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Indian American Entrepreneur and Alumn Mehul Sanghani to Deliver Keynote Address at Virginia Tech Commencement

Indian American Entrepreneur and Alumn Mehul Sanghani to Deliver Keynote Address at Virginia Tech Commencement

  • The Blacksburg native founded technology firm Octo in 2006, and currently serves as its chief operating officer.

Indian American entrepreneur Mehul Sanghani will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s University commencement ceremony next month. The Virginia tech alumn founded Octo in 2006, and currently serves as its CEO. The technology firm focuses on solving national security’s most complex problems.

He “took a leap of faith” founding Octo “with encouragement from his family and others,” the university said inna press release. “Since its inception, the company has experienced exponential success under his leadership,” the press release added. Octo has been repeatedly recognized, catching the attention of a number of Fortune 100 companies as an acquisition target. In January 2023, IBM announced it was acquiring the company for just under $1.3 billion.

Sanghani, a Blacksburg, Virginia native graduated from Virginia Tech with bachelor’s degrees in industrial and systems engineering as well as psychology.. His family immigrated to the United States from India in 1979 when he was 3 years old. As owners of the Red Carpet Inn on South Main Street, his parents instilled in him a fierce work ethic and appreciation for opportunity.

“Mehul’s life, career, spirit of service, and remarkable support for his alma mater and community are an inspiration for Hokies everywhere,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “His experience is a powerful example for these graduates who are about to begin their own impactful journeys.”

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In 2021, he and his wife, Hema Sanghani, also a Virginia Tech graduate, “made a historic $10 million gift to their alma mater; $1.5 million of the gift was allocated to establish The Market of Virginia Tech, a first-of-its-kind on-campus food pantry to students facing food insecurity,” the university said.  The Sanghanis’ gift also endowed the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics and established the Sanghani Player Lounge to support the Virginia Tech football team.

In May 2022, he spoke at the College of Engineering commencement ceremony and was honored there as the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. The award celebrates graduates who have distinguished themselves in their careers, have applied their engineering education toward global and community engagement, and/or have made a significant impact on the university through service, philanthropy, or meaningful interaction with students and faculty.

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