Pranav's journey into entrepreneurship began at UCLA when he created ShadowConnect, a user-friendly and automated tech platform UCLA Health adopted for UCLA Health volunteers to shadow physicians. Pranav said the UCLA Health System CTO at the time was very supportive and encouraging as were the volunteer department and physicians. He went on to take a Venture Initiation and Entrepreneurship course at UCLA Anderson which helped fine-tune his business and analysis skills.
ShadowConnect provides an opportunity for HIPAA certified, vaccinated, badged and uniformed volunteers with 100+ hours of experience to shadow physicians. The platform increases physician accessibility for volunteers, eliminates administrative paperwork and liability for physicians, and motivates volunteers to reach their hour quotas for hospitals.
When asked why he decided to join UCLA Ventures via a $25,000 pledge of equity in a venture-backed startup, Pranav said "I think nonprofits are crucial toward a better society but so are entrepreneurs and for-profit corporations."
"If you look at recent tech companies coming out of UCLA (e.g. Uber, Heal, and DogVacay), you can make a case for how they have each bettered the world. Pledging to UCLA Ventures is helping UCLA foster more of these entrepreneurs."
He recalled a course he took while at UCLA. "One of the classes I took at UCLA was an Honors class called Philanthropy as Civic Engagement. My application essay centered around Larry Page’s comments in giving his billions to an entrepreneur like Elon Musk vs a nonprofit. The objective of the class was to engage in intelligent giving and conversation and choose 4 nonprofits (out of 40) to split $100,000 unequally. Two nonprofits that stood out were FoodForward and The Painted Turtle."
"The money donated to FoodForward (a nonprofit that picks fruit from people backyards and donates to food banks to ameliorate areas of food drought) was used to hire a volunteer coordinator to increase the number of volunteers and volunteer engagement/retention. Seeing the impact a year later in terms of the harvest was amazing. I think it was triple-digit growth in the impact. For The Painted Turtle, we set up an endowment that would fund a child to camp every year and more as it compounded. Part of the funds was earmarked to be invested in biotech companies that would cure or help the conditions these children faced."
Pranav graduated from UCLA in 2015 with a degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and was involved in several initiatives on campus including Bruin Initiative, SAT Tutor for underprivileged high school kids, UCLA Health Child Life Volunteer, IMAlive Crisis Intervention Counselor, and was a Golden Key Honor Society member.