The son of highly educated parents, Ashwinraj Karthikeyan (Engr ’18) was destined for great things academically. Growing up, he developed an interest in engineering, helping his father build an underwater quadcopter in their garage. In high school, he took high-level technology courses and served as president of his school’s robotics team.
When it came time for college, cost was a factor for Karthikeyan and his family. Thanks to a Blue Ridge Scholarship, he was able to attend UVA, where he is studying aerospace engineering and social entrepreneurship. In January 2016, while a second-year student, Karthikeyan founded InMedBio, which focuses on advancing wound-care technology for the medically underserved and socioeconomically disadvantaged.
The winner of VentureWell’s BMEidea competition and the recipient of a 2017 Pike Engineering Fellowship, Karthikeyan credits much of his success to the opportunities he enjoyed at UVA, including professorial mentorships. After graduation, he plans to devote his time to InMedBio and hopes to one day open an orphanage where children can learn engineering and entrepreneurial skills.
A firm believer that many of the world’s challenges stem from lack of opportunity, Karthikeyan is committed to helping those who are unable to help themselves. “People need skills. Once they have those, they can go virtually anywhere. But someone has to give them a chance.”