Gardner-Webb Alumnus Pitches Small Business to Fellow Entrepreneurs

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Will Payne ’14 Creates Company to Track Veterinary Medicine

By Chelsea Sydnor ’18, Intern for Communications

Photo of William Payne
Courtesy of William Payne

A Gardner-Webb University alumnus recently represented the University of Nebraska and his start-up company in a recognition ceremony for entrepreneurs. William Payne (’14) presented his small business, Simple Vet Solutions (SVS) at the Pipeline Innovators Awards in Kansas City, Mo. Pipeline is an organization of entrepreneurs paired with a global network of advisors and mentors.

Payne is pursuing a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He co-founded SVS with his father Bert, a veterinarian. The company utilizes software to track veterinary medicine and make sure it meets Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements.

He feels honored to be one of four “Spotlight Entrepreneurs,” who represented universities at the event. “It is confirmation that I’m on the right path and making a difference with what I’ve learned,” he said. “The chance to present is recognition of the effort and strategy that went into creating something that results in value for our clients.”

In preparation for the demonstration, Payne worked to strengthen the company’s brand and continued to develop the product. “Perhaps as critical as the pitch itself is the networking and interactions that are part of the event,” he said. “It was a chance to show off my work and meet awesome people.”

Photo of William Payne
Courtesy of William Payne

Payne says his experience at GWU, where he was a double major in chemistry and computer science, helped him develop the creativity and dedication needed to create SVS. “While none of the technology behind our products even existed when I was an undergrad, the skills I learned prepared me to think outside the box and understand the theory behind technical implementations,” he said. “The small class sizes at GWU and access to my advisers played a key role in this development. They were always there to encourage me and to discuss my interests or my career path.”

With the foundation he received at Gardner-Webb, he has conducted a variety of experiments. During his undergraduate studies, Payne completed a research internship in which he worked on a solution to purify public water sources. As he pursued his master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Wake Forest University in 2015, he designed technology to improve cancer treatments.

The opportunities through Pipeline have allowed Payne to express his passion for entrepreneurship and learn about the culture that surrounds it. In 2019, he plans to compete for the Pipeline fellowship, a year-long program in which 10 winners focus on building their companies. “The fellowship gives entrepreneurs access to mentors and allows them to invest in themselves,” he said.

Once he has completed his doctorate, Payne hopes to continue to work with start-up companies that involve value creation. “I want to create something that makes life better, improves a process, and is actually usable,” Payne said.