Ruchi Patel, 24 – FUNDED

“The door is open, which means the possibilities are endless,” says Ruchi Patel. “If I am able to develop a working prototype of my invention with this 1,000 Dreams Fund grant, I can’t even imagine how many people will benefit from this.”

The New Face of Tech winner wants to start a medical device company that creates affordable and efficient medical equipment for use in third-world countries and military hospitals. She’s currently studying chemical engineering at Cooper Union in New York City in pursuit of that goal!

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

If I can do it, anyone can do it! Having this opportunity specifically for women in tech is a huge deal because it shows that there is a positive movement for diversity and inclusion in tech. I’m very excited for what we can do together in tech if the doors are opened for everyone.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

It’s important to show the world that STEAM is not for only for men. Men aren’t any better than women. Once we feature more women in STEAM, we give a lot of hope to the girls who are hesitant to enter these fields where they think they might not be good enough.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

In the field of invention and innovation, there are a lot of sacrifices to be made — a lot of the greatest entrepreneurs dropped out of school to pursue their innovations. If people were more willing to give people chances, we might live in a very different and innovative world. I urge people to take student innovators seriously!

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I like to envision the end result. If you can dream it, you can do it.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

I will use the funds to develop a prototype for a wound stitcher — and hopefully that prototype will open even more doors for investments and funding!