Student invention first to secure seed money from new UBC entrepreneurship fund


An invention developed by students in a joint Sauder School of Business–UBC Engineering undergraduate class is the first to secure seed money from a new University of British Columbia entrepreneurship fund.

UBC announced today that Aeos Biomedical will receive a $50,000 equity investment from the entrepreneurship@UBC Seed Accelerator, an investment fund created in partnership between UBC, UBC alumni and the Province of British Columbia through the B.C. Innovation Council to support early-stage companies from the UBC community.

“The fund is a cornerstone of our overall entrepreneurship@UBC initiative, which also includes programs around office space, mentorship and start up services,” says Carol Leacy, program director for entrepreneurship@UBC. “Making our first investment marks a significant milestone in moving the whole initiative forward.”

This first investment comes as a result of Aeos Biomedical winning the inaugural seed funding competition, which saw five startups pitch in October to a panel of seasoned investors and entrepreneurs led by Haig Farris, a well-known Canadian venture capitalist.

Aeos Biomedical emerged from New Venture Design class, a collaborative entrepreneurial course which partners undergraduate students from the Sauder School of Business and UBC Engineering. Between 2009 and 2010, Sauder students Nicholas Seto, Wylie Spencer and Emi Yamada and engineering students Patricia Backlund and Colin O’Neill developed the concept of Target Tape. 

Target Tape is a medical adhesive developed to allow doctors to make more precise incisions during surgery. The tape is inscribed with locational markings that show up on medical imaging, such as x-rays. It is applied to the patient’s skin over an area of interest, and when Target Tape is removed, it leaves behind an ink imprint of locational markings, allowing doctors to be more accurate in correlating the image with the patient’s skin.

“It takes investment capital to turn great ideas into great products, which is why our government through the B.C. Innovation Council contributed $800,000 to help create the entrepreneurship@UBC Seed Accelerator fund,” says Moira Stilwell, parliamentary secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. “We’re looking forward to Aeos Biomedical’s success in bringing its products to market, and strengthening B.C.’s bioeconomy.”

"Starting a company out of university can seem very daunting,” says Aeos biomedical co-founder Nick Seto. “Programs like entrepreneurship@UBC provide invaluable assistance with their connections and resources. Aeos Biomedical is grateful for UBC's continued support with this investment, and we hope that many other student-founded companies continue to benefit from this program."

The venture was first supported by entrepreneurship@UBC in August 2010, when it was selected as one of six companies to present their business idea to venture capitalists and distinguished UBC alumni in Silicon Valley. Now alumni O’Neill and Seto have incorporated the company to bring Target Tape to market.

A campus-wide initiative, entrepreneurship@UBC is providing the next generation of entrepreneurs with mentorship, pre-and post-incorporation services, incubation space, course work, events and unique opportunities for relationship building and learning.