October/November 2004 Newsletter

Dear Friend of the Deshpande Center,

News items about the Deshpande Center are plentiful this fall, including another venture-backed startup, our new grant round, and many other announcements. But first, I want to send best wishes to office manager Isadora Deese, who gave birth to Charles Franklin Deese on October 7!

I also want to convey how excited I am about the expansion of our grant program to all MIT faculty starting in spring 2005. We want faculty throughout the Institute, in addition to those in the School of Engineering, to benefit from the funding and expertise the Deshpande Center provides, and we expect to attract a wide variety of proposals for innovations with commercial potential. During our Fall 2004 round of grants, eight faculty received $669,000 to develop their innovations.

Krisztina Holly
Executive Director

In This Issue

  • Brontes Technologies gets venture backing
  • Fall 2004 grant winners enter innovation pipeline, grant program expands
  • Two grant winners named to TR100
  • Dean of Engineering highlights Center's role in emerging technologies
  • Deshpande Center co-hosts TechNet innovation forum
  • Material from Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshops available on-line
  • Creative ways to raise early-stage capital, and more — Fall Innovation Week
  • MIT entrepreneurship highlighted at CES
  • It's a boy!

Brontes Technologies gets venture backing
We are very excited to announce that another one of our grant winners has formed a startup company and secured venture financing.

Brontes Technologies, a 3-D imaging company based on research by Professor Douglas Hart and his team, secured funding from three leading venture capital firms: Bain Capital Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and IDG Ventures.

This marks the third technology that has spun out of the Center since our first round of grants two years ago; two of our first four Innovation Grants are now venture-backed startups.

Fall 2004 grant winners enter innovation pipeline, grant program expands
Eight faculty members received Deshpande Center grants in our Fall 2004 round. Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech, and Tech Talk (hyperlink to http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2004/deshpande-2-side.html) covered the awards. Meanwhile, the Center opened its grant program to ALL faculty at MIT for its Spring 2005 round.

The five new projects and three renewals are listed below:

  • John Brisson: Novel ice-cream production method
  • Chiping Chen: Making 3G and 4G a reality with low-cost amplifiers for wireless base stations (Renewal)
  • Clark Colton: Finding early-stage cancers using novel contrast agents for enhanced MRI
  • Martin Culpepper: HexFlex: Enabling nanofabrication with a six-axis nanomanipulator
  • Klavs Jensen: Accelerating innovation in the chemistry lab with integrated automated microchemical systems (Renewal)
  • Lionel Kimerling and Anuradha Murthy Agarwal: Low-cost multispectral infrared detector arrays
  • Yang Shao-Horn: Engineered electrode assemblies for PEM fuel cells (Renewal)
  • Michael Stonebraker: Hybrid DBMS optimized for read-intensive applications

Two grant winners named to TR100
Congratulations to Deshpande Center grant winners Prof. Vladimir Bulovic of electrical engineering and computer science and Prof. Martin Culpepper of mechanical engineering for being named to this year's TR100, (hyperlink to http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2004/tr100-0922.html) a list of top young innovators in technology published annually by Technology Review.

With funding from the Deshpande Center, Vladimir helped create a quantum-dot memory-cell technology that was licensed to a nanotechnology startup last spring. Currently, he is working on another project to develop a small, rugged, slim-format spectrometer. Culpepper received a grant this fall to explore the commercial feasibility of HexFlex, his six-axis nanomanipulator that could advance nanomanufacturing.

Dean of Engineering highlights Center's role in emerging technologies
In a recent article titled "Emerging Technologies: Seeding Our Future," Thomas L. Magnanti, Dean of the MIT School of Engineering, names the Deshpande Center as a key vehicle for fostering emerging technologies at MIT.

Deshpande Center co-hosts TechNet innovation forum
The Deshpande Center, along with CNETNews.com and TechNet, a bipartisan political network of CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, co-hosted the "TechNet New England Innovation Forum" on October 13.

The event focused on the technology agenda needed to sustain America's competitiveness in the global economy. The recommendations presented at the forum will be used to develop a 10-point action plan for New England with specific policy recommendations in the areas of broadband, education, cyber security, and investment in research and development.

Material from Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshops available on-line
On September 30, we hosted a Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshop titled "SBIR Grants: Finding Research Money for your Startup." The speakers were Bob Kispert, director of federal programs for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative; Mark Lundstrom, CEO of BioScale, Inc.; and Errol Arkilic, SBIR program manager for the National Science Foundation.

Creative ways to raise early-stage capital, and more — Fall Innovation Week
During Fall Innovation Week December 2-8, the Deshpande Center is collaborating with several groups on campus.

At the MIT Venture Captial Conference on December 4, the Center will co-host an Emerging Technology Showcase (modeled after our Innovation Showcase) called MIT @ the Frontier and featuring this semester's i-Teams. The conference requires pre-registration.

We are also hosting a panel discussion on December 8 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on creative ways to raise early-stage capital moderated by Deshpande Center Executive Director Krisztina Holly. This panel discussion is the last i-Teams class and will be open to the public. The panel's speakers include Mark Lundstrom, CEO of BioScale, Inc.; Laura Morse of Atlas Venture; and Lucinda Linde, a member of Walnut Venture Associates. Innovation Week also features the Global Ties conference. We will send more information to newsletter subscribers later this month.

MIT entrepreneurship highlighted at CES
The Deshpande Center and other MIT entrepreneurship initiatives will be featured in a booth at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (January 6-9, 2005), the world's largest annual tradeshow for consumer technology. The highlight of the booth will be CycleScore, an MIT iCampus project fusing video games and exercise equipment. CycleScore features a novel "balloon game" that began piloting in MIT's Zesiger Fitness Center last May. The game encourages players to pedal at varying rates in order to clear mountains, collect coins, and shoot random targets. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research, and legislative advocacy. Drop by if you're at the show!

It's a boy
Deshpande Center Office Manager Isadora Deese gave birth to her second child, Charles Franklin Deese, on October 7. Congratulations and best wishes to Isadora, husband Sam, and big brother Nick!