KALAMAZOO, Michigan — The Michigan Medical Device Accelerator (MMDA) announces the formation of Impact Athletic LLC. The new company has acquired the intellectual property and assets for a product line of athletic training equipment from Tekna, Inc. of Kalamazoo, MI. Impact Athletic will be located within the Southwest Michigan First offices at 241 East Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Impact Athletic is a startup company dedicated to moving the athletic training facility into the forefront of sports science through the design and manufacturing of world class products conceived with the athletic trainer in mind.

The first products available are the Medic and Medic XL. Cutting edge, mobile sideline tables for the athletic trainer, designed to meet the rigors of the environment and the needs of today’s athletes. These products have already been integrated into the athletic trainers on field regiments in over 130 high schools, universities and professional sports teams around the United States.

Tekna will continue to support Impact Athletic through product design and manufacturing in Kalamazoo.

““The affiliation with Impact Athletic will allow Tekna to continue to build on our 25 year history of identification, development, and manufacture of unique world class product solutions. We look forward to supporting the initial products offering as well as the expanded athletic training product line as the national marketing and sales launch for Impact Athletic rolls out in 2013. We are pleased to see Southwest Michigan First’s continued support of local organizations and the business start-up community at large,” said Kris Eager, CEO Tekna Inc. To learn more about Tekna go to www.teknalink.com.

When Southwest Michigan First formed the MMDA, the organization’s intent was for the MMDA to acquire and incubate companies with promising technologies within the medical device sector. The acquisition of Impact Athletic gives our model a leg-up as the company’s product line has already proven to be successful. In addition, our region’s ability to support the company from design to manufacturing to sales offers us exciting prospects for ongoing success,” said Kevin McLeod, Managing Director of the MMDA.

The MMDA was formed in 2009 by Southwest Michigan First to take advantage of the region’s strong life sciences medical device research and development environment and benefit from the city’s 120-mile radius comprising one of the strongest medical device clusters in the nation. The MMDA uses an innovative approach to the incubator/accelerator model by looking to invest in ideas that can be developed into products through a community-based development process. The MMDA is able to support its efforts with the networks and resources available to it through its alignment under the Southwest Michigan First Group of Companies. The accelerator is currently managing a portfolio of over 40 companies with products in various stages of development.

“Throughout our organization’s history, we have supported entrepreneurial innovation with the goal of creating a nationally recognized start-up environment here in Southwest Michigan. We look forward to Impact Athletic taking us a step forward on our journey,” said Ron Kitchens, Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Michigan First.

The Michigan Medical Device Accelerator (MMDA) has designed an innovative approach to the incubator/accelerator model which has become commonplace in modern entrepreneurial havens: Rather than invest in companies, the MMDA looks to invest in Medical Device ideas at the very earliest stages of development that can be developed into products through a community-based development process. This community-based approach utilizes the existing health science infrastructure in Michigan to develop ideas into a marketable product. The MMDA is a not-for-profit (501)(c)(3) organization created and operated by the MMDA management team of Southwest Michigan First, the regional economic catalyst serving Southwest Michigan. To learn more, go to www.mmdaccelerator.com.

About Southwest Michigan First Southwest Michigan First is an organization of privately funded economic development advisors who act as the catalyst for economic growth in Southwest Michigan. Founded in 1999 on the principle that jobs and wealth creation exponentially affect the region’s future sustainability, the organization works across all industries throughout the eight counties making up the Southwest Michigan Region. Its goal is this: To create jobs and wealth for the community – and dramatically increase the bottom lines of the companies with which it partners. For more information about Southwest Michigan First, please visit us at www.southwestmichiganfirst.com, or call 269.553.9588.

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