FirstStep Fertility Pharmacy team takes second place


The College of Pharmacy’s FirstStep Fertility Pharmacy team recently placed second overall in the 2017 Innovative Pharmacy Business Plan Competition (IPBPC) at The Ohio Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting. The competition took place on April 22nd at the Columbus Convention Center.

The FirstStep Fertility Pharmacy team included students David Chen, Mackenzie Harrell, Aundrea Jocola, Rutvik Joshi, Vatsal Patel, Lena Wu, and Michele Yu. Dr. Donnie Sullivan was the advisor for the group.

“I am so proud of the students for stepping up to the challenge of presenting their unique business opportunity. I was also incredibly impressed by their hard work. They learned a lot in this process and told me that win or lose, they had gained so much from participating,” Dr. Sullivan said.

Dr. Sullivan estimated that the students put in over 100 hours of work in preparation for the competition. The business plan for FirstStep Fertility Pharmacy described the business as a pharmacist-led, comprehensive personalized care center, focused on fertility services.

Rutvik Joshi, the team’s captain, thought that the competition was a very rewarding experience.

“Participating in the business plan competition afforded us an opportunity to learn about what components that goes into starting a new business. This experience has truly helped us expand our horizon with respect to developing, implementing, and sustaining a successful business,” Joshi said.

The IPBPC provides pharmacy students with the opportunity to develop an attainable business plan for pharmacy practice. After reviewing all submissions, the top three plans were chosen, and the finalists presented the plans to a panel of judges. The total team score was based on the team’s written business plan, presentation, and the judges’ willingness to fund the project.