Federal Contractors/Technology: MEHUL P. SANGHANI
CEO, OCTO, RESTON
Sanghani described a college career filled more with hijinks than academics when he delivered the commencement speech to Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering in May. A 1998 VT graduate with bachelor’s degrees in systems engineering, finance and psychology, he moved with his family from India to Blacksburg, where they operated a small motel, in 1979. Sanghani was 3 years old.
After taking a job in Silicon Valley, Sanghani returned to Virginia and founded Octo in 2006. The tech company has been recognized as one of the fastest growing in the U.S., and it’s also been named a top workplace. In May, the company opened a $10 million, 14,000-square-foot research and development lab dedicated to federal customers.
Sanghani and his wife, Hema, also a Tech graduate, donated $10 million to their alma mater in 2020. The money went to endow the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics at the forthcoming Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria, as well as funding scholarships for minority students studying artificial intelligence and to establish a food pantry at the campus in Blacksburg.
Sanghani serves on the board of the Northern Virginia Technology Council.