Jetson Smart Homes
University of Mississippi senior Prahar Patel is building his business around making homes smarter. CEO and CTO of Jetson Smart Homes, Patel won first place at last year’s Venture Launch Weekend.
“Imagine you wake up in the morning and say, ‘OK Google, good morning,’ and your lights raise, your blinds open, your music starts playing, and by the time you’re out of bed, your coffee is already brewed,” he said. “What we really do is optimize a customer’s routine, where a single command can trigger a series of actions.”
Smart homes caught his interest early in his college career. He automated his own home, then his family’s home. When visitors saw the system in action, it piqued their interest. Before he knew it, Patel found himself busy with customers who wanted everything from a simple video doorbell to a completely integrated smart home system.
“Usually, I’ll come in to do something small, like a Nest doorbell,” he said. “But when I tell them the possibilities, they end up wanting more. People don’t want to do it on their own—it’s too much to tackle, too many protocols to understand.”
His junior year, Patel started working with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, receiving advice from then-entrepreneur in residence Owens Alexander. His business built momentum through grant competitions and venture competitions. He now runs a small team upgrading homes in Northeast Mississippi.
Venture Launch Weekend cemented the company as a viable operation. During the high-intensity weekend, his company received a rebrand and emerged as Jetson Smart Homes. Patel’s pitch impressed the judges, who gave him crucial feedback around pricing and strategy.
“One great thing that came out of Venture Launch Weekend was learning to explain our service in a simplified way so that anyone could understand,” Patel said. “It’s so important to get new perspectives. It’s the only way your idea is going to get better.”
A Madison native, Patel grew up in an entrepreneurial environment, his father running numerous businesses within the hotel industry. He’s dedicated to keeping his business in Mississippi.
“The most important lesson I’ve learned is to get out there and take action. Just do it,” he said. “Programs like Venture Launch Weekend and CIE push you to get your idea in front of people and not be bashful about it.”
You can check out Jetson Smart Homes at jetsonsmarthomes.com.