Indian investors help MIT prof. to explore his idea
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Indian investors help MIT prof. to explore his idea

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 29 June 2010, 10:14 Hrs   |    26 Comments
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Indian investors help MIT prof. to explore his idea
Bangalore: Many of the great ideas gets stuck in labs just because the scientists don't have access to the right kind of supports. Now the Indian investors have started lending their hands to the budding inventors by providing enough funds to explore their innovative ideas. Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, an MIT entity funded by two Indians investors, Jaishree Deshpande and her husband Gururaj, is lending a hand to the budding inventors to realize their dreams, reports Bob Tedeschi from New York Times.

Douglas P Hart, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has won a support of $50,000 to convert his dream to reality. The Professor's new startup, Lantos Technologies, which developed a 3-D scanner that hopes to update the current generation of earphones and hearing aids by precisely fitting them to the dimensions of the ear canal, is set to lock up $1.5 million in funding. "We're hoping people will be able to walk in the store and have their ears scanned like people got their ears pierced today," said Hart, who sold his last startup for $95 million. "I wouldn't have known the first thing about doing all of this, if the people from the Deshpande Center led me through," recalls enthused Hart.

The Deshpande Center was established at the MIT School of Engineering in 2002 to increase the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace. Since its inception the Center has funded more than 80 projects with over $9 Million in grants.

By providing academics like Professor Hart a bridge to the business world, MIT is in the forefront of a movement involving a handful of universities nationwide that work closely with investors to ensure that promising ideas are nurtured and turned into successful start-ups.

At first glance, the centers look like academic versions of business incubators. But universities are getting involved now at a much earlier stage than incubators typically do. Rather than offering seed money to businesses that already have a product and a staff, as incubators usually do, the universities are harvesting great ideas and then trying to find investors and businesspeople interested in developing them further and exploring their commercial viability.

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Reader's comments(26)
1: Excellent, an Indian investor helped a foreign rich scientist. Where about Ramar Pillai, who was trying to convenience our indian scientists on production of fuel from organic materials like plants. Why not these rich indian investors can't help the poor inventors in the developing nations like India? Any answers..............?
Chandar - Bangalore
Posted by:chandar - 07 Jul, 2010
2: While Indian supports Sceintific endeavour in United States they should look inwards as well, there are budding scientist in India who needs support and extending support will mean a lot to them.
Ramesh.V.Naivaruni
Bangalore
Posted by:Ramesh.V.Naivaruni - 03 Jul, 2010
3: Siliconindia has given this article to show to US government that Indians help American in US, this may be required to impress that government so that position of Indias in US is safe. This is a good policy to help American in US who already had enough money as he has sold his previous firm for a big money. What I suggest is that Siliconindia should next time give news about any Indian getting help from Deshapande Certer in India, that may help many Indians. Another point I see is that this Center helps only degree holder scientists however, there are many scientists and inventors who are not degree holders, What about them? Can the Center care to consider them.
Posted by:ashok kothare - 30 Jun, 2010
4: indians are not good inventors. they are not creative enough to compete with the world. ofcourse there are the exceptions but in the norm indians are good in getting money and keeping money, investing etc.. invention requires originality, freedom of lifestyle and thought and creativity.. this is not really present in india. this is why it is a good partnership to fund people outside india so india can play a hand in these things
Posted by:dosa - 30 Jun, 2010
5:
I hope you must be familiar with
(1) Pentium
(2) USB

Why dont you search for their inventors. These are a few to mention. Try for Sun Microsystems and some others too :-)

I will wait by then to post reply for your post.
Abhinav Replied to: dosa - 30 Jun, 2010
6: They do have their presence in INDIA & carrying out the same generous activities here also. Check out their website - http://www.deshpandefoundation.org/
Posted by:abhay - 30 Jun, 2010
7: >Hart, who sold his last startup for $95 million

>Douglas P Hart, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has won a support of $50,000 to convert his dream to reality.

