This year's keynote speaker was Alvaro Guillem, Ph.D., the President and co-founder of ZS Pharma Inc. ZS Pharma became a client of TECH Fort Worth in 2009, and as of the posting of this blog post, it has a market capitalization of $1.2 billion. Dr. Guillem walked the audience through the benefits of its drugs for those suffering from hyperkalemia (elevated potassium levels) and ZS Pharma's early stage financing efforts. I was especially interested to learn that ZS Pharma benefited from an investment from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a $485 million fund created by the State of Texas to, among other things "help start-up companies get off the ground faster and attract high-tech jobs" (according to the website of the Office of the Texas Governor).
The event also spotlighted the successes of following TECH Fort Worth clients:
- Beartek Gloves, who makes "smart" gloves that allow wearers to control electronic devices without removing the gloves. They are marketing especially to motorcyclists, skiers, and snowboarders, to make their activities safer and more convenient.
- Ben Hogan Golf, who is re-launching the Ben Hogan brand of high quality, precision golf clubs.
- Encore Vision, who is developing eye drops to treat presbyopia (farsightedness). [Wikipedia says that presbyopia comes from Greek words meaning literally "trying to see as old men do."]
- Ampcare, who sells devices and techniques involving therapeutic neuromuscular stimulation technologies for the treatment of dysphagia (swallowing disorders). Ampcare was the "people's choice" award winner based upon a real-time vote by audience members at the event.