ZeroTo510 named one of country’s top accelerators – again

Memphis medical device accelerator ZeroTo510 has for the second year in a row been named one of the top startup accelerators in the country.

The accelerator was included in a list of the top 25 business accelerators in the U.S. in rankings announced Friday at SXSW. The rankings are provided by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project and are based on confidential data that includes metrics like accelerator portfolio outcomes.

The goal of ZeroTo510 – a three-month, mentor-driven program – is to help medical device entrepreneurs navigate the start-up process, refine their business models and achieve the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing. Applications for the accelerator’s fifth cohort are being accepted until March 15.

So far, ZeroTo510 says 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.

Memphis’ magic attendance number is 5,305 for Sunday vs. Tulsa

While No. 24 SMU dealt the University of Memphis another disappointing loss, 69-62, on Thursday, Feb. 25 at FedExForum, there was some hopeful news.


The so-called turnstile count (or tickets actually scanned) eclipsed 8,300. The Tigers needed to average 6,812 fans – in the seats, not just paid-for tickets – over the last two home games to bring the season average up to 6,000 for the season and ensure the Tigers receive a portion of an $800,000 payment from the Memphis Grizzlies.

The U of M won’t get the full load, but if they can get 5,305 fans into the building for Senior Day vs. Tulsa on Sunday, Feb. 28 (3 p.m. start, by the way) they’ll make it and, according to multiple media reports, be in line for a payment in excess of $400,000.

The financial numbers might be what matter most now in a season that slipped a little farther away as the Tigers lost for the fourth time in their last five games. Their record fell to 15-13 overall, 6-9 in the American Athletic Conference.

– Don Wade

Redbirds’ mini-packs emphasize Saturday nights and fireworks

The Memphis Redbirds are trying to give fans more bang for their bucks.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A team has introduced three new mini-packs for the upcoming 2016 season at AutoZone Park. Fans have a choice between three ticket packages, each containing multiple weekend games that feature a variety of postgame fireworks shows and guaranteed gate giveaways.

Each pack has five games, four of which are Saturday games. Mini-pack pricing ranges from $115 for Club Level, $95 for Dugout, and $80 for Field Box tickets.

Mini-packs schedules and tickets are available at or over the phone at 901-721-6000.

The Redbirds’ 2016 promotional lineup will continue to evolve through Opening Night and into the season, including theme nights and other events.

AutoZone Park was selected to host the nationally-televised 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game on Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. pitting the Pacific Coast League Champions against the winner of the International League’s Governors’ Cup in a one-game, winner-take-all championship.

The Redbirds open the season at AutoZone Park on Thursday, April 7 against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Triple-A Brewers).

– Don Wade

Distinctions for executives at First Tennessee parent company

A few executives among the leadership at First Tennessee Bank’s parent company have been singled out for industry awards and coverage lately.

Rhomes Aur, who heads up FTB Advisors, appears in the latest issue of The BISA (Bank Insurance & Securities Association) Magazine. Rhomes is featured as the publication’s cover story, in which he discusses First Tennessee Bank’s wealth team approach to retaining clients.

Meanwhile, Aarti Bowman – senior vice president of investor relations for First Tennessee’s parent, First Horizon National Corp. – has been honored by Institutional Investor magazine as one of the top investor relations professionals in the nation.

Bowman was named to the magazine’s 2016 All-America Investor Team and was voted the No. 1 investor relations professional in the mid-cap banks category. First Horizon’s overall investor relations program was also named No. 1 in the banks/mid-cap category.

Matt Barnes vs. Derek Fisher this Saturday in Memphis

Matt Barnes had a lot to talk about after the Grizzlies’ second dramatic win over the Detroit Pistons in as many games.

In Detroit in December, he heaved a half-court shot with 1.1 seconds left for a Memphis victory. Thursday night, Jan. 14, at FedExForum, point guard Mario Chalmers did the honors with 00.8 seconds left from 15 feet for a 103-101 victory over the Pistons.

“My game-winner was better,” said Barnes, who lockers next to Chalmers.

But Mario would get his chance to have fun later. After Barnes answered a couple of questions about his hot shooting night – 6-for-6 from long range for 18 points – he got the inevitable question about New York and Knicks coach Derek Fisher coming to town on Saturday, Jan. 16.

“Eww, there it goes,” Chalmers said when the question was put out there.

In the preseason, Barnes and Fisher had an altercation at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. It took a few months, but the NBA ultimately suspended Barnes for two games because of the incident.

“It kind of is what it is,” Barnes said after Thursday’s game. “I know I gotta keep my mouth shut because he’ll run and tell. When I’m retired, him and I will cross paths again.”

To which Chalmers said: “Hey, I’m Don King – only in America!”

– Don Wade