Reflecting on 100 Days of Acceleration

SOMAVAC Medical Solutions was launched on April 28th and a lot happened since.  An idea for a device to remove fluid and minimize the risk of seroma became the basis of a viable medical device that will help surgical patients recover more easily at home. The problem statement originated from surgeons, and their desire to create better solutions to reduce the risk of complications after mastectomies or hernia repairs. Our one-on-one interviews with patients shed light on the patients’ struggle with the current standard of care.  This is why we re-evaluated and re-designed - multiple times over the summer!  

Besides the progress relating to the design of our device and company, so much happened personally. Starting a company is already one big decision, and participating in a business accelerator is just as life changing! The word “accelerator” is not a placeholder – they really do accelerate businesses! Personally, I was concerned about taking this big step to start a business accelerator on multiple fronts. I knew it would take time away from my family and I struggled with the idea of going back to “school” again after having spent about 23 years in school; it was a challenging idea. Even more daunting was the thought of business/entrepreneurship and transitioning from non-profit/academic research and science world. Luckily, the desire to help more people quickly, the profound desire to learn continuously, and a good dose of serendipity landed SOMAVAC Medical in a nationally ranked medical device accelerator (Zeroto510) in Memphis, starting May 2016.

I want to close by saying: IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A STARTUP! And, we were able to find our village very fast with the help of the accelerator program – both StartCo and Zeroto510. This village is filled with a tough group of people though! Imagine a group of fiercely hardworking, smart, and independent people who decided they want to bring their ideas to life. The accelerator ecosystem (StartCo, Zeroto510, Bioworks, EpiMemphis, etc) is the roof under which all of these people, and their companies, thrived. These programs encourage them to work together, which leads to better ideas, more viable products, and more realized success stories. I think this framework gives small companies a chance to compete with established companies. At SOMAVAC Medical, we are happy to have found our little nook in this community.