Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize

Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize granted by the Finnish Veterinary Association

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize is granted every third year at the Annual Veterinary Congress. 

The purpose of the prize is to celebrate veterinary entrepreneurship and to identify persons that have excelled as entrepreneurs in the veterinary industry. The prize can be granted on one or several people.

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize can be granted to veterinarians who have acted as pioneers as entrepreneurs and employers, have promoted animal welfare and actively worked for the benefit of the veterinary profession.

Year 2020

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize of the Finnish Veterinary Association was presented on 16 september 2020 at the eAnnual Veterinary Congress in Helsinki.

The Finnish Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize was awarded to Sanna Elfving and Anne Siljamäki, the owners of the Eläinklinikka Hakametsä animal clinic. In 30 years, they have grown from an animal clinic to a clinic specialising in the demanding care of small animals, where workers thrive and where patients arrive from all over Finland and also from abroad. There are now 32 employees.

The owners themselves have wanted to focus on demanding veterinary medicine as veterinarians, so the administration and customer service have been delegated to the respective professionals. The employees of the clinic have a good work cycle, holiday planning, occupational health care as well as the possibility to work part-time and shortened working days. The workplace is known as a good, long-term workplace, where young veterinarians are trained, as well.

The clinic is especially known as a referral clinic for the treatment of demanding ophthalmic, cardiological, orthopaedic patients with internal diseases and dental diseases from Finland and also from abroad. There are between 15,000 and 16,000 customers annually, of which 70 are dogs and 20 % are cats. The turnover in 2019 was approximately 2.9 million euros.

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize 2020 is donated by Vetcare Ltd.

Year 2017

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize of the Finnish Veterinary Association was presented on 13 December 2017 at the Annual Veterinary Congress in Helsinki.

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize was awarded to Johanna Penttinen and Elina Kummala, the owners of the Hevoslääkärikeskus Hippomedi practice of equine veterinarians. They are young specialists in equine diseases, and well-networked and open-minded entrepreneurs. The company was founded in 2013.

Hippomedi provides its customers with high-quality, specialist veterinary services. The entrepreneurs regard the provision of evidence-based medicine (EBM) as particularly important. The company's website offers horse-owners a range of health and first-aid information.

The award winners maintain their own skills continuously through specialist training in Finland and abroad. They also regard the training of colleagues, farriers and customers as important. Their business involves important work on behalf of animal welfare.

The clinic’s equipment includes high-quality diagnostic imaging, digital radiography and ultrasound devices. The services of a farrier, an animal physiotherapist, two other veterinarians and two animal attendants are offered by the practice. Two consultant, internationally specialised veterinarians also form part of their network. Aside from scans, services are also offered on site at the customer’s stables. The practice has around 4,000 customers per year.

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize 2017 is donated by Vetcare Ltd.

Year 2014

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize was granted on 3 December 2014 at the Annual Veterinary Congress in Helsinki to Helena Kuntsi-Vaattovaara DAVDC, DEVDC.

Dr Helena Kuntsi-Vaattovaara has passed two international specialization exams. She is a pioneer of veterinary dentistry in Finland. Her work promotes animal welfare and the skills in the area of oral health and disease. 

As an entrepreneur, Kuntsi-Vaattovaara has consistently expanded the family-owned clinic Anident, which now employs eight people, of which three are veterinarians. The clinic treats 2500 patients annually and its revenue in 2014 exceeds one million euros. 

Anident clinic uses modern equipment, including three-dimensional imagining with cone beam computed tomography. The scanner is one of the world's three CTCB scanners used for animal dentistry. Typical cases are parodontitis, dental fractures, biting defects, jaw fractures and oral tumours. 

Dr Kuntsi-Vaattovaara has inspired, taught and advised other veterinarians to take up veterinary dentistry and oral health. Her clinic is the only tutorial place approved for veterinary dental specialization by both European and US authorities. She frequently participates as a teacher in veterinary further education programs. Her work has greatly augmented the work of veterinary nurses.  

The Veterinary Entrepreneurship Prize 2014 is donated by Vetcare Ltd.

Year 2012

The first prize will be given in 2012, at the opening of The Annual Veterinary Congress 28th november.

The first Entrepreneur Prize of the Finnish Veterinary Association was granted to Anssi Tast DVM PhD and Juha Virolainen DVM PhD of Vethaus Animal Hospital, Hattula.

Vethaus was founded by the winners and currently employs 30 staff with annual turnover of 2.7 million euro. The clinic provides services to 12,000 patients each year.

The winners of the Entrepreneur Prize are entrepreneurial and innovative. They have expanded the size and expertise of the hospital, making it a regionally and nationally significant performer, which provides afterhours services without public support. The services enable owners of companion animals to receive immediate high-quality assistance in cases of emergency. The animals can be hospitalized for good animal welfare. The winners are known as helpful colleagues, ever ready to share their knowledge. For employees, the animal hospital is a popular place to work.

The Prize was donated by Vetcare Ltd, which has its 20h anniversary this year.