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Bhargav Sri Prakash

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Bhargav Sri Prakash
Bhargav Sri Prakash, June 2013.jpg Bhargav Sri Prakash, June 2013.jpg
Bhargav Sri Prakash addressing the Bloomberg Technology Summit Next Big Thing
BornBhargav Sri Prakash
(1977-04-20)20 April 1977
Chennai, India
🏫 EducationCollege of Engineering, Guindy
College of Engineering University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
💼 Occupation
Board member ofFriendsLearn
Reciprocity Foundation
Nirmana Investments
👴 👵 Parent(s)

Bhargav Sri Prakash (born 7 April 1977) is an Indian-American engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor.[2][3][4][5]


He is the founder of FriendsLearn[6][7] collaborating with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.[8][9] This involves "digital vaccines" which use smartphone technology.[10]

He has been involved in developing digital vaccines.[11][12][13]

Sri Prakash was awarded the world's first patent for a digital vaccine by the USPTO,[14][15] for an artificial intelligence enabled platform of digital therapeutics for non-invasive prevention of metabolic syndrome, infectious disease[16] and mental health conditions,[17] through neurocognitive training and neuromodulation delivered via a gamified metaverse.[18][19][20]

World Bank's International Finance Corporation and Financial Times awarded FriendsLearn and Carnegie Mellon University for, to quote, "deep tech ideas that may not yet meet the financial criteria of the core categories".[21][22] During the award ceremony in London, the Chair of the jury - Mr. Miguel Martins - announced, "In the words of the judges, digital vaccines provide a truly transformative deep tech solution to prevent and cure diseases that leverages the power of the mind. This year's winners (Sri Prakash's team at FriendsLearn and Carnegie Mellon University) are boldly going where no solution has gone before".[23]

Early life and education[edit]

Prakash was born in Chennai in India.[24] His mother is Sheila Sri Prakash and his father is M V. Sri Prakash. He gained an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy[25]

He went on to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan[26] in Ann Arbor and graduated with a master's degree in Automotive Engineering in 2000.[27][28]


He has worked on the evolution of gamification,[29][30] metaverse[31] and artificial intelligence at the University of Michigan[32]

Sri Prakash is the Founder and serves as the CEO and Chief of Product at FriendsLearn, which he started in 2011, as a fellow of the Kauffman Foundation.[33] FriendsLearn is a research partner of Carnegie Mellon University Digital Vaccine Project[34]

He started his first company, CADcorporation, in the year 1999, when he was enrolled as an international graduate student at the University of Michigan to commercialize his graduate research in math-based simulations for design optimization of automotive powertrain systems. The company was incubated by the eLab at the Ross School of Business and emerged from a class taught by Prof Joshua Coval[35]

After selling CADcorporation, he founded Vmerse in 2005, which was the first to market[36][37] with a gamified 3D virtual reality simulation platform for college recruiting and alumni relations.[38] He sold Vmerse in 2009.

In 2008, he co founded a global macro trading and real estate securities investment fund called Nirmana Investments – and served as a managing director.[39]

He was an entrepreneur fellow of the Kauffman Foundation in 2011, to incubate entrepreneurial models for planetary impact that can address education, health issues, and agriculture. During this time he founded FriendsLearn.[40][41][42]

He is a mentor to other founders from India who are accepted by NASSCOM in to the deep tech club.[43]

Major Works[edit]

He is the Chief Product Officer of fooya! which produces a mHealth App for children developed by FriendsLearn, to lower their risk of lifestyle diseases[44][45] [46] through the underlying gamified implicit learning and neurocognitive computing digital vaccine platform.[47][48][49]

The US Department of State's EducationUSA awarded his startup company a contract to design and develop a gamified simulation to recruit prospective international students from around the globe.[50][51][52] This framework - "Your 5 Steps to US Study" - was launched for distribution via DVD-Rom in 2011 and then as downloadable App via facebook in 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Prakash was a former junior national tennis champion in India and represented India in international tournaments.[53][54][55] During his college years he had enrolled in the Birla Institute of Technology and Science but dropped out in his first semester and returned to Chennai to continue to play competitive tennis.[56]


