Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a Trustee of the Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree. He is also the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office and is also the Chairman of Tejas Networks.
Dr. Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades. He is involved either as the founder, a 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.
Dr. Deshpande lives in Boston and serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his support has made possible 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 centers; 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.
Desh holds a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D. from Queens University in Canada.
He co-chaired the National Council to support President Obama’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy from 2010 to 2015.