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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship


The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the Fellowships and Grants

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Arjav Shah

2023 - 2024
Dual MBA / PhD in Chemical Engineering

Hailing from Surat, the textile capital of India, Arjav has seen first-hand how untreated effluents from the textile industries has started to produce pronounced health implications on the individuals living in the city. This inspired him to work on solutions for improper waste disposal and wastewater treatment which are low-cost and sustainable.

The bioaccumulation and continuous exposure to micropollutants is a cause for concern. Almost impossible to remove, these low concentration emerging contaminants (organics like BPA, PFAS, heavy metals like lead) in water – affect everyone: health effects for consumers and problems for large industries – semiconductors, food and beverage.

His venture, hydroGel, uses sustainable hydrogel microparticles to remove micropollutants from water in India. His technology benefits society by enabling access to clean water with applications in numerous large markets like India where micropollutant elimination is vital, in the form of municipal and industrial water treatment equipment ($12.8 billion in 2021), and household water purification systems ($5.85 billion in 2021).

The venture will benefit the society by making water treatment sustainable and enabling access to clean water while increasing regulatory compliance. In addition to health benefits for the consumers, the solution significantly reduces the carbon footprint of water treatment.

Drawing from his leadership experiences prior to MIT and a passion for wide ranging social change, Arjav’s educational training in Chemical Engineering provides him with a sound background to understand the technology and its associated challenges. A rare combination of techno-managerial background through his PhD-MBA program and leadership experiences sets him up for a strong start in his entrepreneurial journey.


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