A native of Zambia, Africa, Patel earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Gujarat University, followed by his master’s degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. In 1979, he earned his Ph.D. in pharmacy from the University of Michigan.
Patel has become nationally known for his business ventures. He is the co-founder of vSpring Capital (now Signal Peak Ventures), a Salt Lake City-based investment firm in which he is currently the founder emeritus. He is also a primary angel investor in at least 20 IT and biotechnology companies, such as TheraTech and Ashni Naturaceuticals, where Patel also served as CEO.
Additionally, Patel holds 15 patents in both the US and abroad. In 2006, he was awarded the Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2009, he received the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy’s Alumni Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2013, he was awarded the Utah Life Science Award from BioUtah.