The Deshpande Center was established at the MIT School of Engineering to increase the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace. Founded with an initial donation from Jaishree and Desh Deshpande, the Deshpande Center supports a wide range of emerging technologies including biotechnology, biomedical devices, information technology, new materials, tiny tech, and energy innovations.
Since 2002, the Deshpande Center has awarded over $12 million in grants to support more than 100 MIT faculty-led projects. The objective of the funding is to nurture ideas with market potential and reduce the uncertainty around them so that an external party would invest in the technology. In addition to the funding, the grants bring with them publicity, mentoring, and connections with the business community.
This funding enables MIT faculty and their students to pursue exciting new avenues of research on novel technologies. As a result, 27 projects have spun out of the center as independent startups, collectively raising more than $400M in outside financing from top-tier venture capital firms and other investors.
There are two ways for students to get involved in projects funded by the Deshpande Center.
The executive director of the Deshpande Center is Leon Sandler. The faculty director of the Deshpande Center is Professor Charles L. Cooney. Staff includes Michelle Grdina, program manager, and Erica Deary, administrative assistant. For more information, contact the Deshpande Center, Room 1-229, 617-253-0943, firstname.lastname@example.org.