Pharmapreneurship – where pharmacy education meets entrepreneurship
EDO Mobile Health Team - L-R: Jeff Wandzura, Cheryl Cui, Jay Zhou and Omer Dor
When most students enter a pharmacy program, they think their days after university will be filled with counseling patients and becoming drug therapy experts in a community or hospital pharmacy practice. However, what if students thought about their pharmacy career in a different way… in an entrepreneurial way? That’s exactly how Jeff Wandzura thinks about his future pharmacy career.
As a pharmacy student at the University of Saskatchewan, Jeff has been actively involved in the profession. He currently serves as the National President of the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns, and also represents the students’ voice by sitting on the Blueprint for Pharmacy Steering Committee. However, Jeff’s summer has taken a different turn. Instead of working a typical summer job, he’s spending his summer in Toronto taking part in The Next 36 – Canada’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Initiative.
The Next 36 aims to help launch the careers of Canada’s most promising and innovative undergraduates at a pivotal time in their careers. Students from across Canada are put through a rigorous selection process in order to partake in this new initiative. Through lectures and mentorship from top CEOs and senior executives in Canada, 36 undergraduate students have the opportunity to learn from the best while striving to be their best.
As part of the program, candidates are grouped into teams and given seed funding to develop a venture in the mobile domain. Jeff and his cofounders established EDO Mobile Health, the makers of MobiCare, a mobile application that supports and empowers families who are caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s.
With an aging population, and no current cure for the disease, Alzheimer’s continues to impact more people in our communities. At the same time, Smartphone adoption continues to grow, making solutions through mobile technology feasible. Along with colleagues Omer Dor (COO of EDO), Cheryl Cui (CSO of EDO) and Jay Zhou (CTO of EDO), Jeff (who is the CEO) is leveraging the team’s expertise in biomedical engineering, pharmacy and software development to develop a solution for the Alzheimer’s caregiver community. Their team also includes two leaders in the business community, Charlotte Burke and Dave Masotti, as well as Dr. Tom Schweizer from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Given his recent exposure to this domain, Jeff is excited about providing solutions to solve a need in society. “The healthcare community is starting to realize how mobile technology can provide innovative solutions to help medical professionals, caregivers, and ultimately, the patient, achieve better health outcomes. The Next 36 gives students an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Canadian leaders, and develop the skills to make an impact on a national and international scene in their future careers.”
It is amazing to think that four students, with the guidance and teachings from highly influential senior leaders in Canada, are able to establish a company, and create a technology that will fulfill a need in the Alzheimer’s community. For Jeff Wandzura, BSP Class of 2013, this is only the start of a lengthy career in impacting health career for the future.
For more information on The Next 36, please visit www.thenext36.ca.
For more information on EDO Mobile Health, please visit http://edomhealth.com/.