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CVM Looks to the Future with Veterinary Innovation Summit

Posted May 05, 2017

The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) welcomed game-changers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to the Veterinary Innovation Summit on April 28-30. At the event, veterinary and non-veterinary entrepreneurs and health professionals shared fresh perspectives on the latest technologies, debated controversial issues, fostered new ideas, and catapulted the profession into the future with fearlessness and innovation.


Veterinary Innovation Summit presentations in the VENI Building explored fresh perspectives on the latest technologies, controversial issues, new ideas, and catapulting the profession into the future with fearlessness and innovation.

Dedicated to sparking and fostering ingenuity, the Veterinary Innovation Summit featured a combination of unique programming, a diverse attendee pool, and an immersive learning environment for veterinary professionals.

This innovative intersect of processes for people to have conversations was one of brilliance and discovery.  The many breakout sessions, the networking opportunities, and the conversations in the hallways created an ambiance hard to describe to those who did not attend.

Texas A&M President Michael Young welcomed the participants and told a story about his and his wife Marty’s love for animals. They came to Texas with a horse and now have a ranch full of animals, all of which have visited the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.  Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, spoke about the CVM’s incredible faculty and the innovative technology and teaching methods they have brought to the college. Dr. Adam Little, CVM director of Veterinary Innovation and Enterprenuership, discussed his first meeting with Dr. Green during which they shared the vision of this summit and prepared everyone for the two-day journey ahead.

In all, the summit welcomed more than 380 participants, 24 of whom were from nine different countries, including 11 from the United Kingdom, nine from Canada, two from France, one from Germany, and one from Palestine.

Veterinary professionals who successfully have started their own companies or created new software and programs for the industry spoke on a panel Saturday, encouraging other practitioners to awaken their own innovative and entrepreneurial spirits.

A few examples of the amazing keynotes included:

  • Ben Jacobs, co-founder and chief executive officer of Whistle, a GPS and activity tracker for dogs, who spoke about finding and developing a product that would address a pain point in the customer market, while looking for the quantified patient;
  • Stephen Chen, the founder and chief executive officer of PETNOSTICS, a company that provides at home urine test kits for pets, who talked about democratizing diagnostics and making diagnostics accessible to pet owners;
  • Raymond McCauley, chair of digital biology at Singularity University, who discussed the digital biology engineering of healthy animals, which allows for DNA microarrays for any species that can be customized for around $60, and how whole genome sequencing is no longer a thing of the past;
  • Benjamin Lewis, a fourth-year veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania and the chief executive officer and co-founder of The One Health Company, who discussed how the company is crowdsourcing the everyday veterinarian to take part in biomedical research, which can not only double the revenue for the veterinarians but also have them participate in groundbreaking research to help advance their field;
  • and Jon Ayers, chief executive officer at Idexx, who spoke about the human-animal bond and innovation at Idexx as it strives for “innovation with intelligence.” Eighty-six percent of Idexx’s revenue is in companion animal health, and it is approaching $2 billion in worth, all of which was organically grown from within the company.

Planning has already begun for the summit to return to College Station in 2018. Ideas and suggestions are welcomed.

To see more images from the VIS, visit the CVM Flickr page.

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