Three Charleston-area, start-up companies are now part of SCRA Technology Ventures' SC Launch program, qualifying them for seed money, mentoring and marketing help.

Go Where I Go, International BioMedical Devices and VesselTek join a growing number of young companies receiving aid through the South Carolina Research Authority near Charleston International Airport, SCRA spokeswoman Micki MacNaughton said.

Go Where I Go is an app for smartphone users and small business owners that allows them to refer friends to their favorite businesses, 50 million which have been pre-loaded onto the application using Google Places. It also provides businesses with analytics on their referrals.

The company is launching beta tests in Charleston and Memphis during May.

International BioMedical Devices is a medical device company focused in the field of eye surgery. A collaboration between an Israeli partner and an ophthalmic surgeon, IBMD developed a novel precision capsulotomy system for use in cataract surgery.

Their trademarked ApertureRx System allows the surgeon to perform a precisely sized and consistently centered incision into the crystalline lens of the eye with every cataract surgery procedure. They plan to manufacture the specialized tip in South Carolina, and their technology is exclusively licensed from the Israeli inventor.

Vesseltek is commercializing a prosthetic vascular graft that utilizes a patented coating which dramatically reduces restenosis, a narrowing of the blood vessels. Vascular grafts used in below-the-knee applications fail at a rate of about 70 percent, due to clotting and chronic swelling, and Vesseltek's antioxidant coating addresses both issues. The company currently holds five patents with three additional patents pending.

"We are delighted to welcome these companies," said SC Launch Executive Director Greg Hillman. "As part of our mission to lead the Knowledge Economy in South Carolina, we look forward to working with these promising companies and the contributions that will bring to our state."

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or