entry position. The company is awaiting clearance for its product from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which should take about 90 days. During that time Restore Medical will not be able to sell its product, but may continue medical trials with participating hospitals.

    In addition, four of the ZeroTo510 startups will advance to the second phase of the program and each will an additional $100,000 in funding. That's on top of the $50,000 seed capital initially awarded to each startup.

    The companies chosen are: BioNanovations, which developed a device that uses bionanotechnology for rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections; EcoSurge, which developed an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional foam patient positioners used in surgeries; Nanophthalmics, which developed a surgical device to more effectively treat corneal abrasions; and Urova Medical, which 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."

    Added Bouten, "For each of these companies, this next phase in their development is a major accomplishment, but the vast stretch of the road to success still lies ahead. We expect each of the four companies receiving the additional $100,000 investment to use that money to further prove a concept or reach a level where they are ready to really begin building a business. That is the ultimate measure of success, a viable business with employees and a strong future, growing in Memphis and making a lasting impact."

    The only participant not selected for additional funding was Handminder, which developed a portable hand rehabilitation device for stroke victims. The startup's device offered great promise, ZeroTo510 leaders said, but will benefit from further research and incubation.

    ZeroTo510, under the auspices of the Greater Memphis Accelerator Consortium, is a startup accelerator program focused on medical device research and manufacturing. The goal of the three-month program is to guide entrepreneurs through the process of achieving the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing.

    For more information, visit zeroto510.com.