This Spring marked the 15th annual DELTA Rx Next Top Entrepreneur Competition (NTEC). The competition was back to in-person this year, with three competitive rounds highlighting the contestants' innovative abilities. The judges represented both business and healthcare fields. Each team not only utilized their skills from their various majors, but created unique ideas based on the Social Determinants of Health. The goal of NTEC is for competitors to leave with a deeper conviction to communicate effectively, become adaptive problem solvers, and extend abilities as future professionals. This was the first year a traveling trophy was presented to the highest-placing team of students representing a Drake student organization.
1st Place Presenter - Jamie Rusan (P3), representing Drake CBS
2nd Place Presenters - Grace Brent (P3), Adam Butzler (P3), and Nick Driscoll (P4), representing Kappa Psi
3rd Place Preseters - Nirjan Bhattarai, Braden Weiser, and Ceasar Yeaman (P2s), representing SNPhA
Round 1: Gregory Johansen and Patty Kumbera
Round 2: Patty Kumbera, Scott Morrett, and Elizabeth Orput
Round 3: Kate Gainer, Jill Noehren, and Elizabeth Orput
"The name of my service is Baby on Board. A lot of the inspiration from my service came from the need to address health disparities, specifically the negative outcomes for women of color and their babies. Baby on Board is a health service that surrounds health surveillance, stress reduction, and amniotic fluid detection through textile technology of underwear. The underwear has a coating with specialized sensors and patches in the linings and waistband to monitor and measure biochemical markers (cortisol, IL-6 and IL-8) from vaginal fluid, urine and sweat. Some of the business factors that I was able to address in the presentation was the team of the company, such as tailors, counselors, serologic technicians, software developers, and OBGYNS, with the goal of the product being part of the Women's Preventive Service Guidelines in 5 years. The competition helped me improve my entrepreneurship skills through teaching me that not everything is going to be perfect, that an idea must start from somewhere and grow. Overall, I learned that entrepreneurship stems from vision, that comes from learning about the problem, where you then work in trial and error to finalize an idea."
Read Jamie's full statement here.
Grace Brent, Adam Butzler, and Nick Driscoll
"The inspiration for our service, New Old Friends, was to primarily address health issues related to social isolation and loneliness in the elderly population with a secondary focus on providing additional life services and support. Our baseline business model was a tiered subscription-based service that provided the elderly with weekly companionship through a designated “Buddy.” Additional services and packages that utilize professionals could be added to address other concerns the elderly population may face such as financial management, personal health care, and nutrition and meal preparation. Business items and factors addressed in our presentation included our business model, mission statement, the payer, the consumer, advertising, employee payment, subscription cost and length, product differentiation, and profit among many others. Participation in this competition improved our ability as a team and individuals to effectively communicate our ideas, work in collaboration with others, develop critical and efficient problem-solving skills, as well as presentation skills. Our group also developed skills in understanding weaknesses and strengths in ourselves and one another and the importance of utilizing each members’ skills and knowledge to collaboratively develop a high-quality business proposal."
Nirjan Bhattarai, Braden Weiser, and Ceasar Yeaman
"Our inspiration for our product was personal, as all of us work or have worked in hospital & retail settings. We understood how time consuming it can be to have to call other pharmacies, sometimes on hold for an exorbitant amount of time. Our product was TransfRx, a web-based subscription service that would fill the interoperability void currently present between all kinds of EHRs between all kinds of pharmacies. With TransfRx, we had to address costs of using data extraction tools, and how we could integrate that into a web-based format. Programming can solve a problem like this, but how much programming is the key. Participating in this competition improved our ability to present information within a given timeframe--public speaking skills fall off if you don't practice them from time to time. Along with this skill development, we found it to be much harder than we expected to come up with a good idea! Entreprenurialism is by no means a simple task."