Dr. Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande
Co-founder and Chairman – Deshpande Foundation, President and Chairman – Sparta Group LLC
Dr. Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande is a Trustee of the Deshpande Foundation, President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office and Chairman of Tejas Networks.
Dr. Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for three decades, being involved as founder, founding investor or chairman of several companies including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata. He co-chaired the National Council to support President Obama’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship strategy from 2010 to 2015.
Serving as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, he has fructified MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. The Deshpande Foundation strengthens ecosystems that create significant social and economic impact through entrepreneurship and innovation. Leveraging the experience gained at the MIT Center, the Deshpande Foundation has facilitated the setup of five other centres; Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in India, EforAll (formerly known as the Merrimack Valley Sandbox) in Lowell/Lawrence Massachusetts, the Pond-Deshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, the Dunin Deshpande Queens Innovation Center at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario and the Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. Deshpande Foundation also provided the founding grant for MassChallenge in Boston, National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the UPOP program at MIT.
He lives in Boston and holds a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D. from Queens University in Canada.