Top Regional Resources for Southeast Medtech Innovation Innovators: Part 2 / 2

 In News, Resources

Last week we highlighted three resources for southeast medtech innovators of all shapes and sizes. Admittedly, it was Georgia centric.

This week, we’d like to shine a light on three resources for southeast medtech innovators – be they individual physicians or clinicians, engineers, startups or early growth stage companies – in South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. The southeast medtech ecosystem is more than Atlanta. And there are resources for innovators throughout the region. Here are a few.

SC Launch

A core program of the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) is “SC Launch.” According to, SCRA was created by the South Carolina Legislature, chartered in 1983 and given a one-time founding grant of $500,000 and 1,400 acres of undeveloped land. In order to successfully execute its mission and remain self-sustaining, SCRA uses income from its government contracting affiliate and funds from the Industry Partnership Fund ($6 million annually) to further technology-based economic growth in the state.

The SC Launch program provides investments, grant opportunities, mentoring and support to early-stage technology companies. Companies in the program are closely aligned with the following industries: Advanced Materials/Manufacturing; Information Technology; Life Sciences.

Since the program’s inception more than 60 companies in healthcare including medtech, medical device and life sciences have received investment and related support through SC Launch. In December, SCRA announced its most recent investments including a $200,000 investment in Zeriscope, an enterprise grade telemedicine platform. More recently, SCRA announced the addition of five new client companies into the SC Launch program including caregiver-focused solution provider Chassante. Regenerative medicine innovator FirstString Research also accessed SC Launch matching funds for its federal SBIR grant to accelerate clinical trials of its lead product, Granexin gel.

If you are a life sciences or medtech innovator based in South Carolina, you should engage with SCRA and SC Launch today if you are not already doing so.


If you have spoken with anyone about resources for southeast medtech innovators, it is highly likely you are aware of ZeroTo510: the Memphis medtech accelerator, funded through Launch Tennessee, a public / private partnership supported by the State of Tennessee Department of Economic Development.

Zeroto510 was named a Top 25 U.S. Accelerator by TechCrunch in 2016 for good reason. From the related press release, “Now in its fifth year, the program has accelerated the creation of 20 new companies, $9.2 million in investments, and more than 40 jobs. In addition, 60 percent of graduates have received post-accelerator follow-on funding, at an average of $675,000 per company. The nationally recognized program has attracted entrepreneurs from the Memphis area and from outside the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, including Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Duke University in Durham, N.C., and from Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Ark., and Chihuahua, Mexico. Among these companies’ successes: five have completed the FDA clearance or exemption process and have products in the marketplace generating revenue. As the first-ever medical device accelerator, ZeroTo510 is now recognized as a benchmark model for medical device accelerators both nationally and internationally.”

In our leadup to last year’s SEMDA conference in Nashville, we highlighted ZeroTo510 startup Sweetbio including insights from COO Kayla Rodriguez as well as investors Jan Bouten (Innova) and Gary Stevenson (MB Ventures) about what makes a young medtech company investable and why SEMDA is a must attend for medtech startups and investors every year. You can read the case study here.

Innovation Depot

Birmingham’s Innovation Depot is the self-described “epicenter for technology, startups and entrepreneurs in the Birmingham region.” Healthcare is among the top five industries represented by Innovation Depot member companies.

Most recently, Innovation Depot opened applications for its new Velocity Accelerator, the Birmingham region’s first seed accelerator in August 2016. The 12 week, 10 company max program runs from January 18 – April 11, 2017. We can’t wait to meet the first Velocity cohort and see the latest of what else is going on in Birmingham when the SEMDA PitchRounds Roadshow lands at Innovation Depot on February 8, 2017!

The SEMDA PitchRounds Roadshowsemda-pitch-round-240px

In case you missed it, SEMDA is hitting the road looking for entrepreneurs and innovators building the southeast’s reputation as a value-based location for medtech development. Regional winners will compete at the SEMDA annual conference in April for a cash prize of $10,000 and a slot to present at Advamed 2017 in San Jose. Southeast medtech innovators, get on board!

Are you or someone you know ready to pitch?!? We’ll be in Orlando, Birmingham, Memphis, Charleston, Raleigh and Atlanta soon!

Please take just a minute to help us continue to build a robust medtech ecosystem in the southeast by following SEMDA on LinkedIn and Twitter. And don’t forget to save the date for SEMDA 2017, April 26-27!