Trevor McCaw

President and co-founder, Aegis Medical Innovations Age: 38

Serial entrepreneur Trevor McCaw has founded or co-founded three companies since 1999. There was NRX Global, a software company that went public in 2000. Then there was Frogbox, which aims to make the moving industry greener by renting out reusable moving boxes.

Now with Aegis Medical Innovations, he’s focusing on the cutting-edge medical device industry. To McCaw, who studied electrical and computer engineering before getting his MBA, the field is “just an interesting place where the convergence of technical, business and doing something good for the world all came together.”

The medical device industry was hit hard by the credit crisis of 2009, with venture capital funding dropping by more than 75%. But with the trust of a few key investors, McCaw managed to successfully weather the storm.

“I was lucky because I had some investors who believed in the technology and believed in me,” he said.

Aegis Medical Innovations is commercializing a stroke-prevention device which was developed by the Mayo Clinic. The technology, which has gone through clinical trials but is not yet on the market, may replace the blood thinners some patients currently take to prevent strokes.

The possibility for medical devices to take the place of drugs excites McCaw.

“We’ve got a lot of people who are popping pills to solve something, and drugs have all kinds of issues, from compliance to cost to side effects,” he said.

McCaw has spent much of his career in the United States, but he returned to Canada to start Aegis Medical Innovations in Vancouver in 2007. While the choice was partly personal, it was also a shrewd business decision.

“I actually saw it as a competitive advantage,” he said. “All else being equal, there’s a huge, huge pool of talent here that’s untapped and unfocused.” •