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Abhishek Dasgupta, UT21 Senior

Biomedical engineering and business senior Abhishek Dasgupta talks about the value of mentorship and about opportunities to do good in the world.

UT21 Senior Abhishek

Filled with charisma and an entrepreneurial spirit, Abhishek Dasgupta has left his mark on the communities he’s joined and helped build at The University of Texas at Austin.

Born in India, Dasgupta moved around a lot with his family as a child. He says the constant change gave him the distinct ability to interact and form bonds with people from all walks of life. “I love working with people,” he says. “Connecting with people and hearing their stories excites me.”

An outstanding senior from the class of 2021, Dasgupta is graduating with a degree in biomedical engineering and a minor in business. “In high school, biology was my favorite subject,” he says. “And I loved the medical space and learning about all the natural processes that help us survive, so I knew I would study biomedical engineering.”

He describes his time at UT Austin as a collection of shared experiences. “I’ve always liked the phrase ‘investing in experiences.’ I think back to it whenever I’m making a decision,” he says. “Investing in experiences to me means building, connecting and doing good. I try living that out in whatever outlet or facet.”

One way Dasgupta is doing good is through his company Loop Medical Innovations. As a member of the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars Spring Fellowship program, Dasgupta’s team received coaching, mentorship and $5,000 in nondilutive grant funding for the development of a next-generation personal spirometer with unique error-detection capabilities.

“Breathing is such a big part of life. With the onset of the pandemic and in conjunction with some of our personal experiences with respiratory conditions, our team wanted to make monitoring lung health not only easy for consumers like us but also uncompromisingly accurate,” he says. “So we decided to build a tool that patients can use and, importantly, medical professionals can trust to make decisions — a need unaddressed by the market today.”

This innovation by Dasgupta and his team also landed them success at the Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center’s DisrupTexas undergraduate pitch competition. The team is currently readying the device for an upcoming pilot.

Dasgupta’s natural leadership abilities have been apparent since the start of his college journey. As a freshman, he and seven students had a vision to start the first TEDx conference at the university. TEDx conferences are independent events with the look and feel of the popular TED Talks.

Eager to begin setting the stage for the conference, Dasgupta and his teammates spent eight months knocking on the many doors of UT administrators across campus to pitch their idea and garner support. “We really believed that it would be a value-add to the UT community,” he says. “We put on our first conference in February of 2018, and it’s just been a blast ever since.” Dasgupta says TEDxUTAustin allowed him to create connections with many UT community members and build leadership experience as he served as president during his junior year. “TEDxUTAustin was the gateway into the rest of my college career,” he says.

The TEDxUTAustin team at the inaugural conference in 2018.
The TEDxUTAustin team at the inaugural conference in 2018.

For Dasgupta, once a door has been opened, he makes sure it’s opened wide enough for others to walk through with him. His passion for mentorship led him to join the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) Institute’s Student Advisory Board, where he was involved in creating the structure for the mentorship program and event planning.

He says being the only male-identifying person on the board of 35 student leaders put into perspective what diversity and inclusion really means to him. “What I learned is if there’s a room full of men, and there’s one woman in the room and the men say, ‘Feel free to speak freely and express yourself.’ It does not matter until you have representation in the room, which means someone else in the room that you can identify with or connect with based on your background,” he says. “Being a part of this organization has strengthened my understanding and commitment to diversity and inclusion, and now I feel I can promote it better going forward in my career.”

Dasgupta enjoys an active lifestyle, which includes swimming at Gregory Gym and playing ultimate Frisbee with new and old friends. He says staying in one place and slowing down during the pandemic this past year took some getting used to. After moving back home to Houston during the summer of 2020, Dasgupta was looking for ways to stay connected and continue building experiences with the UT community. One way he succeeded was by applying and being selected for Nike Project Move — a student-led initiative to inspire a diversity of movement on campus. Another way he stayed connected was by attending professors’ office hours via Zoom. “I really enjoyed virtual learning and appreciated being able to stay in one place and focus. During fall 2020, I went to professors’ office hours way more than I had any other semester because of the convenience and was able to probe deeper into the material we talked about in class.”

During his time at UT, Dasgupta has received the Student Government and University Co-Op Rebecca H. Carreon scholarship, which awards 100% of University Co-op boot sales to students who have contributed to the UT community. He has also received the Bee K. Leong endowed scholarship.

What’s next for Dasgupta? He has accepted a full-time position with Capital One and plans to continue developing entrepreneurial projects. Looking back at his accomplishments on the Forty Acres, Dasgupta says there’s one that stands out from the rest. “My prize achievement has been meeting, getting to know and building tremendous memories with an amazing group of people here at UT.”

The University of Texas at Austin

Arjun Menta, UT21 Senior

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