Penn Vet, the Wharton School launch program to groom veterinary entrepreneurs

If you own your own practice, you’re already an entrepreneur.

Now, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) and the Wharton School hope to help you develop the skills you need to leverage that inborn entrepreneurial spirit in ways that will improve your hospital and your community through a new veterinary entrepreneurship program.

Called Leading Veterinary Entrepreneurship, the program was created for clinicians, scientists, technologists, and academic leaders to build entrepreneurial skills (or hone those you already have) in the areas of public health and environmental sustainability as well as human and animal welfare.

“As the world becomes more complex, so does the role of veterinarians. They are uniquely positioned to ask questions with implications for animal, human, and environmental health,” said Andrew Hoffman, DVM, DVSc, who serves as the program’s academic director and Gilbert S. Kahn dean of veterinary medicine at Penn Vet. “And an entrepreneurial mindset is really critical, really central, to tackling challenges such as food and water security, sustainable farming, climate change, and the advancement of animal welfare.”

Participants will learn about the broad range of skills required to create an entrepreneurial culture, such as the importance of opportunity identification, testing, assessment, resource allocation, and leadership competencies.

“I’m hearing a collective recognition from students, alumni, and my own colleagues regarding the role veterinarians can play in the health of communities, both local and global,” Hoffman said. “I wanted to develop an executive program with the Wharton School [that would give] veterinarians the tools to drive improvements in public health, environmental sustainability, and more importantly, human and animal wellbeing.

“The veterinary profession has a long-standing history of entrepreneurship through private practice ownership. I want to take that same spirit, that curiosity, the ideas, and translate [them] to a much larger scale, through both social and commercial entrepreneurship.”

James Thompson, PhD, coauthor of The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook and cofounder and director of the Wharton School’s Social Entrepreneurship Program, will lead the program. Special guests Alan Cook, founder and chief executive officer of Brilliant Pet, and Zach Mills, executive director and head of US pet veterinary professional services at Boehringer Ingelheim, will participate in a panel discussing veterinary trends and opportunity identification.

Leading Veterinary Entrepreneurship takes place June 3–6 at the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For more information and to apply, click here.

You’ve got the spirit. Use it to make a difference.