Market Overview

Hesperos, Inc. Among GrowFL 2018 Florida Companies to Watch Finalists

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Hesperos, Inc. has announced that it is among the first round of
finalists for the 2018 Florida Companies to Watch honor,
recently announced by GrowFL.

The awards event - now in its eighth year - honors 50 select
second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable
products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and
broadening new industries throughout Florida. Chosen from a candidate
pool of 134 growing second-stage businesses, the finalists collectively
represented $518 million in annual revenue and employed 2,743 full-time
equivalent employees in 2017.

Led by engineering pioneers James J. Hickman of the Hybrid Systems
Laboratory at the University of Central Florida and Michael L. Shuler of
Cornell University, Hesperos has developed patented "human-on-a-chip"
technology that allows academic and commercial companies to more
accurately analyze drug candidates and other compounds in a realistic
model, without the use of animals. The Orlando company works with
several top pharma companies.

"Our human-on-a-chip systems integrate several body organ modules such
as the nervous system, circulatory system, liver and skeletal muscle, to
create a functional replication of real organ interplay," said Hickman.
"We hope to transform toxicology testing, and we are honored to be
recognized for our innovations."

The Florida Companies To Watch finalists now advance to the
second round, where they will be further evaluated based on their
performance in the marketplace, innovative products, services or
processes, philanthropy and empowered employees.

"We applaud these first round finalists who have shown how they stand
out in their regions as innovative business leaders, going to the next
level to grow their companies. They are true rock stars," says Dr. Tom
O'Neal, GrowFL Executive Director.

The Finalists represent a unique group of scalable, high-growth
enterprises that are already located within Florida. These high growth
enterprises are an important segment of our economy and their numbers
have been steadily increasing, which contributed to Florida's ranking of
24 on the 2018 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship. According to
this report, "entrepreneurship is not a monolithic phenomenon, and it
includes many moving parts. Creating new businesses is a different
economic activity from running small businesses, which in turn is
different from growing businesses."

Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, Florida Companies To Watch
is a distinguished awards program specifically designed to seek out
second-stage businesses from a wide range of industries representing all
areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In
addition to evaluating past growth and projected success, applicant
companies are judged according to their special strengths and impact in
their markets, communities and within the state – thus deeming them
"worth watching."

The winners will be announced in MID-September. The 2018 honorees will
be celebrated at the awards ceremony February 9th at the
Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL.

For more information visit https://www.growfl.com/flctw18/.

About Hesperos:

Hesperos, Inc. is a leader in efforts to characterize an individual's
biology with human-on-a-chip microfluidic systems. Founders Michael L.
Shuler and James J. Hickman have been at the forefront of every major
scientific discovery in this realm, from individual organ-on-a-chip
constructs to fully functional, interconnected multi-organ systems. With
a mission to revolutionize toxicology testing as well as efficacy
evaluation for drug discovery, the company has created pumpless
platforms with serum-free cellular mediums that allow multi-organ system
communication and integrated computational modeling of live
physiological responses of functional neurons, cardiac, muscle, and
neuromuscular junctions as well as liver, pancreas and barrier tissues.
Created from human stem cells, the fully human systems are the first in
vitro solutions that accurately recreate in vivo functions without the
use of animal models. More information is available at
http://www.hesperosinc.com

About GrowFL

GrowFL was created in 2009 as an economic development program focused
on assisting second-stage growth companies prosper in the state of
Florida. By providing strategies, resources and support to second-stage
companies for next level growth through Strategic Research, Peer
Learning and Leadership Development, GrowFL helps companies overcome
obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. Based on the
philosophy of Economic Gardening® — to grow existing businesses in a
community, region or state — GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening
Institute, is a critical component to the state's economic development
strategy and Florida's entrepreneurial ecosystem. GrowFL is a statewide
economic development organization certified by the National Center for
Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation.
Learn more
at
www.GrowFL.com.

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