An Innovation Competition
Exclusively for Veterinary Students
Learn More


The Idea is an innovation competition exclusively for veterinary students aimed at spurring creativity and innovation directed toward animals, veterinarians, and/or veterinary students.


Ideas can include new products, tools, services, or technologies that can improve the veterinary field. A passion for and knowledge of the area are most critical in pushing your idea forward.


Entries can be anywhere from the beginning of a concept to an actual prototype product. A very strong idea alone can go quite far in this competition.

Goal & Prizes

Help students take their idea and create a plan that could lead to the development of their innovation. The top three teams will take home a combined $17,500+ in cash prizes.

Kickoff & Launch Event

19 March 2016 - SAVMA Convention 2016 in Ames, Iowa

After mingling over food and drinks, several speakers shared their inspiring stories of how an idea has changed their lives and the lives of others. The Kickoff event served to encourage students to put their thinking caps on, assemble a team, and start to explore whether they have the next big idea in veterinary medicine!


Ira Gordon, DVM, DACVR


Mauricio Dujowich, DVM, DACVS


Randy Acker, DVM


Dani McVety, DVM


Nikhil Joshi, VMD

Time Line

Important Events and Milestones

  • 19 March 2016

    Launch & Kickoff Event: Registrations Open

    The competition kicks off at SAVMA 2016 with a huge launch event featuring food, drinks, and great speakers. Registration will officially begin at the event that marks the start of the year-long journey to find The Idea.

  • 15 July 2016

    Submissions Due

    Individuals and teams must register online for the competition and submit their preliminary idea by 15 July 2016.

  • August 2016

    Semi-finalists & Mentors Announced

    The judges and organizers will meet to review the submissions and choose the best ideas. Semi-finalists will be announced and those individuals/teams will then begin working with their mentor/coach.

  • January 2017

    Proposals Due & Finalists Chosen

    Full proposals are due in January 2017. The finalists will then be chosen based on the submitted proposals and those individuals/teams will start preparing for their live pitches and presentations at SAVMA 2017 in Texas.

  • March 2017

    Live Finals Pitches at 2017 SAVMA Convention (Texas)

    After months of team meetings and development, the final teams will make their pitches live to the judges and panel. The top three teams will be awarded a total of more than $17k in cash prizes while the winner also receives a huge boost toward making their idea a reality.

  • The Real


The competition is being organized by leadership from VetPrep. Additional panelists and judges will be announced in due time.

Ira Gordon

Ira Gordon, DVM, DACVR


Mauricio Dujowich

Mauricio Dujowich, DVM, DACVS


Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw, DVM, DACVIM


We're excited to announce our judges and mentors. They have each brought innovative ideas to life in their own work and are thrilled to have the opportunity to advise others on doing the same in their own right.


Teams & Ideas

We have blown away by the number of entries in The Idea, Veterinary Student Innovation Competition! Thank you to all teams for submitted your awesome Ideas for consideration. Congratulations to the following teams - our semi-finalists!

Participant(s) School/University Concept Mentor
Kelsey BaileyLouisiana State UniversityMedical DeviceDr. Alejandro Ramirez
Iowa State University
Jared Baum University of FloridaSurgical DeviceDr. Peter Lotsikas
Skylos Sports Medicine
Ally Yi ChenUniversity of CalgaryMedical DeviceDr. Mary Gardener
Lap of Love
Parker Collins, Christopher Payton, and Kimberly MistarzUniversity of GeorgiaNutrition DeviceDr. Jennifer Larsen
University of California Davis
Eloise CucuiCornell UniversityDiagnostic DeviceDr. Jeff Zuba
San Diego Zoo Global
Wendy Evans, Kaitlin McDanielUniversity of MissouriAncillary Service ConceptDr. Dani McVety
Lap of Love
Jennifer GrooverUniversity of FloridaMedical DeviceDr. Ed Cooper
The Ohio State University
Joel Helbling, Rebecca GibbsColorado State UniversityMedical DeviceDr. Chuck Widmeyer
University of Missouri, Columbia
Erin KoballaNorth Carolina State UniversityMedical SupplementDr. Jodi Davis
Royal Canin
Zach Loppnow, Mikayla SchroederUniversity of MinnesotaAncillary Service ConceptDr. Jess Trichel
Live Oak Bank
Oren Ofer, Andrew Popp, Steven NguyenWestern University of Health SciencesDiagnostic DeviceDr. Brian Scansen
Colorado State University
Joshua Packer, Jacob Van Dyke, Mark RobisonWashington State UniversityAnimal Information DeviceKalpesh Raval
Jordan PalubickiUniversity of MinnesotaMedical SupplementDr. Justin Shmalberg
University of Florida
Anna Pennacchi, Caitlin Conner, Tyler Kosich, Sharon Venglar, Sam McDonald Texas A&M Client Communication ConceptDr. Mark Russak
Past President AAHA, NBVME Member
Ally Radford, Mary Rentfrow University of FloridaAncillary Service ConceptNick Padlo
The Pet Loss Center
Lauren RediesUniversity of SaskatchewanNutrition DeviceDr. Brent Mayabb
Royal Canin
Becky RiedelAuburn UniversityMedical DeviceDr. David Wong
Iowa State University
Andres Rivera-VelezTexas A&M Animal Information DeviceDr. Adam Little
Texas A&M University
Richard (Todd) SmithLouisiana State UniversityHusbandry DeviceDr. Nikhil Joshi
Aaron SpacherAuburn UniversityAnimal Information DeviceDr. Mark Olcott
Megan SullivanUniversity of FloridaAnimal Information DeviceCaitlin DeWilde
The Social DVM



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