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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Making Social Impact through Entrepreneurship


On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Rajan Patel came to Loyola to speak to students in a presentation called “Local Entrepreneur Seminar – Design for Social Impact.” Patel received his Public Administration Master’s degree from Harvard University and his Master of Business Administration from Stanford.

To start off his presentation, Patel began to detail his experience in choosing a career. Originally, Patel was pursuing the medical track. However, the Stanford Institute of Design sparked his curiosity in innovation. The five pillars of design at Stanford are to emphasize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. In the phase of emphasizing with the projected user, the designer must directly interact with the community to see from their perspective.

At the Institute of Design, Patel realized “every human is creative, it is innate.” This inspired Patel to want to utilize his creativity for social good. With this inspiration, Patel realized, “I can make a dent.” The first project that Patel applied this perspective to was the premature and low birth rates in developing countries that cause a high infant mortality rate.

According to Patel, “twenty million premature and low weight babies are born and four million die each year,” largely due to the expense of incubators, which many developing countries cannot afford.

To respond to this problem, Patel came up with the idea of the Embrace Incubator. Embrace has “a pouch of phase-change material” that keeps babies’ bodies at the right temperature. The benefit of this innovative idea is that it is just a margin of the price of incubators and can be provided on a wide-scale basis.

In addition to this innovation, Patel co-founded a nonprofit named Dent. The goal of Dent is to instill the design mindset in under-resourced students. This mindset causes students to see problems as opportunities to challenge the status quo in society. 

The nonprofit allows students to work on a prototype a solution in their community. This mindset of creativity applies to every problem, allowing us to make a dent in society today. 

Feature Image: Courtesy of Dent.

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Making Social Impact through Entrepreneurship