Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande

Founder, Deshpande Foundation / President & Chairman, Sparta Group LLC / Life Member, MIT Corporation

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a Trustee of Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree. Desh is also the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office.

Dr. Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades. He was 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 in Lowell/Lawrence Massachusetts, Pond-Deshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, Dunin-Deshpande Center at Queen’s University in Canada and Gopalkrishnan-Deshpande Center at Indian Institute of technology in Chennai, India. Deshpande Foundation also provided the founding grant for MassChallenge in Boston, National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), and the UPOP program at MIT.

Dr. Deshpande 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 Queen’s University in Canada.

Dr. Deshpande co-chaired the National Council to support President Obama’s innovation and entrepreneurship efforts.