Rachel Soo Hoo Smith, UIF Spring 2014
Biomedical Engineer, University of Virginia '13
Hello all! I'm Rachel. I've just finished my UVa degree in Biomedical Engineer this past May. I'm still right here in Charlottesville because, my lab partner and I began to realize entrepreneurial viability of our capstone project. (We are making a rapid diagnostic device for bacterial disease, base off the simplicity of a pregnancy test.) Through business competitions and grant funding, we acquired over $120,000 in that year, which is allowing us to continue the research we need to secure a patent and form a business. Exciting!!!
Besides that, I really get my energy by exciting others about design and revving people up about the potency of their own ideas. I nearly died of joy this past fall when 50 people showed up to a never-done -before UVa Medical Hackathon we set up to solve a problem that clinicians at our hospital were urgently facing. Furthermore, mentoring students in Engineering Students without Borders about responsible forms of change and activism, I really can vouch for the striking parallels of development work and entrepreneurship in practice; with adventures into misconceptions of 'need', implied stakeholder expectations, and perceptions of failure vs. success IT'S THE SAME THING! And it's hard to do until you're waist deep, trying it for yourself.
In my spare time, I get into all sorts of trouble- trying my hardest at breakdancing, tutoring Russian Lit in juvenile prisons, and bee keeping. When I grow up, I've always wanted to be an inventor, and (secretly!) a children’s book illustrator. :)