Formed 2002 as one of Cleveland-based JumpStart's original portfolio companies, Synapse has commercialized technology developed at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals in Cleveland. The company's NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System works by electrically stimulating the nerves that control the diaphragm -- the organ that works like an internal billows to relax and contract the lungs. People with spinal cord injuries, Lou Gehrig's Disease and other neurological ailments previously spent their lives attached to mechanical ventilators. Today, about 350 people have been implanted with the device worldwide. The company had about a dozen employees in late 2010, but with approval for additional uses in the United States – while used for a variety of ailments elsewhere, it is only approved for spinal cord injuries in America -- that number could rise, the company says.