The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy (VEA) is accepting applications from veterinary student innovators for The IDEA, a year-long competition providing students an opportunity to win a share of $17,500 in prize money.
Applications are due by July 15 and are available online at https://vea.vet/the-idea. The competition will culminate in the Season 4 Live Finals at the Student AVMA 2020 meeting, hosted by Cornell University.
The IDEA is a veterinary student innovation competition intended to spark the entrepreneurial spirit and to develop creative ideas from young veterinary problem solvers, says VEA. The IDEA is hosted by the VEA in collaboration with VetPrep and in partnership with Merck Animal Health.
“The VEA’s mission is to have an outsized positive impact on the veterinary profession by increasing its capacity for entrepreneurship and innovation,” says Dr. Rob Trimble, director of the VEA. “Students are incredibly creative and often have transformative ideas about the future of veterinary medicine, yet many lack the mentorship, resources, education and confidence that’s needed to turn those ideas into reality. The VEA provides its students with these resources. Our work with VetPrep and The IDEA reflect our efforts to achieve this mission. It’s an opportunity to provide the type of guidance I wish was available when I was a student.”
In The IDEA Season 3, more than 43 student teams from across North America, the U.K. and New Zealand entered the competition. The semi-finalists worked with Dr. Aaron Massecar, assistant director of Colorado State University’s Translational Medicine Institute, to take the first steps on their entrepreneurial journey.
Last year’s $10,000 grand prize was presented to Texas A&M’s Brianna Boyle and Stephanie Young for SkyPaws, a wireless pet health monitoring device. Rachel Hilliard, representing the Cornell ParaSIGHT team, received the $5,000 second-place prize for a real-time parasite identification smartphone app. The $2,500 third-place prize went to Cornell’s Jon Lou and Kirk Bradtmiller for their BigFoot pressure bag pump attachment, a cost-effective solution to surgical irrigation.
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