Indian American on National Innovation Council

Indian American on National Innovation Council

Fellow IIT Alumnus and friend, Dr. “Desh” Deshpande, was just appointed to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.  The secretary said that the Council will support President Obama’s innovation strategy by helping to develop policies that foster entrepreneurship and identifying new ways to take great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to drive economic growth and create jobs.

In America since the Industrial Revolution, basic research in public and private sector research labs has spawned new technologies and inventions that led to new businesses. And those entrepreneurial businesses have been important drivers of job creation. Firms less than five years old have accounted for nearly all net new jobs in America over the last 30 years. Yet, as a share of gross domestic product, American federal investment in the physical sciences and engineering research has dropped by half since 1970.

Readers of this blog, know of my commitment to global innovation and my firm’s support of accelerating innovation by any means necessary. I was tickled to realize that I have personally met several member of the National Council in the last 11 years (see bolded names below).

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is one of the most remarkable individuals I have ever met. He sold one of his early companies for over $2 billion and it eventually was absorbed by Lucent Technologies. I bought shares of his next public company, Sycamore Networks which had a spectacular IPO and great rise before it got caught in the telecom downturn in the early 2000’s .  Desh chairs  a charity that feeds 1.2  million schoolkids everyday in India. He’s been Chair of TiE Global in which role I saw him in my native town of Kanpur India, exhorting entrepreneurs. He is on the board of MIT and I saw him with President Susan Hockfeld on another trip to India. Desh is a member of the Pan IIT Leadership Circle, where he lends his vision to my colleagues.

Innovation in the U.S. today is carried forward not by Americans alone but also by visionary internationals like Dr. Deshpande.


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