Demo Day Dawns

After three months of intensive training, mentoring and countless hours spent perfecting their products, the entrepreneurs behind six medical device startups in this year’s ZeroTo510 cohort are ready to showcase their innovations before area creatives, investors and supporters.

The second annual ZeroTo510 Demo Day runs from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation Conference Center, 20 S. Dudley near Downtown.

Keynote speakers will be AutoZone founder Joseph R. “Pitt” Hyde III, and Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee. Following the presentations, participants will be guests at a reception that will offer a more casual environment for the inventors to showcase their startups.

Last year’s Demo Day drew more than 100 folks to the afternoon program that was celebrated as a sort of graduation ceremony for the startups that completed the boot camp accelerator.

Adapted from the Seed Hatchery model that trains and supports tech-based startups, ZeroTo510 offers selected companies $50,000 in initial funding from co-investors Innova and MB Venture Partners and free training from business and medical professionals. During the program, companies work toward 510(k) filing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and obtaining clearance for their products. Following the training, selected participants may receive additional investment funding of up to $100,000 each.

Because of the internationally recognized medical device and research community in Memphis, it only makes sense to sponsor this program here, organizers emphasize.

And an important requirement for admission to ZeroTo510 is that participants must agree to base their companies here or at least live here while enrolled in the program.

So if you’ve got some free time on Thursday afternoon, I encourage you to drop by Bioworks and check out some of the most innovative startups here or anywhere. There’s no cost to attend and audience members are free to come and go as their schedules allow. However, event coordinators would like to get an accurate number of guests, so be sure to register if you’re able to attend. For more information, visit

If you’re a small-business owner looking to expand operations and could use additional capital to help do so, then you’ll want to sign up for the free “SBA Loan Training” seminar from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the Renaissance Center, 555 Beale. To learn more, call 901-526-9300.

First up on Wednesday, start your morning with a tech-centric breakfast at the Interactive Expedition meeting, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis, 3700 Central.

The event features networking opportunities with some of the area’s most tech-savvy creatives and a program designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners maximize digital platforms and social media to become more efficient and attract new customers. Cost is $20 and includes breakfast, or $15 each for you and a guest if you bring a newcomer with you. Register at

If you’re a small-business owner and find yourself in or near Bartlett on Wednesday morning, then check out the “Staying Ahead of the Curve” small business workshop series from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce office, 2969 Elmore Park Road. Admission is free for BACC members, $25 for others. Visit to add your name to the list.

Also on Wednesday, Nancy Crawford with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South will present “Up-To-Date Tips to Avoid Current Business Scams” as part of the weekly Talk Shoppe series. The program is free and will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. at DeVry University, 6401 Poplar, sixth floor. Visit to learn more.

And on Thursday, the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Small Business Council will host “Inspired Greatness: Memphis Success Stories” featuring local entrepreneurs Spence Wilson Jr., vice president of Kemmons Wilson Companies, and Ben C. Bryant Jr., founder of SCB Computer Technology.

The program, which runs from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Memphis Marriott, 2625 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, costs $25 for Chamber members and $30 for guests. Visit to register.

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