February 2012 Newsletter

We are entering our 10th year and the excitement continues at the Deshpande Center

We have interesting new projects in the labs, several new spinout companies, and our spinouts are growing and releasing great products. Organizations around the globe are copying our model.

Ten years ago, an experiment was started at MIT.  It was called the Deshpande Center.  Would it work and would it have any impact?  The results are in.  It worked and then some!  Just like some of the ideas that we fund, that produce fascinating new technologies and products, the Deshpande Center experiment has succeeded and been emulated by many other organizations.

We now have 26 spinout companies, in energy, material, medical devices, diagnostics, electronics including notable companies like 1366 Technologies, Taris Biomedical, Liquid Metal Battery, QD Vision.  Hewlett Packard purchased one of our spinouts, Vertica Systems, in 2011. We have educated hundreds of faculty and students in the process of commercialization.  We have met with and spoken to hundreds of organizations that are interested in learning from our experience.  There are now countless “proof-of-concept” centers at US universities and globally.  We have helped set up the SMART Innovation Center in Singapore and are working with the Skolkovo Technology Institute in Russia, to set up a center for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Our current projects include an ultrasonic pill, a process for treating water from natural gas fracking, real-time component based simulations for design, and many others.  You can always find the complete project listing on our website {link}
Just as a plane that loses momentum will stall and drop out of the sky, it is no time for us to sit back and relax.  We need to keep going at speed and continue to innovate.  There is never a shortage of difficult problems to solve and never a shortage of bright creative minds to tackle them.   We look forward to the next ten years.

Best Regards,
Leon Sandler
Executive Director

Dr. Rajesh Menon had a paper published in Science on etching very fine lines on a microchip.  This work is part of a larger Deshpande Center project in conjunction with Professor Henry Smith to use the technology for high-resolution optical microscopy.

Grantees In the News

Could a sugar-sensitive tattoo be the next generation of glucose testing? Michael Strano and his team think so.

Researchers in the lab of Kripa Varanasi put an unconventional twist on well-known method generating exciting results for managing heat flow in various applications.


Firefly Bioworks takes in first institutional round of funding.

Deshpande Center spinout, Goby, acquired by TeleNav, a location-based services firm in Sunnydale, CA.

ImmuneXcite secures $2.48 million in their first institutional funding round.

Why Lantos Technologies’ Search For The Perfect Earmold Is A Game-Changer For The Hearing Aid And High-End Audio Industries

Liquid Metal Battery receives seed funding from Bill Gates.
For more information about how the battery works see a video on Bill Gates blog.

Myomo wins MassTLC award for product of the year.

European Commission grants orphan status to Pervasis drug, Vascugel.

SpringLeaf Therapeutics raises $15M Series B round.

Device designed by Taris Biomedical could improve bladder disease treatment.

Taris Biomedical rounds up $18.3M in Series B financing.

Verayo Honored with The Wall Street Journal’s 2011 Technology Innovation Award

Hewlett-Packard agrees to buy Vertica Systems, Inc.

Measuring how the human body responds to infection and disease, Enumeral advances the discovery of antibodies

Deshpande Center News

A two-part article on the MIT entrepreneurial ecosystem features the Deshpande Center as an integral part.