  1. Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India (24 May 2017). "Board positions". Indian Company Info.
  2. "Television feature about the developer of Fooya". CNBC-TV18. 3 March 2017.
  3. Rupali Mukherjee (8 June 2022). "Indian gets world's first digital vaccine patent". The Times of India.
  4. M Ramesh (8 May 2022). "How AI-aided 'digital vaccines' can be a game-changer". The Hindu Business Line.
  5. "Indian health-tech pioneer develops the world's first digital vaccine candidate for COVID-19". Times Now. 31 July 2020.
  6. Sushila Ravindranath (21 March 2017). "Healthy lifestyle choices: Fooya helps change kids' behaviour towards food in a fun way". Financial Express.
  7. Udhav Naig (12 March 2013). "Play and Learn". The Hindu.
  8. Scottie Barsotti (2 January 2019). "Can Kids Game Their Way to Better Health?". Carnegie Mellon University.
  9. Admin. "CMU Digital Vaccine Project". Carnegie Mellon University.
  10. Katie Barry (4 December 2020). "Digital Vaccines for COVID-19 and Beyond". Brown University The Warren Alpert Medical School Center for Digital Health. Archived from the original on 9 October 2023. Retrieved 1 December 2023. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. "Bhargav Sri Prakash: Preventing diseases with digital vaccines". Global Indian.
  12. "Indian with World's 1st Patent for 'Digital Vaccines' for Kids Explains How They Work". The Better India. 10 July 2022.
  13. Nikhila Natarajan (25 January 2018). "Indian startup resists Boston firm's bid to trademark Digital Vaccines". Firstpost.
  14. M Ramesh (4 May 2022). "Indian entrepreneur gets US patent for digital vaccine". The Hindu Business Line.
  15. Dr Neecey Hudson (24 June 2022). "Digital Vaccines – Can This AI Tool Save Us from Ourselves?". HealthcareIT Today.
  16. Priyanka Sahay (13 August 2020). "Digital vaccine: Check out how this app can help you fight COVID-19". Moneycontrol.
  17. "Digital Vaccines: Web 3.0 Solutions for Chronic Diseases; Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses".
  18. Rupali Mukherjee (8 June 2022). "India's 'digital vaccine' that prevents real world health issues through metaverse gets first global patent - ET Government". The Economic Times.
  19. Anjali Raja K (5 May 2022). "Can AI-powered' Digital Vaccines' open the door for innovation?".
  20. Anshika Srivastava (16 March 2023). "Metaverse and Intellectual Property" (PDF). Jus Corpus Law Journal. ISSN 2582-7820.
  21. "2022 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards Winners Announced".
  22. "FT/IFC Transformational Business Conference and Awards 2022".
  23. FTLive (26 October 2022). "2022 Transformational Business Awards Live Stream (recording 42 min 15 sec)". Financial Times.
  24. "A Chennai-based Company's Game App is Teaching Kids How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit". Network18 Group. 5 March 2021.
  25. Naig, Udhav (12 March 2013). "Play and learn". The Hindu – via
  26. "Fooya". University of Michigan Ann Arbor. 19 February 2013.
  27. Josephine Talin (14 January 2020). "Alumni spotlight: Engineering alum promotes childhood health education through digital vaccines". University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies.
  28. "Michigan Entrepreneurs Design Innovative Facebook Game". The Michigan Daily. 19 February 2013.
  29. Christina Farr (20 April 2012). "At DEMO, entrepreneurs used game dynamics to tackle climate change and obesity". The Next Web.
  30. Alex Landa (22 March 2013). "Fooya, the Crowdfunded Game from India to Teach Healthy Eating".
  31. Ashish Deshmukh (11 September 2022). "Intellectual Property Rights in the Metaverse". Indian Journal of Corporate Law & Policy.
  32. "What Exactly is the Metaverse and How is It Challenging Reality?". 6 October 2021.
  33. "Fooya, the Crowdfunded Game from India to Teach Healthy Eating". 22 March 2013.
  34. Carnegie Mellon University (10 February 2021). "Mobile game that uses implicit learning improved children's short-term food choices". ScienceDaily.
  35. "From Idea to IPO in 14 Weeks". University of Michigan Business School, Dividend. Fall 2000.
  36. UM Office of Undergraduate Admissions (29 August 2008). "Vmerse". University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Archived from the original on 29 August 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  37. Ted Spencer (10 March 2008). "Vmerse". University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  38. "Center for Educational Outreach Conference Agenda". Center for Educational Outreach at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. 2009. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  39. Sushila Ravindranath (20 March 2017). "Healthy lifestyle choices: Fooya helps change kids' behaviour towards food in a fun way". Financial Express.
  40. "Kauffman Foundation Education Ventures Fellows". Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2023. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  41. Kauffman Labs (19 June 2013). "Kauffman Labs Entrepreneur Fellows". Kauffman Foundation. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013.
  42. Erin Kutz (10 February 2011). "Kauffman Labs Brings In Education-Focused Entrepreneurs from Massachusetts, Michigan, and Bay Area". Xconomy.
  43. NASSCOM Deeptech Club (1 January 2024). "Meet the Mentors". NASSCOM.
  44. Francisca Bertilia Chaves Costa; et al. (14 March 2020). "Use of educational technologies in the promotion of children's cardiovascular health: a systematic review". Global Health Promotion. 27 (4): 32–41. doi:10.1177/1757975920909119. PMID 32172651 Check |pmid= value (help). Unknown parameter |s2cid= ignored (help)
  45. Yi-Chin Kato Lin; et al. (17 September 2018). "Mobile Game–Based Digital Vaccine for Reducing Risk of Lifestyle Diseases". Iproceedings. Journal of Medical Internet Research iProceedings Vol 4, No 2 (2018): CHC18. 4 (2): e11790. doi:10.2196/15717. PMC 7710449 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 33206054 Check |pmid= value (help).CS1 maint: Date and year (link)
  46. Pierpaolo Limone; et al. (8 September 2022). "Serious games and eating behaviors: A systematic review of the last 5 years (2018–2022)". Frontiers in Nutrition. 9. doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.978793. PMC 9493252 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 36159464 Check |pmid= value (help).
  47. Stephanie Desmon (1 March 2021). "Video Game Helps Indian Children Choose Healthier Foods". Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  48. Rupali Mukherjee (29 December 2020). "Now 'digital vaccines' to help promote healthy eating in kids". The Times of India.
  49. Sweta Akundi (18 March 2020). "Fooya! app, now in Indian schools, inculcates healthy diets among children". The Hindu.
  50. Cromwell Schubarth (31 May 2013). "FriendsLearn Show Food Fights can be Educational". Silicon Valley American City Business Journals.
  51. Dean Takahashi (20 April 2012). "FriendsLearn teaches you through social and mobile games". Venturebeat.
  52. "Interview | You and Your FriendsLearn". 7 February 2012.
  53. Rupali Mukherjee (8 June 2022). "India's digital vaccine that prevents real (health) issues". Mint.
  54. "Bhargav Sri Prakash Player Profile". International Tennis Federation. 2014.
  55. "India's Best Mens Tennis Players through History". Times of India. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  56. "A Journey for Health". Dina Thanthi. 28 August 2013.

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