2015 Teams chosen for ZeroTo510

The ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator has its new crop of startups for 2015.

Going through the 12-week program at the Memphis Bioworks Business Incubator starting this week are:

  • Sweet Bio, which makes membranes for tissue regeneration used in oral surgeries using medical-grade honey as an ingredient
  • SiteSaver, which provides hospitals with a simple device to protect and preserve patient IV sites and central lines
  • GlucosAlarm, which created a technology to measure glucose in diabetic patients’ urine
  • And Inspire Living, which offers a portable health monitor to enable anyone, anywhere, to conduct an automated respiratory and rapid vitals exam on a child.

The four companies have received $50,000 in initial seed capital from co-investors Innova and MB Venture Partners. At the end of the 12-week program, the teams will pitch to a group of investors at Demo Day on August 13. The investors will choose finalists who could get as much as $100,000 in additional capital and the opportunity to further develop their businesses.

FedEx Committing Support to Nepal earthquake relief efforts

FedEx has announced it’s committing about $1 million to support relief efforts in the wake of the Nepal earthquake.

The company’s contribution will be in the form of a mix of cash, transportation support and a chartered flight to deliver medical aid and supplies. FedEx says it’s mobilizing its disaster relief program through the company’s existing relationships with Direct Relief, Heart to Heart International, Water Missions International, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.

FedEx’s specific contributions will include:

  • Providing a $250,00 cash donation to the American Red Cross and a $50,000 donation to The Salvation Army
  • Sponsoring Heart to Heart International’s mobile medical clinic, “which contains tents, vital medicines, medical supplies, portable medical equipment, communication equipment, non-perishable food and water purification systems.”
  • Transporting on behalf of Direct Relief large volumes of IV solutions, medicines, surgical supplies, and other medical essentials requested and approved by Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population.
  • And transporting 12 large Living Water Treatment Systems, 31 potable water chlorinators and 12 large water tanks on behalf of Water Missions International. “Combined,” says FedEx, “these systems will provide fresh water for up to 370,000 people per day.”

Details of Live at the Garden’s new lineup

The Memphis Botanic Garden has announced the lineup for this year’s Live at the Garden concert series.

The series gets started June 26 with Aretha Franklin, followed on July 17 by Rob Thomas, then on August 15 is ZZ Top, with Martina McBride on Sept. 4, and finally on Sept. 18 Daryl Hall & John Oates.

The series, now in its 15th year, is held on the grounds of the Memphis Botanic Garden and can seat 6,600. The series title sponsor is Duncan-Williams, Inc. Presenting Sponsors are Fed Ex, TruGreen, Infiniti of Memphis, Regions Bank, Hollywood Casino, Ashley HomeStore, Nolan’s Audio/Video, Classic Party Rentals and Nationwide Insurance.

Porcellino’s + City & State = something new

City & State, the new retailer that opened recently on Broad Avenue which also has a coffee and food component, added something new this week.

The retailer’s coffee bar/food side has added a few items from the guys behind Porcellino’s in East Memphis. Via the City & State Facebook page:

“We are super stoked to announce we have teamed up with Chefs Andrew and Michael of Porcellino’s and will now be carrying new breakfast and even a couple lunch options. Food doesn’t get better than theirs!”


From Big Star drummer to Ardent CEO

As the drummer for Big Star, Jody Stephens helped hold things together, keeping time with his sticks. Now, it appears he’s serving a similar role at Ardent, the Memphis studio where Big Star – and many other artists local and national – recorded their tunes.

Ardent confirmed that Stephens, whose previous title was studio manager, is the studio’s new CEO. Continued leadership at Ardent preserves the longevity of the Memphis music landmark that lost its founder John Fry in December at age 69.

In January, Ardent posted on its Facebook page:

“Thanks to all those that have inquired as to the future of our Ardent family here at 2000 Madison. We will continue the mission put forth by our great founder and leader John Fry and run the business as it has been run under his guidance for the last 48 years. John’s advisory role at Ardent has been the best example for us for many years and the owners and administration here at Ardent know that it was John’s wish that we soldier on in this mission, with him at the helm in spirit, always.”

This Wednesday, a celebration of Fry and late Ardent engineer John Hampton is happening at the Levitt Shell. The free show, “Press/Play: A Celebration of John Fry and John Hampton,” starts at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow, Stephens and guests performing Big Star songs as well as performances by the Gin Blossoms and Tora Tora.