Ravi Patel is Principal and President of Hawkeye Hotels, one of the fastest growing, privately-owned hotel companies in the country. In his keynote address, he’ll talk about investing in early stage companies and what comes after the check.
Since joining Hawkeye Hotels, Patel has personally overseen over forty acquisition and new development projects. With more than 6,500 rooms opened or soon to be opened, and over 1,500 employees, Patel has managed to grow the company’s portfolio significantly since he assumed management of it during the economic downturn of 2008.
Under Ravi’s leadership, Hawkeye Hotels has grown to become a fully vertically integrated hospitality firm, offering a variety of services that range from design and construction to management and development. Hawkeye has become an expert in developing hotels at a rapid pace, as well as turnaround projects that require either renovation, cost control, or rebranding.
In addition to the hotel industry, Patel is also a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and political activist. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Built By Iowa, which is an early and mid-stage business accelerator that launched in the Fall of 2013. This accelerator will bring growth capital, mentors, and technical infrastructure to Iowa-based startups looking to scale their companies and bring their products and services to wider markets. Some of the companies that Ravi serves as an Investor Advisor to include Higher Learning Technologies (HLT), TelePharm, and Change Heroes among many others.
Ravi is involved with many charitable and philanthropic organizations including the Clinton Global Initiative, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, and Children’s Miracle Network. He is a regular contributor to a number of leading hospitality and lodging publications such as Hotel News Now and Hotel Business and serves as a guest lecturer at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. His current board service includes: InterContinental Hotels Emerging Leaders and Holiday Inn Express Committees, Kirkwood College Hospitality Arts Advisory Board, University of Iowa College of Business Alumni Board, and the State of Iowa Hospitality and Tourism Committee. Ravi is from Burlington, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a certificate in Entrepreneurship.