Dhruvin PatelOptometry BSc (Hons)
Optometry student Dhruvin Patel is the founder of startup OcuShield, a winner in the University's CitySpark competition.
What has been your greatest experience at City so far?
Winning CitySpark Stage 1 and Stage 2! Validation of all the hard work put in to the startup.
Tell me about your StartUp City company? How will it help you in the future?
OcuShield is a screen protector which protects the way we see through our digital devices. All modern-day digital devices produce harmful blue light. This short wavelength light is known to cause eye strain and fatigue, increase prevalence of eye diseases, as well as suppress melatonin which disturbs our sleep wake cycle. Oucshield protects your eyes and sleep by cutting blue light transmittance.
The product is initially available for Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPads. We are currently selling in Optometric practices as well as online with pharmaceutical companies and our own website.
What is your dream job once you graduate?
Well this has already been lined up as an Optometrist needs to undergo a pre-registration year. This will be with Specsavers for a year. Once this is complete, I believe I'll gain some more industry insight through the major players in the field in a more business-orientated role rather than clinical. This way I can launch a business in the Optical industry by knowing the ins and outs and having a strong network. This could be a startup or a independent optometrist practice on your high street.
What appeals to you most about this profession?
It's very healthcare-orientated; the fact you're taking care of peoples eyes and wellbeing is very satisfying. The feeling of giving someone an aid (such as optical glasses) to help them see their family is priceless. The profession also has a good scope for business; no regulation/permission needed to open your own practice unlike dentists or medial practices is one perk. Business is something that also interests me if you couldn't tell already!
What kind of qualities do you think you will need to succeed in this role?
Passion, risk taking, decision making, emotional intelligence, and working smart.
How has City helped you towards achieving this goal?
City's Optometry division has been amazing in facilitating course material fluently and clinically. Support from every member of staff is incredible and they are always on the other end of a email, no matter the time or day. Steve Gruppetta also helped with early research into the development of OcuShield. Support from the department on this venture outside of the "curriculum" has been great.
City Careers did a good job in preparing me for pre-registration interviews and assessments. This was one of the reasons I was able to secure four out of four pre-registration offers from large Optical companies such as Vision Express and Boots.
The CitySpark team - Ben, Marius and Lotta - have helped me through from day one into full-scale production of OcuShield. Their expertise and guidance has really been beneficial and a blessing to have!
What are your hopes for a future career?
I'd say my ambition is to have a chain of optical practices and dab my hand in other ventures within Tech City. Giving back my time is the end goal, whether through a non-profit organisation or being hands-on through voluntary work.