Earlier this month, Encore sponsored and participated in the Cornell Animal Health Hackathon. The Hackathon is a weekend-long event at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The Hackathon team took the event virtual for the second year to ensure the students could still compete in this annual event safely. There was still plenty of swag, food, networking, and fun despite not being in person!
A hackathon celebrates the use of minimal resources and maximum brainpower to create outside-the-box solutions (“hacks”) in a constrained time frame.
HACK + MARATHON = HACKATHON
The 2022 Cornell Animal Health Hackathon is an interdisciplinary event that brings together students from across degrees, majors, and schools at Cornell University, including other nearby universities. Teams comprised of veterinary, business, engineering, and design students form to create holistic, viable solutions to needs in veterinary health care.
This year, 120 students in 24 teams competed virtually for awards in three categories, assisted by 48 mentors from veterinary medicine, research, and industry who advised them over the course of the weekend.
Mentors offer feedback and guidance to the teams, providing real-world context that enriches the student’s learning experience. Each student had the unique opportunity to take advantage of mentors, who are seasoned professionals from sponsoring businesses. Encore Vet Group was represented by Dr. Tim Loonam, Dr. Vicki Myers, Dr. Janine Calabro, Dr. Mathieu Glassman, Melissa Mauldin, Tierre Price, and Courtney Gelish, who joined to help brainstorm, answer questions, and guide the students towards their goal.
Director of Talent Strategy, Tierre Price, enjoyed the opportunity to network with students as they explored questions about their future career path, externships, internships, and what’s next. “There is nothing more rewarding than connecting with students and sharing in their journey. I am fascinated to hear their story and assist them as they navigate launching their career.”
The Hackathon culminated on Sunday in a final competition where teams showcased their innovation to industry representatives, participants, and other campus community members. Dr. Eileen Bauer and Kieran Mara from Encore served as judges this year, helping to select the final winners of $9,000 in prizes.
This year’s winners included:
Most Innovative Award: Team Seal the Deal for “Seal the Deal,” a device that can deliver both antibiotics and teat sealant to dairy cattle without removing the needle in the teat.
Best Vet Health Care Solution Award: Team Koalificated for “AirTech,” a noninvasive alternative to modern artificial insemination using soft robotics.
Most Market Ready Award: Team Very Good Team for “No Scratch Meow,” which monitors and modifies cat scratching behavior.
“Every time I participate in the Hackathon, I’m buoyed up and encouraged by the motivation, enthusiasm, creativity, and intelligence of these students. For the veterinary profession to thrive in this new world, industry, veterinarians, and academia need to partner and collaborate with our most important resource: our next generation of veterinarians!” says Dr. Tim Loonam, Encore’s Director of University Relations, and multi-year participant in the Hackathon event.
The Animal Health Hackathon is among a range of initiatives spearheaded by the Center for Veterinary Business and Entrepreneurship. The Encore team had a great time participating and collaborating with the students and supporting Cornell University at this innovative event. Looking forward to next year, hopefully in person!
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. Our goal in this partnership is to bring knowledge and confidence to the future leaders of this profession.