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Gururaj Deshpande (“Desh” Deshpande) is an Indian American venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who’s famous for co-founding the Chelmsford, MA-based web gear maker Sycamore Networks, the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT as well as the Deshpande Foundation.
Deshpande can also be a Life Member of the MIT Corporation, the Board of Trustees of MIT. In July 2010, Deshpande was made by President Barack Obama to the Co-Chairmanship of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a group created to support the US President’s innovation strategy. Along with a $2.5 million gift from serial technology entrepreneur Gerry Pond, the PDC was tasked with the mandate of catalyzing more entrepreneurial action in the state of New Brunswick both conventional marketplace driven entrepreneurship and societal assignment driven entrepreneurship. Since its beginning, the Pond-Deshpande Centre has worked with 100’s of emerging entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada through early phase invention grants, mentorship, new enterprise acceleration as well as the hosting of multiple seminars bringing idea leaders together from across North America.