The teams or individuals with the best ideas will be paired with mentors and coached through to the finals where the top innovations will earn $17,500 grants.

“The Idea” is a veterinary student innovation competition intended to stimulate and develop creative ideas from young veterinary problem solvers. The Idea is hosted by VetPrep in collaboration with the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) and the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA).

“We are doing this because we started our company when we were veterinary students and our business allows us to interact with veterinary students frequently” says Dr. Ira Gordon, a co-founder of VetPrep. “Students have so many great ideas but often times lack the confidence, resources, and mentorship they need to turn their ideas into reality. This competition can help with all three. It is an opportunity for us to provide the type of assistance that we wish was available to us back when we were students.”

The Idea was announced during the SAVMA Symposium in Ames, Iowa on March 19, 2016. “It was so inspiring to talk to students and see the enthusiasm for this event and to hear that many of them already had ideas they have been thinking about but haven’t had the ability to pursue” said Dr. Cari Wise, product manager of VetPrep.

Several accomplished veterinary entrepreneurs gave brief lectures to student attendees. Dr. Nikhil Joshi spoke to attendees about the Veterinary Innovation Challenge which he coordinated. The winning participants of the 2014 competition all gained valuable experience and momentum. Dr. Dani McVety, founder of Lap of Love, inspired students to chase the things they are passionate about and to create innovation and value. Dr. Randy Acker discussed how his own dog’s medical condition was the impetus for him to develop a novel elbow replacement device for dogs. Dr. Mauricio Dujowich, one of the founders of VetPrep, spoke about how veterinary students with a simple idea accompanied by a lot of hard work and great mentors allowed them to create a successful product that has helped over 40,000 veterinarians pass the national veterinary licensing examination.

The Idea accepts submissions online through July 2016. The teams with the best ideas will be paired with mentors to help them develop a full proposal describing the viability and importance of the potential innovation. Ultimately, finalists will present their innovation at the SAVMA Symposium in 2017 at Texas A&M University. The top three winners will receive $17,500 in cash prizes to help the teams take their ideas forward.

For more information, visit the VetPrep website.