Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation
As Executive Director, Raj develops the Foundation’s strategy and efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. He helped launch the Pond Deshpande Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick, Canada and drove overall direction of the Entrepreneurship for All Center in Lowell that has launched over 100 startups in the past three years. He has launched the Deshpande Symposium, an international network of over 100 universities and colleges sharing best practices in innovation and entrepreneurship. He founded the Forum for Social Entrepreneurs; he has spoken at, organized and moderated numerous panels on social entrepreneurship; and continues to mentor several startups.
He has over 25 years of product management, marketing and consulting experience including as a Vice President at two MIT mobile technology spinoffs – nTag Interactive and Vaultus; as Sr. Director Product Management at Be Free, an e-commerce company; as manager responsible for the launch of two of the earliest internet servers at Electronic Book Technologies whose technologies were cited as inspiration for the World Wide Web. Earlier he worked at Microsoft, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Booz Allen & Hamilton. He has been a mentor and judge for several entrepreneurial competitions and accelerators such as MassChallenge, the MIT 100K, the MIT Legatum Center, Canadian Technology Accelerator and the MIT IDEAS competition. He is an active member of TiE Boston and the India Society of Worcester and co-founded the TIE Social Entrepreneurship Group. Raj has a Doctorate and a Master’s degree from MIT, a Master’s from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a Bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.