This February marked the 9th annual DELTA Rx Next Top Entrepreneur Competition (NTEC). This year, five teams entered the challenge to create and present innovative health care solutions throughout three rounds of competition. Student participants worked individually and in teams to develop and present their ideas before a panel of judges with expertise in the areas of health care and business. Throughout the learning experience, students gained insight and knowledge regarding their own health care ideas and, in the last round, innovations pertaining to rural health care. The competitors found NTEC to expand their abilities as innovative thinkers, communicators, adaptive problem solvers, and future professionals.
This year’s winners include the following:
1st Place Presenters – Scott Morrett and Jacob Schnackenberg
2nd Place Presenters – Christina Bravos and Andrew Wagner
3rd Place Presenter – Michaela Ruis
The competitors concluded NTEC was able to help them prepare for the future and noted the importance of entrepreneurial development as a student. Christina Bravos, who has been a strong competitor in the past three years of competition, explained “the experience allows me to look at other problems in both pharmacy and other aspects of my life with a different perspective. Additionally, my participation in the competition allows me to take what I learn in other courses and apply it in a more real world setting.”
She further noted that “as students, it is important to remember that entrepreneurship can be the little things in daily life of pharmacy that help bring a new light and a new thought to daily tasks.”
This year’s co-champion and multi-year competitor, Scott Morrett, expanding upon this idea, stating “I participate because the competition forces me to think differently. Once my teammate and I decided on what we wanted our idea to be, we then had to force ourselves to learn an entirely foreign concept in order to be experts and answer any and all questions regarding our product or service and the market in which it resides.”
Not only are participants challenged to assess and educate themselves on new areas of innovation, but they are also given the opportunity to practice their presentation and inventive skills in a venue offering highly constructive and favorable feedback from judges and experts in the field. Competitors agreed upon the value of entrepreneurial and spirited judges who offered both insight and networking opportunities for NTEC participants.
When summarizing the importance of participating in the competition, Morrett stated, “Entrepreneurship is often under-emphasized, but it is important to remember that no matter what area of health care you decide to practice in, it is still a business, and the business cannot operate without profits.” He concluded his experience left him more confident presenting new ideas and taught him that presentation of material can “make or break a good (or bad) idea.”
DELTA Rx would like to congratulate each of this year’s participants and extend gratitude to all of the judges who made the competition possible!
Information for the 2017 Next Top Entrepreneur Competition will be added to the DELTA Rx website in Fall 2016.