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Start Me Up: Engineering Big Ideas

Start Me Up: Engineering Big Ideas

Kishan Patel '14, a software engineer for Slack and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has embraced innovation and big ideas – by launching TEDx at both CCHS and CMU, playing a leadership role at a cutting-edge tech company, and serving as a founder of CMU Tech & Entrepreneurship in the Bay Area (CMU TEBA).

Software Engineer at Slack… and Raider for Life!

Kishan Patel '14

As a software engineer for Slack – an innovative and widely-used workplace communication platform - Kishan Patel '14 relies on his seasoned technical skills on a daily basis.

Collaboration, Creativity, & Problem Solving

Kishan’s role at Slack extends beyond what many would expect for a developer.

“As a Software Engineer, I build software to ship new features to our end users,” said Kishan. “Contrary to the general perception of programmers spending most of their time sitting in front of a computer writing code, much of my time is spent collaborating with other engineers, designers, and product managers on my team to figure out what we should build and how we should design it. I love how building software enables me to bring ideas to life and I also really enjoy the problem solving, collaboration, and creativity involved.”

Tech & Entrepreneurship

Kishan also helped launch Carnegie Mellon’s first Tech and Entrepreneurship chapter, which has grown into a network of 10 chapters.

CMU T&E logo

He is a founder of CMU Tech & Entrepreneurship in the Bay Area (CMU TEBA), a group established to build a strong network of alumni of entrepreneurs, industry experts, technologists, and startups. Their mission is to create a strong community where CMU alumni can thrive, help each other succeed, and be inspired to make an impact.


His Central Catholic Experience

Students in classroom with TEDx sign

While Kishan acquired much of his technical knowledge while attending Carnegie Mellon University studying computer science, statistics, and human-computer interaction, he credits Central Catholic with giving him a solid base through both academic and extracurricular opportunities. 

Kishan immersed himself in the Central Catholic experience. He was involved in the Chess Club, Model UN, Karate Club, Intramurals, Math League, Ski and Snowboard Club, Student Ambassadors, Track and Field, and Football.. 

“My Central Catholic experience was foundational in shaping me to be who I am today and setting me up for future success both professionally and personally, particularly my extracurricular activities which had the most impact on me,” said Kishan, a Methuen, MA native and current resident of San Francisco, CA.

One of his most influential CCHS experiences was starting the first TEDx event at Central. 

“From learning to build a team, lead a vision, to building communities, this experience helped me grow as a leader and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.” 

Read more about Kishan’s TEDx journey here.

Kishan also found inspiration as a member of the Raider football team. 

“It helped me develop the mindset to pass my comfort zone which has enabled me to continue learning and growing every day. Football also taught me so many important lessons about teamwork, which has enabled me to succeed in my career given how important working effectively as a team is to every job I've had.”

His brother Vishal Patel '15 is also a Central Catholic alumnus.

Advice for Raiders

Based on his professional and life experiences to date, Kishan advises current CCHS students to develop self-awareness, which he defines as “the key to understanding what you want and getting what you want within all aspects of your life," whether its happiness, career, success, relationships, or other goals.


Congratulations, Kishan, as you continue to achieve your goals!

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.