Meet Keerthi. Keerthi won two Flare awards in 2023 for her business Ellyfe, a wearable device and app aiming to improve hydration in older people.
|Current job role
|Founder of Ellyfe
|Year of graduation
|Course of study
|MSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics with Advanced Research
Developing her business
After completing an electronics and communications degree in India, Keerthi wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next. She remembered enjoying robotics as a child, and when a friend recommended studying in the UK, that’s when she found the University of Hertfordshire and our MSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics with Advanced Research programme. She hasn’t looked back since.
Keerthi says, ‘I made wonderful friends and mentors, and I’m very happy with how my university experience went. During my master’s I explored how we can use artificial intelligence in healthcare, and that’s what planted the seeds for my business idea.’
Keerthi started to meet regularly with the University’s Business Growth and Entrepreneurship team in 2020 and began to develop her business, Ellyfe. As Keerthi explains, ‘Ellyfe is a cost-effective and eco-friendly wearable device and app that monitors hydration levels in older people, primarily in care homes. Dehydration is a huge problem for older people in care homes. Each year, it leads to 300,000 older people ending up in hospital.
‘I want to make a difference in society and in people’s lives, and I believe technology can help me do that and improve health outcomes for older people.’
Winning a Flare award
In 2023, Keerthi entered the University’s Flare competition for the third time. She says, ‘Each experience taught me a lot. I took the feedback from each year onboard and continued to develop my idea. I have fantastic mentors in the Business Growth and Entrepreneurship team, who are very patient and encourage me to keep going. I would certainly credit them with where I am today.’
Keerthi’s business won the Health and wellbeing and the People’s choice award at Flare, the latter of which was voted for by the public including staff, students and alumni.
Taking her business forward
Keerthi is now looking to develop a prototype of her wearable device and is speaking to companies in the UK and India that can help her.
Her advice to others looking to follow in her footsteps is to, ‘Just try it. If you don’t achieve your goals the first time, that’s fine. Listen to the feedback and try again. And use the support available to you at the University, especially that offered by the Business Growth and Entrepreneurship team.’