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Founder, Deshpande Foundation
Dr. Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades, involved either as the Founder, a Founding investor or Chairman of several companies including Sycamore Networks, Tejas Networks, Sandstone Capital, and A123 Systems. Dr. Deshpande Desh has initiated several non-profits that provide support for innovation and entrepreneurship at MIT, Queen's University, IIT Madras, TIE, Akshaya Patra Foundation, and Public Health Foundation of India.
His belief in the power of social entrepreneurship led to the launch of the Deshpande Foundation in India and the founding of the Hubli Sandbox in 2007. He has founded four social entrepreneurship Sandboxes in India and four centres in North America including the MIT Deshpande Centre for Technological Innovation. Dr. Deshpande is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, such as the 2013 IEEE Ernst Weber Managerial Leadership Award and Forbes India's Distinguished Non-Resident Philanthropist Award (2014). He has also co-chaired President Obama's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.