CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (June 1, 2002) -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation (Deshpande Center) today announced the newly appointed executive team. Krisztina Holly and Charles L. Cooney have been appointed to the role of Executive Director, and Faculty Director, respectively. Unveiled earlier this year, The Deshpande Center is part of The MIT School of Engineering and was established in January through a $20M gift from Jaishree Deshpande and Desh Deshpande, the co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks. The Deshpande Center was created to serve as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting research and facilitating collaboration among entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, innovative businesses, and MIT faculty.
Prof. Charles Cooney, a Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, is Co-Director of the Program on the Pharmaceutical Industry at MIT. Prof. Cooney has worked with several biotechnology companies in their early stages, such as Genzyme, Microbia, BioProcessors and Dyax, as well as with larger pharmaceutical and chemical companies. He is a director at Genzyme, Cuno, and BioCon India. Prof. Cooney joined the faculty in 1970 after earning both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT.
Executive Director, Krisztina Holly, joins Prof. Cooney. Prior to joining the Deshpande Center, Ms. Holly, an engineer and entrepreneur, co-founded Stylus Innovation, which was acquired by Artisoft in 1996 for $12.9 million. Ms. Holly has been involved with other start-ups, including River Run Media and Direct Hit, an Internet search engine that was sold to Ask Jeeves for $500 Million. Ms. Holly has served as a board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum and as a judge for the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition. Ms. Holly holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.
Ms. Holly and Prof. Cooney join a steering committee that includes Desh Deshpande, Co-founder and Chairman, Sycamore Networks; Alex d'Arbeloff, Chairman, MIT Corporation; and Thomas Magnanti, Dean, MIT School of Engineering.
Ms. Holly and Prof. Cooney will work closely with the steering committee and an advisory committee to award grants to MIT faculty and to develop partnerships with entrepreneurial companies and the venture capital community. In their newly appointed role, they will plan workshops and symposia that focus on innovation and showcase MIT technologies. Additionally the executive team will foster connections with resources inside and outside of MIT, including The MIT Technology Licensing Office, MIT Venture Mentoring Service, MIT Entrepreneurship Center, MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, MIT Industrial Liaison Program, MIT Sloan School of Management, and MIT Enterprise Forum®.
"I am thrilled to announce The Deshpande Center's newly appointed executive team. We are extremely fortunate to augment the Center with individuals who together have a range of experience in academic, technology and entrepreneurial settings," said Desh Deshpande, CEO and Chairman of Sycamore Networks and founder of the Deshpande Center. "Moreover, with the first grant cycle on the horizon, the addition of Ms. Holly and Prof. Cooney is well-timed to take advantage of some of the great technological advancements undertaken by MIT faculty and students."
Commenting on the appointments, Alex d'Arbeloff, Chairman of the MIT Corporation added, "MIT is proud to be the first academic institution to break convention by supporting such an organization. The combined expertise of Ms. Holly and Prof. Cooney will ensure that some of MIT's finest technological advancements emerge as successful businesses by partnering with entrepreneurial companies and venture capital."