John Day resident Harsh Patel, a former Grant Union student and recent Boston University graduate, is jumping into real-world entrepreneurial experiences.
Patel, who earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, accepted a software engineering position with Amazon in Seattle. But he is still keeping roots — and doing work — in John Day.
While attending the June 20 Grant County Chamber of Commerce meeting, Patel immediately picked up a couple of jobs, providing web development and design expertise for the Grant County Economic Development office in John Day.
He’s currently working with Chris Labhart on Kam Wah Chung & Co. museum’s website and Gordon and Julie Larson on their Berry Creek Ranch website, helping revamp their home pages.
Patel’s parents Rakesh and Jyotsna Patel, who own Dreamers Lodge in John Day, also have a new website for their motel courtesy of their son.
Harsh said he wants to offer “affordable solutions for building websites and hosting.” His services include domain hosting, SSL security for websites, logo design and automating tasks, including punching hours for time cards.
He’s also interested in holding workshops on coding for young students and adults.
While attending Boston University, Patel took part in hackathon events at MIT, Harvard and Rice University, in which computer programming students and others involved with software development work intensively in teams, creating software projects.
In 2017, Patel collaborated with two other students at an intercollegiate entrepreneurship competition called TigerLaunch at Princeton University in New Jersey.
The team created an upgraded water-dispensing machine called Drop: Trusted H20, aimed at providing clean drinking water while reducing the demand on plastic water bottles in developing countries. Three of the team’s machines are operating in rural parts of Thailand.
Patel said he plans to return to John Day from Seattle as frequently as possible, which he said will give him the opportunity to help his parents with their motel.
He said he’s impressed with the improvement and development plans for John Day that were discussed at the June chamber meeting.
“I’m all in support of it and can do their tech work, if needed,” Patel said. “I’m excited to be back in John Day.”
For more information about Patel’s web development services, call 541-279-7296. He meets with clients by phone and, when he’s in town, in a conference room at the economic development office located at 530 E Main Street, Suite 4, in John Day.