External Organizations

Organizations often approach the Deshpande Center, eager to get involved in some capacity. Whether they represent a large corporation, a small enterprise, a government agency or a university, they typically have been inspired by MIT’s startup-friendly culture and want to play a more active role in promoting innovation, commercialization and new ventures. The center offers several ways to participate.

Corporate Program

Companies that join the Deshpande Center Corporate Program help ensure the center’s sustainability by providing significant financial support on a multiyear basis. Members contribute and benefit in numerous ways. They:
• Gain an early view of the technologies being developed in MIT labs with funding from the center.
• Build relationships with talented researchers, including well-established faculty members and up-and-coming graduate students.
• Connect with other groups and programs within MIT’s innovation ecosystem.
• Collaborate with project teams to explore potential market opportunities and focused applications for promising inventions.
• Advise and invest in spinout companies to help them develop, manufacture and distribute groundbreaking products.

Corporate Sponsored Research, Event Sponsorship

It sometimes happens that a research team has exhausted its Deshpande Center funding but still needs to do significant work to prepare an invention for the commercial market or for the spinout of a new venture. In such cases, a corporation may opt to fund that additional effort through a sponsored-research agreement.

Organizations may also show their support for the center by sponsoring a high-profile event, such as our annual IdeaStream symposium, which gives researchers a showcase for presenting their work to potential investors and business partners.

To learn more about these opportunities, please contact Leon Sandler at leons@mit.edu or 617-253-0943.