VEA Converts Ideas Into Reality, Accelerating Innovation in Animal Health

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The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy (VEA) is now accepting applications from veterinary student innovators for The IDEA, a year-long competition providing students with an opportunity to win a share of $17,500 in prize money. The competition will culminate in the Season 4 Live Finals at SAVMA 2020, hosted by Cornell University. Applications are due by July 15 and are available online at

The IDEA is a veterinary student innovation competition intended to spark the entrepreneurial spirit and to develop creative ideas from young veterinary problem solvers. 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, over 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. ​

“It's amazing to work with these students,” says Dr. Massecar. “Despite how busy they are with their classes and training, they not only have time to devote to their area of passion, but most of them say that their grades actually improve because they have this creative outlet. Being around such brilliant people who are making the profession better is why I continue to be involved with The IDEA competition.”

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 their 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. Cash prizes were awarded in partnership with Dr. Linda Lord from Merck Animal Health. Thanks to Merck's commitment to the next generation of veterinary practitioners, these innovators were able to receive funding to support the ongoing development of their ideas.

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Source: Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy


Categories: Veterinary

Tags: competition, entrepreneurship, idea, innovation, Merck, pitch, SAVMA, VEA, veterinary, VetPrep

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Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy
Fort Collins, CO
United States