Encore’s Dedication to Students at the Cornell Animal Health Hackathon


Last weekend, we sponsored and participated in the Cornell Animal Health Hackathon. Typically, the Hackathon is a weekend-long event at the historical Cornell University located in Ithaca, NY. This year the Hackathon team took the event virtual to ensure the students could still compete in this annual event safely.  

A hackathon celebrates the use of minimal resources and maximum brainpower to create outside-the-box solutions (“hacks”) in a constrained time frame. 


The 2021 Virtual Cornell Animal Health Hackathon is an interdisciplinary event that brings together students from across degrees, majors, and schools at Cornell, as well as other universities! On Friday evening, teams comprised of veterinary, business, engineering, and design students form and begin to create solutions to needs in veterinary health care. On Saturday, mentors provided feedback and guidance to teams during their brainstorming sessions. The Hackathon culminated on Sunday in a project showcase to an audience of peers, mentors, and representatives.

Students assembled into 21 different teams to create solutions for the veterinary industry. 


Each group was able to take advantage of mentors who are seasoned professionals from sponsoring businesses. Encore Vet Group’s own Bo Iler, Melissa Mauldin, Dr. Leslie MacLean, and Dr. Matt Peuser all joined to help answer questions and guide the students towards their goal. 

“The energy of all the groups was contagious! I was so excited to work with students in areas where I could share stories from my years practicing medicine. They are the future of veterinary medicine, and I was proud to be a part of their experience.”

Dr. Matt Peuser, CVPP, CVA, Director of Medical Operations

On Sunday, each team presented their hack to a panel of judges. Two of the judges were Dr. Tim Loonam and Michelle Winter from our team at Encore. 

“The future of veterinary medicine is bright judging by the students at the Cornell Hackathon.  Good thing I am in-shape, on my toes and drink a lot of Red Bull because there is tremendous energy there! This is my second year judging the finals. I had my doubts about doing things 100% virtual. However, from the enjoyable networking mixer on Thursday night and all the way through mentoring and final presentations, I couldn’t have imagined a better event. I’m always so buoyed up by the creativity, selfless teamwork, and outlook for our future with these young scientists, entrepreneurs, and servant leaders. I can’t wait for next year!”

Dr. Tim Loonam, Director of University Relations

The judges picked a team to win in each of the three categories. Each category winner took home $3,000 to split amongst their group. The categories and the winners were:

Best Veterinary Care Solution: Pawsitive (a patient behavioral treatment app)

Market Ready Solution: Beetle Bulb (an ultraviolet light that kills beetles that decimate bee colonies)

Most Innovative: SmartSkin (a 3d printed bandaging system that stimulates cytokines for healing)

“Dr. Loonam clearly cared about the student experience as a judge. He was supportive, funny, and gave good feedback, but asked us very practical questions to get us thinking if we actually decided to move forward with our solution as a company! We overall had such a collaborative, learning experience as a team and Encore as well as the sponsors definitely contributed to creating that fun, positive culture.” 

Jayden Robert, DVM Candidate | Team SmartSkin | Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine










“I had the pleasure of interacting with both Dr. Tim Loonam and Michelle Winter throughout the hackathon weekend. They were both incredible judges who asked constructive questions and supported us with important feedback. My team and I had a great time this weekend and we are so thankful to Encore and the other sponsors for supporting us and making this such a fun event.”

Torre Muhlbach, DVM Candidate | Team Pawsitive | Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine


Congratulations to all the winners! We had a great time cheering all of the teams on!

About Encore’s Partnership with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Encore Vet Group is honored to support Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Veterinary Business and Entrepreneurship as they engage in research, education, and outreach focused on improving the business of veterinary medicine. This aligns well with Encore’s commitment to invest in the lives of veterinary students. We aim to provide and support education to shape the brightest possible future for the profession we all love. Our goal in this partnership is to bring knowledge and confidence to the future leaders of this profession.

Do you know of a story worth sharing? Email us at news@encorevet.com!