Student startup named runner-up in national entrepreneurship competition 

Mann Parikh wearing a suit, holding a mic at a competition.

Mann Parikh, founder of NerView Surgical, placed second out of more than 100 student entrepreneurs at the 2024 Enactus Canada National Student Entrepreneur Competition. 

A McMaster student who dreamed of becoming a surgeon is the runner-up in a national student entrepreneur competition for his new technology that prevents nerve injuries during surgery.

“I have learned that there are other ways, beyond studying medicine, to improve the human condition,” says Mann Parikh, founder of NerView Surgical. “We can help people through health innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Parikh, who secured second place among more than 100 student entrepreneurs at the 2024 Enactus Canada National Student Entrepreneur Competition, is developing a groundbreaking tool to help surgeons more accurately identify nerves when they are operating on patients.

Surgeons sometimes inadvertently damage nerves that are extremely small, exist in intricate networks and are unique to each patient, says Parikh. NerView uses computer vision, artificial intelligence and optical imaging to help doctors avoid nerve injuries that can result in pain and disability for the patient.

“We’re really empowering surgeons to do a better job,” says Parikh.

“Faster procedures, done more accurately, all while keeping the patients in mind — so no more dye injections or electrodes to identify nerves, no post-operative care because of an injury. It’s really about helping patients.”

Parikh, an undergraduate student in McMaster’s Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization (BDC) program, developed the idea for his startup during a Health Ventures course where students learn to define problems and design solutions.

“I am really interested in the intersection of science, business, engineering and research,” says Parikh. “All of these elements come together in health innovation.”

Parikh was awarded $4,000 by Enactus Canada, a non-profit organization that supports post-secondary students through experiential education and entrepreneurial programming.

NerView Surgical has been gaining attention  and interest from some of the world’s most innovative institutions working in health care. It was selected out of 1,400 applicants to pitch at the MedTech Innovator 2024 Road Tour in Washington, D.C., and was in the top seven out of 300 applicants and 40 international teams at a TCU Values and Ventures Pitch Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

It also garnered first place at the University of Waterloo’s recent BioTEC 2023 Pitch Competition and was a finalist in the 2024 Synapse Life Science Competition.

In addition to his academic program, Parikh has tapped into McMaster’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, winning second place at McMaster’s Forge Startup Survivor pitch competition after spending four months in the Startup Survivor Program.

Parikh has also been a resident and now has returned as a panelist at The Clinic @ MAC’s Residency program, a nine-month program for health care innovators who get one-on-one coaching, support for pitching, monthly residency rounds, and a demo day where they present and pitch their venture.