Why does a man who sold a company earlier for $ 95 million require $50,000 support from someone else

Its rich, professors in US Universities who get funded.
Not real inventors in India
Posted by:bhaskar - 30 Jun, 2010
8:
hahaha.....very good point....can anyone answer this question? or is this article is just another publicity stunt?
Arin Replied to: bhaskar - 30 Jun, 2010
9:
Real inventors in INDIA do get such support by the same Deshpande Family.
Visit with your idea and business plan at the Deshpande Foundation, BVBCET Campus, Vidyanagara, HUBLI-580030.
pdshetti Replied to: bhaskar - 30 Jun, 2010
10:
Then why names of such investors appear in this article? May be you can provide some.
akjoshi Replied to: pdshetti - 30 Jun, 2010
11: Dear friend,
I am H.S.SharmaM09873020599E mailhuda1921@gmail.com
www.blogspot.comI have list of 40 technologies which have been developed but not commercialised due to lack of funds-
I am graduate of iit bombay 1963 batch.
1.two hill tops in ajitgarh in rajasthan containing 50 million tons of highly abrasive stone are not being ut ilised because existing system are ineffective.I suggest they can be utilised for the statue of BAMIYAN BUDHA in AFGANISTAN for which 200 million $ are being funded by Japan technologies Curd powder Tomato powder sandalwood tree clone containing 1% oil as against 0.1% in natural trees . Any takers
Posted by:Hari Shankar Sharma - 29 Jun, 2010
12:
Can we have Deshpande group or such groups come to India with their Dollars and give much needed seed capitals to budding entrepreneurs of people attemptying to realise an idea but hampered by lack of funds?

Rajesh Replied to: Hari Shankar Sharma - 30 Jun, 2010
13: I appreciate it.There are so many inventors in our country INDIA where they are roaming from bank to bank to get loans to startup with their products.Am not being offensive but please look for the potential in our countries too.Foreign universities have already got lots of funds and resources.Atleast the startup eco system is well set there unlike ours.I appreciate Deshpande Centre once again.Thank You
Posted by:Ameer - 29 Jun, 2010
14:
i agree with you.
fallu Replied to: Ameer - 30 Jun, 2010
15: Great Minds and Great Hearts should go with each other ...Soon India would emerge a world power & support world for peace harmony and innovation
Salute to the great minds and great hearts ..
Posted by:Aathi.S.P - 29 Jun, 2010
16:
Haha... only in dreams...this has what has been told for last 20 years, still India is not even half way reaching the top:P
Ajay Replied to: Aathi.S.P - 30 Jun, 2010
17: Might be a great news.. But Indian investors may have to think of support research in our Country.
Posted by:eDoDe - 29 Jun, 2010
18:
true. they should support local talent.
fallu Replied to: eDoDe - 30 Jun, 2010
19: First off, I'd like to appreciate SI For getting the masses know about such wonderful Institutions like Deshpande center and very much congratulate the helping investors & all the BUDDING inventors that got helped.
Although I could not understand how some one who already has sold up a previous startup for a whopping $95 million can still be a budding inventor. Am I missing something here
- Also, May be sometime soon, we will see a few helpful investors like ADVERTISED in this article be also helping whole lot or budding inventors who are in third world developing countries like from INDIA but have no reach as much as people from MIT
just my 2 cents
Posted by:JaiH - 29 Jun, 2010
20: I am aware of the excellent work rendered in promoting Innovations by Deshpande Centre for Technological Innovation, stationed in MIT. I am in constant touch with Deshpande Centre.

Here is an account of the activities of Deshpande Centre:

Since 2002 the Deshpande Center has taken advantage of the fertile innovation environment at MIT and proved that small cash grants, and a well-defined process designed to nurture and support innovation, can accelerate the migration of ideas from the lab to practical commercial application.

The Deshpande Center was established at the MIT School of Engineering in 2002 to increase the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace. Founded with an initial donation by Jaishree and Desh Deshpande the Center depends on the financial and professional support of successful alumni entrepreneurs, and investors to provide a sustainable source of funding for innovative research and guidance to help it reach the marketplace.
Since 2002 The Deshpande Center has funded more than 80 projects with over $9 M in grants. 18 projects have spun out of the center into commercial ventures, having collectively raised over $140 M in outside financing. Thirteen venture capital firms have invested in these ventures.

