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Animal health hackathon set for Feb. 2-4

Students from all of Cornell’s schools and colleges will join forces Feb. 2-4 at the Animal Health Hackathon, which will take place at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

Teams comprised of veterinary, business, engineering and design students will work on solutions to needs in veterinary health care. On Saturday, mentors provide feedback and guidance to teams. On Sunday, the hackathon culminates in a project showcase to an audience of peers, mentors and representatives.

The hackathon is run by Entrepreneurship at Cornell and open to undergraduate and graduate students from any field and major. This hackathon is one of four taking place this academic year, three on campus and one in New York City.

Students can sign up here for the Animal Health event, which includes meals, workshops, mentorship and networking.

“You have a melting pot of passions that can be applied to the formulation of solutions to animal health problems,” said Jorge Colon, 92 DVM '95, MBA '15, associate professor of practice at CVM. “Veterinary students understand animals, but they do not have the know-how or experience that the MBA student, or the engineering student, or the tech student, or any other student brings to the table.

“When you put all these passions together, incredible ideas come out that are greater than the sum of its parts.”

The event begins with team formation sessions on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, giving students the chance to pitch their ideas and form teams in advance of the Friday night kick-off. That kick-off includes talks and welcomes by David Lee '88, DVM '94, MBA '99, associate dean for external programs at CVM; Dean Lorin Warnick DVM, PhD '94 of CVM and Emily Aston '11, DVM '15, PhD.

Saturday is spent working with mentors and other resources to further define ideas and then practice pitching them. Organizers have recruited 50 mentors to be on site.

“Students who have never been to a hackathon, specifically the Animal Health one, can expect a weekend full of opportunities for networking and personal and professional growth, in addition to the opportunity to learn about other professional disciplines that might influence their own career path” Colon said. “The collaborative environment experienced at the event is wholly owned by the students who put the time and effort to make Hackathon magic happen.”

Sponsors include Veritas Veterinary partners, Idexx, Zoetis, Encore Vet Group, Purina, CareCredit, Destination Pet, Arlington Animal Hospital, Triad Foundation, Vet Triage, VPP, IBM and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Find more information on the hackathon website.

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