Young Alumni Series

Shelby Rice ’14: Marketing Mastermind of Vikon Surgical

Meet Shelby Rice, marketing mastermind of Vikon Surgical

The last steps Shelby Rice ’14 had planned were walking across the stage at graduation.

She was not sure what she wanted to do career wise.

After interning with an advertisement agency for three months, Rice fell in love with the world of business communication, leading her to the position of Marketing Manager at the globally recognized, innovative medical startup called Vikon Surgical.

“After my internship ended, I started looking for jobs that required the same skill set I had used in my internship, and I ended up on the other side of advertising in marketing,” Rice said. “So instead of creating advertisements for a client I am creating them for a company, and I love it.”


Patrick Dempsey (Dr. McDreamy) wore a Vikon Surgical headlight in the episode titled “Change of Heart” during Season 10 of Grey’s Anatomy.

Vikon Surgical is known for its innovative operating room equipment, which even “Dr. McDreamy” approves of. Patrick Dempsey, who acts as Dr. Derek Shepard on the show Grey’s Anatomy wore Vikon’s headlight on the hit TV show.

“As far as surgical headlights go, there is just one guy who creates the base component of the headlight that actually sits on your head, and all these other companies will build their headlights based around that,” Rice said. “Ours is a completely innovative product and design compared to what is standard across the market and Patrick Dempsey wanted something to stand out amongst all these other actors in his surgical scenes. Somehow their production company found our headlights, and he really liked them because they were different from all the other headlights being filmed and that’s why he chose to use ours.”

As Vikon Surgical’s Marketing Manager, Rice has helped the unknown startup become recognized globally. She is currently working on rebranding the startup and said this process has been her favorite experience so far.

“This might sound cliché but because we are a start-up company I have had the opportunity to do so many more things than I probably would in a similar position at a larger company,” Rice said. “Basically, the whole (rebranding) project is mine. I helped pick a name, created a logo, picked a color scheme, etc. Now I am creating a brand new website, as well as creating new marketing collateral like brochures. I am also designing trade show booths. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I get to have a lot of creative freedom. That is probably my favorite thing, getting to flex my creative muscles and use them in ways that I probably wouldn’t necessarily get to at other places.”

Vikon Surgical is a small medical startup located in Homewood, Alabama.

Check out Vikon Surgical’s website for more details.