The Deshpande Center supports a wide range of emerging technologies including biotechnology biomedical devices information technology new materials tiny tech and energy innovations.
The Deshpande Center achieves its mission through several approaches Grant Program Catalyst Program, Innovation Teams (I Teams) & Events.
Deshpande Center
By The Numbers

Since our first request for proposals in September 2002 we have
Reviewed 500+ proposals
From over 250 Faculty
Funded more than 80 projects with over $10 M in grants
Supported 200+ Faculty and their Students, from a diverse array of Departments across campus
Engaged 100 + volunteers from the venture and entrepreneur community
Seen the creation of 12 companies (1 license) capitalized at over $180 M with 200+ employees (Source: Home Page,Deshpande Centre).

As I have been suggesting Innovation and Invention are the pillars of Industrial Growth. There are many whose Innovative ideas won’t fructify for lack of financial support. Though we have National Research Development Centre (NRDC), TePP (DSIR), National Innovation Foundation their efforts are meager in a vast country like ours.

There are Discovery Institutes Innovation Institutes abroad to promote Innovation among young minds.
An INNOVATION FUND can be created by Industrial Giants like TATAs Birlas Mahindras Wipro Infosys etc. so that Young Innovators and Entrepreneurs can get financial support to realize their Innovative dreams.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP) India


Posted by:Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 29 Jun, 2010
21:
Dr jagdeesh
Thank you for the Information.I would like to point out that Infosys founder sri narayana murthy has already established such a fund (cataraman) ,as for others they are doing their bit where they find it critical for instance Wipros azeem premji believes elementary education importance hence he funds such programm similarly recent announcements sri Sunil Mittal(Bharathi group) ,and shiv nadar (Hcl tech) .I think mahindras believe health care needs so they have hosiptal on wheels(train) that vists some towns and villages
regards
rama anne
syd australia
rama mohana anne Replied to: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 29 Jun, 2010
22:
I am aware of these. Infact I am in constant touch with most of these companies.In a thought provoking article” Innovation is about action versus just ideas” (Deccan Herald, 23 June 2010), Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Ltd.brought out clearly the role of Innovation.
“What really is innovation? How is it different from creativity? The simplest definition I have come across is that “creativity is about thinking new things, whereas innovation is about doing new things.” Innovation comes from applying creativity or applying thought. It is about action versus just ideas. It is about implementation as much as it about design. Similarly, innovation need not be restricted to products or technology alone. To me, innovation applies to innovations in business model as well as quality, productivity, service, financial discipline and employee attitudes. It is not a one-off new brilliant idea, it is a culture that needs to be created consciously and pursued assiduously by the organisation.
At a national level, a lot more can be done to encourage a climate of innovation. We need to encourage more incubation of ideas, provide the right technical and business expertise to make innovation a national initiative. Are we as Indians creative? Going by our rich cultural heritage, we have no doubt some of the greatest art and literature.
We need to bring the same spirit into our economic and business arena in an organised and concerted manner. In the final analysis, innovation is not about processes, techniques or for that matter just creativity. It is about a spirit that engages the body, mind and heart.
It is about a new excitement that encourages one to think what no one else has thought and the courage to do things no one else has done. It is about creating a better tomorrow than today. Innovation thus is a unique meaning that can make our lives and professions worthwhile.”

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Replied to: rama mohana anne - 29 Jun, 2010
23:
First off, I'd like to appreciate SI For getting the masses know about such wonderful Institutions like Deshpande centre and very much congratulate the helping investors & the BUDDING inventors.
Also, I could not understand how some one who already has sold up a previous startup for a whopping $95 million can still be a budding inventor. Am I missing something here, Please let us know!
- Also, May be sometime soon, we will see a few helpful investors like advertised in this article be also helping whole lot of budding inventors who are in third world developing countries like from INDIA but have no reach as much as people from MIT.
...just my 2 cents.
JaiH Replied to: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 29 Jun, 2010
24: It's really good...there are firms and investors to help the budding inventors
Posted by:Nita - 29 Jun, 2010
25:
Entrepreneurs will be very happy if SI post more articles like this from which not only act like informative article but a good input for entrepreneurs.
abhi32002 Replied to: Nita - 29 Jun, 2010
26:
It is a really good news for me as a consumer .I am using hearing aids due to loss of hearing.All research should aim @ the end user & the product should reach the needy @ a reasonable cost specially to elderly All our indusrialists can do lot to make life happier to common people thus serving the social cause.
T.C. Shivaswamy Replied to: abhi32002 - 29 Jun, 2010
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