Aakash Patel named a “40 under 40”
by the Business Observer
TAMPA, FL – When Aakash Patel was just 27 years old, he launched a business consulting company named Elevate, Inc. His goal was to help grow companies in Tampa Bay by providing strategy, communications and community relations guidance.
Nearly a decade later, Patel is being named a “40 under 40” by the Business Observer for helping more than 200 local businesses expand their reach and add jobs in Tampa Bay.
“Helping people is what motivates me. There is no better feeling than seeing a start-up’s potential and helping their team realize it,” Aakash Patel said. “But at the end of the day, it’s all about serving and enhancing our greater community.”
Patel’s passion for giving back and networking was noticed by Florida Governor Rick Scott back in 2014. Scott hoped Patel could use his practical business skills to improve Tampa Bay’s education system. So he appointed him as the chairman of the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County.
“I didn’t have any children, but I knew I could help get the business community excited about investing in the next generation,” Patel noted.
And that’s what he did. Under Patel’s leadership, the coalition was reorganized, adding more business leaders to its board, and most notably, eliminating the VPK waiting list for parents eager to get their kids enrolled.
“By getting business leaders engaged, we solved a major problem. Without a waiting list, more kids now have access to early education. They’ll be more likely to graduate from kindergarten, middle school and high school. It’s a ripple effect,” Patel said.
Just this summer, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis recognized Patel’s contributions by naming him to the Hillsborough Community College Board of Trustees. As the youngest Trustee in HCC history, he’ll have the chance to help shape the future of community colleges.
Patel is the son of parents who immigrated to Tampa Bay from India and Uganda, and they instilled in him the values of investing in education and hard work.
“My dad is one of my first mentors. He is also an entrepreneur, CEO and investor in start-ups. He showed me at a young age that anything is possible with belief and grit,” Patel added.
The theme of the 2020 Business Observer 40 under 40 is mentorship, noting that success in 2021 requires leaning on others and working together. The 40 under 40 award is not an advertisement or paid-for award. With more than 200 nominations for 2020, a team of Business Observer editors decided the winners. This year’s recipients will be recognized in the October 7th Business Observer issue.
In addition to Patel’s work on education, he serves on the Leadership Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Chamber, and Tampa Club Board of Directors. The 2019 Indo-US Chamber Businessman of the Year, Patel is a graduate of Florida State University is also involved with The University of Tampa, Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Economic Development Corporation.
Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.