Nick Seto

Nick Seto


AGE: 28

COMPANY: Target Tape Inc.

The story: Most class projects only last a semester, but Colin O’Neill and Nick Seto have been raising money, building and tinkering with their surgical device, Target Tape, for over five years now. The two met at UBC, where O’Neill was pursuing a double honours in economics and engineering and Seto was a third-year commerce student. Both were taking UBC Sauder School of Business’s new venture design course, an interdisciplinary course that pairs commerce with engineering students on a project whose end goal is a viable product prototype. The basis of their project (and the cornerstone of their business) is the X-grad—a disposable tool for surgeons to help them make more accurate incisions. While the march toward profitability—through the bog of health bureaucracy—can take years, the pair remains hopeful. Says Seto: “There’s no real course on entrepreneurship; we were thrown into the water and expected to learn how to swim.”

Markers of success: Target Tape is still pre-revenue, but the founders expect to gear into sales mode in late 2016. Their device has received commitments for future use from the B.C. Cancer Centre, the Fraser Valley Cancer Centre and Surrey Memorial Hospital.