The Idea vet student competition yields up-and-coming product concepts

More than 27 student teams from across North America entered the competition

The student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) annual symposium, held in March, featured lectures, clinical skills competitions, events … and the second annual live finale of The Idea, an innovation competition exclusively for veterinary students hosted by VetPrep and ViralVet.

More than 27 student teams from across North America entered the competition. Semi-finalists worked closely with Aaron Massecar, MA, Ph.D., from the Texas A&M Veterinary Innovation Lab, as well as many other guest mentors to take an entrepreneurial and innovative journey that resulted in the selection of three teams to compete in the finals.

Participants pitched their innovative Ideas live to the panel of judges and answered a series of questions before learning the results in front of a live audience.

The $10,000 grand prize of the competition was presented to Michael Conguista from the University of Minnesota for his Dental Vet typodont concept. William Aqeel and Emmanouil Emmanouilidis were awarded the $5,000-second place prize for their U-Syringe concept, and Cory Erb and Devyn Bartell from Washington State University were awarded the $2,500 third place prize for their PetStat app. The cash prizes were awarded to assist the winning teams in funding the ongoing development of their ideas.

View the recording of the live finals at

The Idea competition organizer, VetPrep, is working on Season 3 and will begin accepting applications from student innovators beginning late spring. The year-long competition will culminate in the Season 3 Live Finals at SAVMA Symposium 2019 hosted by the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

“It would be amazing to see this event grow to become one of the most anticipated annual events at SAVMA symposium, and something that everyone in the veterinary community is excited to be a part of and see,” said Mauricio Dujowich, DVM, DACVS, co-founder of VetPrep. “That would be a great indicator that our profession is collaborating, innovating, teaching, and having fun.”


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