This March, we’re hosting Season 4 of 


an innovation competition designed exclusively for veterinary students.

Season 4 is officially underway, with thirty-three teams of innovators gunning for the grand prize. In a spirit of collaborative competition, these entrepreneurs will be validating assumptions, building and updating their business models, building functional prototypes, and refining the way they share and communicate their business story.

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

Ideas may include new products, tools, services, or technologies that will improve the veterinary field.  Entries can be anywhere from the beginning of a concept to an actual prototype product. A strong idea combined with a passion for, and knowledge of, the veterinary space can go quite far in this competition.

Teams with the best ideas will work with mentors who will coach them through to the Finals where they will deliver a live pitch for real money, in front of a curated panel of expert judges. The top three teams will take home a combined $17,500 in cash prizes and get that extra little push to help make their innovation a reality.


Over 43 student teams from North America, the U.K. and New Zealand entered the competition during the 2018-2019 season. The semi-finalists worked closely with Dr. Aaron Massecar and his team from the Veterinary Innovation Council. Together, they took an entrepreneurial and innovative journey that resulted in the selection of three teams competing in the live finals held at The Foundry in Athens.

The $10,000 grand prize of The IDEA competition was presented to Texas A&M’s Stephanie Young and Brianna Boyle for their SKYPaws wireless monitoring device. Rachel Hilliard, representing the Cornell ParaSIGHT team, received the $5,000 second-place prize for their smartphone app focused on real-time parasite identification. The third prize of $2,500 went to Cornell’s Jon Lou and Kirk Bradtmiller for the BigFoot foot pump attachment for pressure bags, a cost-effective solution to surgical irrigation. The cash prizes were awarded in partnership with Merck Animal Health to assist the winning teams in funding the ongoing development of their ideas.