Venture Varsity Studio’s first startup launch — a company called Transfur — will offer a software platform for veterinarians underpinned by AI.

Transfur says its software service makes it easier for vets to “request, send, manage and review” medical records, reducing the time they spend on non-billable activities. The company was founded after its initial concept beat out nearly 150 other submissions sent to Varsity Venture Studio by students, faculty and staff at UW-Madison.

The collaborative venture studio represents a partnership between UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and High Alpha Innovation, a corporate venture entity headquartered in Indianapolis. After calling for startup ideas from the UW-Madison campus in fall 2020, the organization narrowed down the initial submission pool to the top four ideas before deciding to go with Transfur.

The concept for the business came from Annie and Ali Pankowsi, who grew up around their family’s veterinary practice and are now doctor of veterinary medicine students at UW-Madison and University of California, Davis. High Alpha Innovation CEO Elliott Parker says their “clinical expertise and real-world experience” provides the basis for the new company.

A release from Varsity Venture Studio points to “an unexpected strain” on veterinary practices during the pandemic due to higher demand for animal care services. The organization says Transfur will help vets “be more efficient and more effectively utilize their staff” while improving interoperability within the industry.

“Transfur leverages technologies like artificial intelligence to harmonize the veterinary referral management process,” said Ben Roess, who handles marketing for High Alpha Innovation. “Simply put, this product will disrupt the way that the vet industry runs.”

Varsity Venture Studio is now accepting ideas from the UW-Madison campus for its fall semester program, according to its website.