MeritBooster, like every other company, started as a problem... Our founder, Keshav Patel was in the same position as many of the project proposers on this site. After going door-to-door selling candy for a school trip to Washington D.C., he decided to find a better way to raise funds. Keshav wanted to do a project, something requiring him to go above and beyond what his peers were doing, in exchange for funding for his trip. After finding no tool to make this request online, he decided to build the tool himself and Meritbooster was born.
Teaming up with his father, Rajesh Patel, Keshav, at age 13, became one of the youngest of 40,000 people to participate in Startup Weekend. Over the course of one weekend (54 hours) the team built the initial site, validated the business model, validated potential customers and won both Second Place and Team Choice Award.
Keshav has taken a "learn-by-doing" approach to entreprenuership and, in a way, MeritBooster.com is his MeritBooster project.
What We Do:
MeritBooster helps young people use the internet and their social networks to find funding and other resources for their projects, school activities and ideas for changing the world. Young people are capable of amazing things and our mission is to enable the amazing.
We believe that financial resources should not limit young people from pursuing activities that develop personal excellence.
Keshav Patel, Founder and software-developer. At age 14 Keshav became one of the youngest people in the world to land venture capital investment for his startup. After early success at Startup Weekend, he and MeritBooster were admitted to the Connecticut Innovations' TechStart Business Accelerator in March 2012. Keshav withdrew from Catherine McGee middle school in Berlin CT to work full-time on MeritBooster. He enjoys PS3 and reading when he's not working on launching companies.
Rajesh Patel,Ph.D.,Co-Founder. Rajesh is a veteran of technology projects and startups. Prior to Meritbooster, Rajesh founded friendStreamr, an online group realtime interaction platform for social networks. Rajesh is also the Managing Director of Red Acre Capital, a private Equity fund he founded with a focus on micro-cap companies. Prior to launching Red Acre, Rajesh was a Member of Technical Staff with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory where he analyzed the strategic value of emerging technologies to enhance the capabilities of the U.S. Military. Rajesh holds a bachelors degrees in both Physics and English from the University of Connecticut, a Master's in Environmental Science from Rice University and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of California, Davis.
Paul Gruhn, Advisor and Mentor. Paul is the Senior Technical Lead, Yale University, ITS, an Adjunct Professor at Asnuntuck Community College, an entrepreneur, public speaker and author of several texts on programming.