Veterinary teaching innovation wins at business competition

Equine Teaching Innovations' creation helps veterinary and other animal health care students learn basic injection skills in a more realistic way

According to a recent news release, a team from the UC Davis veterinary community took home the $12,500 Animal Health Award at UC Davis’ 24th annual Big Bang! Business Competition on Tuesday, May 21.

Collaborating as Equine Teaching Innovations, the team members created a silicone injection pad that allows veterinary and other animal healthcare students to learn basic injection skills in a life-like way without injecting a live animal.

All team members are based at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis, California. They include co-founder Melyssa Rehman, clinical skills laboratory manager; co-founder Lais Costa, DVM; marketing officer Nicole Gonzales; and development officer Amanda Ayers.

Broadening the access

This innovation eliminates a need for high cost, full-size silicone animal models. Beginners can start by learning basic needle and syringe handling using the injection pad alone. Advanced students can apply restraint and handling concepts by mounting the pad to a live animal for a more realistic simulation.

Lady with UC Davis polo short holds model of teaching device on horse head dummy
Melyssa Rehman, co-founder of Equine Teaching Innovations
(Angela Lindley/UC Davis website)

The relatively low product cost enables a broader range of students to have access to this tool. This includes those in undergraduate programs, high schools and veterinary technician institutions.

The UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition is organized by the UC Davis Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which has been helping entrepreneurs start or grow business ventures for more than two decades through the competition, workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities. The Big Bang! is open to teams with a founder or leader affiliated with a college or university in California. The prizes are funded by corporate, non-profit and various other sponsors.

Wide range of innovations

The annual awards ceremony on Tuesday night celebrated the contestants and announced the winners of $100,000 in cash awards and residencies valued at $8,000 for innovations in animal health, education and educational tools, energy/sustainability, food and agriculture, human health and social entrepreneurship.

Twenty-two finalist teams pitched their ventures before five judges in an eight-hour marathon judging session. Judges considered the teams’ integrated strategy, steps toward implementation and market opportunity to determine prize winners.

For more information and a list of additional winners, see the full story.

Note: This edited press release is based on a UC Davis news release by Angela Lindley.

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