By Kaanita Iyer
For The Diamondback
University of Maryland alumnus Rishi Patel suffered from such awful hangovers that they began to affect his academic performance and overall health.
But instead of partying less, he created Vive — a dietary supplement aimed at preventing the symptoms of hangovers.
"I felt I wasn't being as productive as I could be, and wanted to improve that," Patel said.
Vive contains B vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and other ingredients to tackle what Patel says are the three major causes of hangovers: dehydration, vitamin deficiencies and toxin buildup. The name stems from the product's aim to revive after one has survived a long night of drinking, according to its website.
The product, which comes in a strawberry lemonade flavor, is a powder that's mixed with water and is intended to be taken before alcohol consumption.
Patel, who has a degree in mechanical engineering and considered pursuing medical school, landed his unexpected career in business after he spent hours researching scientific journals and publications for ingredients that could be helpful for his own hangovers.
Once he found a combination of ingredients that could potentially prevent them, he crafted a formula for the product.
Patel recommends taking Vive even without alcohol consumption, because it contains the majority of the ingredients in a multivitamin, along with several additional amino acids and antioxidants, he said.
"Once I had created the formula for [preventing] hangovers, I expanded it to make Vive as healthy as possible for people who consume alcohol," Patel said. "It became a product that not only prevents hangovers, but has great health benefits."
Patel tested the product on his friends, who he said were skeptical.
Joe Sera, a 2016 alumnus, said he didn't think it would work when he first tried it.
"It was still in the very early stages and the presentation wasn't there," Sera said. "It looked sketchy."
Now the the product has become part of his routine and helps him feel great, he said.
"I usually like to wake up early and it helps me get the most out of my weekends, especially when I have a big night the day before," Sera said.
Rachel Lilienfeld, a 2016 alumna of this university, wrote in an email that the product has worked for her each time she has used it.
"I see [Vive] becoming a key part of everyone's pregame routine," Lilienfeld wrote. "It will spread quickly amongst adults, and there is no doubt in my mind that the business expands."
Patel credits the community and resources at this university with helping him create and expand his business. He said he found this university's technology entrepreneurship minor helpful for developing a business foundation, which he did not receive as an engineer.
"It allowed me to expand and learn about business," Patel said. "I learned how to write a proper business plans and what I needed to do to create a company."
The business school's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship also helped Patel. He said he met with them multiple times for legal advice, developing his marketing strategy, and providing resources and contacts to help start his business.
Vive is currently available exclusively online through the product's website, but Patel aims to expand to Amazon and liquor stores around campus in the fall, offering discounts to students following the business on its social media accounts.
Patel plans to target college students and young adults as his market for the product. However, he takes precautions to ensure it does not promote underage drinking.
"We are mindful of our marketing practices and only promote to individuals 21 years of age and older," Patel said. "On social media as well as in person, we strongly advocate for responsible and legal alcohol consumption."